Posts Tagged ‘island’

Disrupt Sea Cliff: Somebody’s Buying 7200 Square Feet of Real Estate Near West Clay Street But It’s a Communal Driveway for Millionaires?

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Reddit asks, “Is this a joke?

But it’s right here on the MLS – yours for $35,000:

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And here’s an aerial view:

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That was the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:

“Existing driveway that has easements for all owners to use. You will own property in San Francisco and control the driveway. You can not build or park anything in this driveway since there is no room. Lot with no warranties expressed or implied about use or zoning. I know, it’s crazy, but this is a way to own real estate in the city! And yes, you will own the air and underground rights. Get creative!

I don’t see how the buyer is going to get any money out of this parcel, but I’m not so creative.

If you have more money to burn like this, consider nearby Red Rock Island and the northern tip of San Francisco County

A View of the East Bay From Top to Bottom: Mt Diablo, Oakland, San Francisco – How an Accident of History Put Part of The City on Alameda Island

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Here you go:

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The Port of Oakland showed respect for the SF City Limits – can you see how the landfill project in the upper right ends abruptly? That’s the border. But the US military just didn’t care and it kept filling until it was satisfied. (You can see how the SF part looks different – it’s a wetter / greener area.)

Ans here’s another way of saying it – see our little homeslice?


Anyway, lots of people still don’t believe me. But you do, right, Gentle Reader?

Pier 80 is Now Known for Being a Homeless Shelter, But 5 Years Ago, It Was Home to This SCUD Launcher – THAAD, North Korea and Us

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

This was the view we had of Dogpatch / Pier 80 a few years back:

Basically, that’s an old Marine Corps junior aircraft carrier that would get towed annually to Kauai, Hawaii to launch SCUD-like missiles for testing of Lockheed Martin’s now-famous THAAD missile defense system.

And here’s the news of the day, in early 2016:

China warns South Korea that deploying THAAD missile system would trigger a Cold War-like arms race

Yeah, maybe. Is THAAD a good idea for the Korean Peninsula? I have no idea. But, this is recent Bay Area military history, which there’s not too much of these days.

I’d wondered about this vessel since I first noticed it back in aught-seven. Read all about it:

From 2013:

1. Here’s the news of the day:

Anti-missile systems sent to Guam to counter North Korean threat

2. Those systems are called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

3. THAAD was developed using the former USS Tripoli (LPH-10), an Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship that’s basically a mini aircraft carrier.

4. The USS Tripoli was based at Pier 80 in Dogpatch as recently as last year and it’s still there right now, for all I know.

That’s the connection.

That’s San Francisco’s contribution to the war effort.

(And, just saying, THAAD could come in handy when dealing with NK’s big buddy China…)

All the deets:

“She was decommissioned in 1995 and as of 2004, she was on loan to the Army, but remained laid up at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In December 2006, the ship was towed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where it now has a high-tech role as a launch platform with the nation’s developing ballistic missile defense program. Three times the ship was towed some 100 miles off shore and used to launch small ballistic missiles, which are then intercepted by Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Missiles, test-fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The last test in the series was performed 26 October, when the ship fired a “Scud-like” missile, which was successfully intercepted. The ship will be towed back to the San Francisco Bay Area for the winter. Kaua’i lacks a suitable land-based launch site, and the costs of building one would far exceed the approximately $600,000 per year it costs to use the old warship, so the vessel returned to Pearl Harbor for a second series of tests in late spring 2008.[1] As of 16 June 2012 she berthed at Pier 80 in San Francisco, CA.”


From 2010:

Now I could tell you all about the supr sekrt USS Tripoli (LPH-10 (Landing Platform, Helicopter)) but that would be MUY PRO HI BI DA DO (I say that in Spanish because that’s how not allowed it would be).

Suffice to say the old girl has been chilling in the Dogpatch lately, right next to ridiculously hilly Potrero Hill.

Where, oh where, will it get towed to next?

What, oh what, will it next launch into the Heav’ns Above?


The Trip as seen off of Kauai in the 808 State (or somewhere else in the wide Pacific) during the sum, sum, summertime. Whoosh:

And from 2008:

Well, look what just got towed in from Hawaii. Fresh from testing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, San Francisco’s favorite former helicopter carrier, the former U.S.S. Tripoli (LPH-10), had its ups and downs in the Aloha State.

Read all about the post-retirement adventures of the USS Tripoli at Telstar Logistics.

Under the Golden Gate Bridge:

Who knows what the future will be for this old ship. Probably more missile launching.

E komo mai. Nou ka hale, USS Tripoli


Monday, September 21st, 2015

Ah let’s head back to nature. Do you see – it’s hard to spot:

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This is better:

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Here we go, at the bottom – there’s a clear shot:

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And then, back to its master:

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Are drones legal in California State Parks like 4.5 starred Emerald Bay?

Sure, for now.

