Baker Beach, San Francisco

Baker Beach is a public beach on peninsula of San Francisco.

IMG_2653

It is a popular beach with its views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Swimming is not recommended at the beach because of the rough surf conditions and rips.

The beach is also a photo stop for those walking the cliffside Coastal Trail.

The northern section of Baker Beach nearest the bridge is considered a clothing optional beach.

IMG_2652

IMG_2651

IMG_2654

IMG_2650

Muir Beach Overlook

Muir Beach Overlook is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

IMG_2282

Muir Beach Overlook provides stunning views of the Pacific Ocean coastline and its rocky cliffs. Between the months of November and June you may be lucky and see migrating blue whales.

During World War II it was used as a site to watch for potential attacks following the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Several of the historic base-end stations remain.

Muir Beach Overlook is located north of Muir Beach on Highway One (State Route 1)

IMG_2294

IMG_2295

IMG_2296

IMG_2292

IMG_2288

Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco

The Conservatory of Flowers is a Victorian greenhouse and botanical garden located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

IMG_2428

The materials for the conservatory were purchased by businessman James Lick. He died in 1876 before construction could commence and the materials were sold by his estate. A group of businessmen purchased the materials and offered it as a gift to the City to be erected in Golden Gate Park.

The conservatory opened in 1879 making it the oldest building in Golden Gate Park. It is also the oldest wood-glass conservatory in North America. Its design is inspired by the Kew Gardens in London. The impressive wooden Victorian building has 16,800 window panes.

It houses nearly 2,000 plant species across five galleries – Aquatic Plants, Highland Tropics, Lowland Tropics, Potted Plants, and West Gallery.

The conservatory is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4.30pm. It closes some public holidays; visit the website for full hours and pricing.

It is located at 100 John F Kennedy Drive.

IMG_2435

IMG_2434

IMG_2431

IMG_2430

IMG_2429

 

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

The Palace of Fine Arts was constructed during the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, a world’s fair held in San Francisco.

IMG_2843

The Palace was designed by Bernard Maybeck in the style of Roman and Ancient Greek architecture. It is built around an artificial lagoon.

The structure was not built with durable materials as originally it was only intended to stand during the Exposition, which run from February 20th – December 4th, 1915.

Unlike many of the other buildings built for Exposition the Palace was saved. But due to its construction and vandalism it was in disrepair by the 1950s. In 1964 the structure was demolished and the Palace of Fine Arts was completely reconstructed.

Today it is a nice picnic spot or place to stroll. It is a very popular location for wedding photography.

The Palace of Fine Arts is located at 3301 Lyon Street.

IMG_2884

IMG_2880

IMG_2842.JPG

IMG_2840

IMG_2838

Lombard Street, San Francisco

Lombard Street is San Francisco’s famous crooked street.

IMG_2352

The one block in the Russian Hill suburb between Hyde and Lavensworth Streets with eight hairpin turns is what led to its title ‘the crookedest street in the world.’ Technically Vermont Street in Potrero Hill is actually the ‘crookedest’ street in San Francisco.

Russian Hill has beautiful stately mansions with manicured gardens and flower beds. You can either drive down the street or walk up and down the stairs.

The street was named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia, its switchbacks were built in 1922 to allow traffic to descend the hill’s steep incline.

IMG_2354

IMG_2360

IMG_2361

IMG_2368

IMG_2373

IMG_2358

IMG_2374

Coit Tower, San Francisco

Coit Tower is a 64 metre (210 foot) tower on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco.

IMG_2349

Coit Tower was paid for with a bequest from socialite and philanthropist Lillie Hitchcock Coit who died in 1929. The art deco concrete column tower was completed in 1933.

The interior features 27 murals painted in American Social Realism style by 26 artists.

It is free to enter the ground floor where many of the murals are located, but there are charges to take the elevator to the observation deck, which provides 360 degree views of San Francisco.

The tower is open April – October from 10 am to 6pm, and 10 am to 5 pm November to March. Last ticket is sold 30 minutes before closure.

Coit Tower is located at 1 Telegraph Hill Boulevard in Pioneer Park.

IMG_2319

IMG_2322

IMG_2333

IMG_2331

IMG_2347

IMG_2341

IMG_2339

IMG_2344

IMG_2348

Thursday Throwback: 2012 86th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

In 2012 I went to New York City for the 86th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

001

I stayed at Hotel Pennsylvania on 7th Ave, which is right opposite Penn Station. It was great location wise, but the floor I was staying did feel a little bit like I was in The Shining.

On the Wednesday afternoon I went and saw the balloons being inflated outside the Museum of Natural History. I went in the afternoon as I had read the balloons start to take shape between 1pm and 3pm.

215855_10151125157645810_561050564_n

Sailor Mickey being inflated

On Thanksgiving Day I woke in the early hours of the morning to a marching band practicing. This didn’t worry me as I planned to get up early anyway and it added to the experience.

I staked out my spot early (a little after 6am) beneath Radio City Music Hall. Below are some of my photos.

To my American friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

002

Hello Kitty

003

Mr. Pilgrim

004

Woodland Family Gathering float, Ocean Spray

005

Tom Turkey float with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, Food Network

006.jpg

Kermit the Frog

007

Charlie Brown

010

Kung-Fu Panda

008

NYPD Mounted Unit

011

Jimmy Fallon and the Roots 

013

True Spirit of Thanksgiving float, Oneida Indian Nation

014

Uncle Sam with Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo

015

Mount Rushmore’s American Pride with Don McLean

024

Jolly Polly Pirate Ship with Pirate Queen Whoopi Goldberg

018

Gift of Freedom float

016

Spiderman

021

Pikachu

023

SpongeBob SquarePants

026

Papa Smurf

027

The Smurfs

025

Saratoga High School Marching Band, California

029

New York City Police Department

033

Macy’s Great American Marching Band

031

Diary of a Whimpy Kid 

034

Sailor Mickey, Disney Cruises 

036

Sonic the Hedgehog

039

Pillsbury Doughboy 

044

Elf on a shelf

045

Buzz Lightyear

043

Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations float, Domino Sugar

035

The King Charles Unicycle Troupe

046

047

Santa’s sleigh