30 December 2013

Image of the Week: "Historic" Parking Garage

Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
When: December 2013
What: La Fonda Hotel Parking Garage across the street from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assis
Comment: Santa Fe is well known for its special architectural requirements in the city center. This also applies to parking structures that must conform to the Santa Fe Style. Note that this parking garage is directly across the street from the historic Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assis. You be the judge of whether the parking garage mixes in well, or whether a parking garage of any architectural style should be across the street from the grand entrance to a cathedral.
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21 December 2013

Image of the Week: a Pink and Purple Downtown Dusk

Where: San Francisco, California, USA
When: February 2006
What: View of Downtown San Francisco from atop the Humboldt Savings Bank Building on Market Street at 4th Street. The shot was taken around 6pm.
Comment: Since this shot was taken back in 2006, several things have changed in the intervening 7 1/2 years. The only major change in the first shot is the addition of the Ritz Carlton atop the old DeYoung Building at Market and Kearney, however you do sit it covered in scaffolding.
On the bigger pan and the closeup of Civic Center (after the break) you see cranes and fewer apartment towers.
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Notable buildings in the shot include the Bank of America Building (center left), Market Street (right) and the Four Seasons (right).

14 December 2013

San Francisco Hills Map v.2

After extensively researching the hills of San Francisco, especially their names and heights, I have updated the San Francisco Topography Map, aka the 2013 San Francisco Hills Map. In addition to featuring more peaks names and elevations than the 2012 map, I have also added some land features and neighborhoods such as Ocean Beach, Cow Hollow and Polk Gulch. The map maintains the topographic lines, showing elevation changes every 25 feet, and has color styling like an old school atlas, changing color every 100 feet.

You can purchase the new 16"x16" map, printed on high quality heavyweight stock paper at Local Take, a great store in the Castro on 17th Street at Castro that opened last spring. The shop is located at 3979 17th Street, just past Little Orphan Andy's, in front of the F-Market streetcar stop. The store predominantly features local artwork including posters, woodwork, and photography, as well as t-shirts, jewelry, pillows, clothing and more. Owner/shopkeepers Kyra and Jenn will make you feel at home.

You can also order the print via Zazzle, but it will be different types of paper.

Close up of the SF Topo Map including Point Lobos and Ocean Beach. Image: Urban Life Signs/Brian Stokle
While researching more physical features, I found that much of San Francisco lacked geographic names before it was a city so I have added some new names that have origins in historic references or refer to today's neighborhood names. You'll notice places such as Sunset Plain in the Sunset, Mission Lowlands in the Mission, and Yerba Buena Fill where Yerba Buena Cove once existed, and is more commonly known as the Financial District – a name that doesn't have much of a geographic ring to it.

Several of the Forgotten Hills have been labeled or have an elevation marker including La Portezuela, and Fort Mason's Black Point.
Close up of Twin Peaks, the Castro, Noe Valley, Mission and Potrero Hill neighborhoods. Image: Urban Life Signs/Brian Stokle

Full print of the map, including a wide white border. Image: Urban Life Signs/Brian Stokle

11 December 2013

Image of the Week: to form a more perfect parking sign

Where: Chicago, Illinois, USA
When: April 2010
What: "No Parking" sign
Comment: To my eyes, the Chicago "Tow Zone/No Parking" sign is much more attractive than the classic San Francisco "No Parking" signs. Although it contains some text, the greater white space makes it easier to read.
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Image: UrbanLifeSigns.com
Image: SFMTA

01 December 2013

Image of the Week: Give Me Sunsetting Solar

Where: Sunset Reservoir, San Francisco, California, USA
When: November 2013
What: solar power array atop reservoir roof
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