That’s good, ’cause people be flying drones all over the place these days. (You’ll hear them before you see them, most likely. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…)

Color Photograph: Sunset or Moonrise? Telegraph Hill, Sailboat, Cruise Ship, Alcatraz, and Angel Island

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

The answer will amaze you, or not:

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This is the sun, as seen from a span of our troubled San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

It looked like the moon though.

That could be the troubled Star Princess, which should be norovirus-free these days. Let’s hope so. And if it’s not the Princess, well, let’s hope it’s norovirus-free as well…

On a Clear Day You Can See the Farallon Islands from the Sunset District – But on a Foggy Day, Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The biggest of the Farallones is in this shot, if you can spot it, 25 miles away…

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Click to expand

This was a much better than average day for looking for the Farallones…

Can You Name the Extreme Points of San Francisco – North, South, East, and West? It’s Hard!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

This is hard, this game of identifying the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost points of San Francisco.

If you guess, you’re going to make mistakes.

All right, in no particular order, here are the answers:

Seal Rock, aka Saddle Rock

Red Rock

North Farallon Islands

Alameda Island 

I’m srsly.

1. Northermost: Red Rock Island. It’s about eight miles north of Fisherman’s Wharf. Seems as if it’s always for sale. You can get there by kayak and then hike to the top if you want – put that on your bucket list.

As seen from the mainland of San Francisco. The Richmond San Rafael Bridge and East Brother Island are in the background:

Red Rock at 600mm on a very clear day. Don’t try this with your iPhone camera – your shot might not come out so hot.

2. Southernmost: Seal Rock, South Farallon Islands. It’s south of Southeast Farallon Island. It can be seen on the left side here.

And here it is as seen from Twin Peaks:

840mm, on a very clear day.

3. Westernmost: North Farallon Islands.

Actually, it’s this islet in the upper left here, seen with North Farallon Island and St. James Island in the lower right. (I’m surprised that this unnamed rock hasn’t yet been named for a longtime local political strongman like Willie Brown or Rose Pak):

4, Easternmost: Alameda Island. Surprise! Work out your denial issues here.

As seen from the (old) Bay Bridge, the eastern span, the one that was never named for a local political strongman, like Willie Brown or Rose Pak: 

Here are the four points, underlined, to sum up:

Oh, even better is if you let Google Maps highlight the county line in red. (If you zoom in on the linked page, you can also see a couple of places on Angel Island that Google similarly correctly ID’ed as parts of San Francisco.)

Thanks for playing!

UPDATE: Oh, man, you people are clever:

1. So what about SFO airport as southernmost? Well, that place is “owned and policed by the City and County of San Francisco, but is located in and entirely surrounded by adjacent San Mateo County.” So that’s why the San Mateo County Coroner was involved in the SFFD’s bungled handling of the Asiana 214 crash landing. Another situation would be with San Francisco’s O’Shaughnessy Dam up in Hetch Hetchy near Yosemite a murder on top of that dam would be prosecuted by the Tuolumne County DA (or maybe the Feds – you all might be right, IDK), not by the SFDA. Don’t ask me about which DA would handle a stabbing at San Francisco Jails #5 or #6 down in San Bruno, San Mateo County. (Perhaps the counties have an agreement over prosecution? IDK.) OTOH, a crime on the western tip of Alameda Island would be handled by the SFDA.

2. And Candlestick Point (and the entire southern border of mainland SF)? It’s ever just ever north of the southernmost part of the Farallones – that’s a real close call.

Questioning the Wisdom of Adding “Pedestrian Islands” to the Middle of the Street, as Here on McAllister in The Projects

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

See this pedestrian island smack dab in the middle of McAllister at what remains of Octavia?

It didn’t used to be there. Oh, here we go:

Pedestrian islands provide a raised refuge area in the middle of the street for crossing pedestrians.”

Click to expand

So what this does is bottleneck McAllister traffic by not letting bikes and vehicles easily pass through the Octavia “intersection” at the same time.

I cry foul. IMO, this isn’t good design for pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, bus drivers or firetruck drivers.

So what is this island good for – satisfying the ideological requirements of the sainted SFMTA?


But be my guest, go out there and take a look and see how traffic flows at this particular intersection, say around 5 PM during the evening drive.

Be my guest.

Iconic Bay Area: Alcatraz, The Slot, Mount Tamalpais

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

West Peak, Middle Peak, and the East Peak of Mount Tam in Marin County, all above a very good place to look for wind and fog and general cloudiness:

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Exotic Bird Sightings: Northern Gannet on Alcatraz! Northern Gannet on Alcatraz! Northern Gannet on Alcatraz!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The SF Chronicle sent over an expedition, but couldn’t find it.

Here’s a recent capture, looks like:

Rare sighting of a Northern Gannet on Alcatraz, usually only seen in the North Atlantic,

Taken with a Samsung Galaxy S III cell phone:

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Keep a look out.