Wednesday, July 18, 2007

4th of July - Independence Day! Part 1

4th of July, for all the hype, was surprisingly calm. Alex, Brendan and I drove up to San Francisco in his little red Mirage - all was quiet on the roads. Apparently everyone stays home and does BBQs. On the way there, I could hear an odd scraping, thumping sound, but we ignored it until we got to Anna's house in San Francisco. Upon inspection, it was a large piece of plastic mudguard that had come loose and caught on the road and scratched the tyre every so often.

First stop (after Anna's place in SF) was across the Oakland Bridge to the halfway point, Yerba Buena Island. Tacked on to it is man-made Treasure Island (find an aerial photo of it or click on the link above and you'll see why). We wandered around there for a while and took photos.

Here is one side of the island where we parked, and then the other directly opposite. Look, it's us and San Francisco!

It was quite cold and windy there on the beach. People were preparing for a concert next to a restaurant. An ex-naval base, a lot of people still lived there. It was very run-down (perhaps because of the salt water more than anything), and reminded me suddenly of Porirua. I love how they all sat on their chairs on stilts with beers in hand....

While getting something to eat later in a Berkeley Mexican taqueria, I spotted this car next to ours. Berkeley being the most quintessentially student town (the leaders in the Vietnam War protests). Note how the artist has taken a fresh fish, covered it in paint, and slapped it on all over the car. The figurine on the bonnet is an example of the artist knowingly re-appropriating and reinventing corporate brand to make a statement.

Berkeley Uni was quite nice, I liked it. Formal buildings mostly. I won't bore you with those. Here is our webshots album if you have a sudden rush of blood to the head. There was a cute squirrel that Brendan pretended to feed with a leaf - it was most disappointed.

look out for Part 2 (when I am less sleepy.)

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