Saturday, May 10, 2014

San Francisco

It has been a while since we were both back in San Francisco so we decided to take a weekend trip up to eat, take some pictures, and visit Andrea.

We had an early flight out Friday am. Once we got there we noticed low fog hanging over the city so after getting the rental car we headed straight for Hawk Hill over the Golden Gate Bridge to see if we could see the bridge and city under the fog. I've always wanted to see this and as we climbed up the road we were treated with a spectacular view. The fog moves fast, and both the city and bridge were going in and out of view.

After these shots, the fog from behind rolled in completely. We drove down a bit and made the short trek up to Slacker Ridge because we have never been there and it was my sunrise location for the next day. The visibility was poor and we couldn't see anything when we reached the viewpoint, but at least I knew how to get back.

As we headed further down the road I stopped at Battery Spencer to get a closer view of the bridge. I had to wait a while but occasionally there would be clear patches that I could get the closer tower in view while the rest was still covered in fog.

After taking pictures, we headed back into town for lunch. I read about Tony's Pizza Napoletana on Yelp, and how his Margherita Pizza won the world pizza cup in Italy. We ordered the Margherita and the Quail Egg, White Rose Potato, and Guanciale.

Both were alright, definitely not the best we've had. I've read about a handful of other good pizza places so we'll have to try the others next time.

After lunch, I had a few more spots to scope out across the Bay bridge. We headed over to Yerba Buena island to check them out for my sunset locations. Tough island to scope out as there is no parking anywhere and the spots aren't the easiest to get to. Jaime had to drop me off at one location and come back and pick me up. But at least now I know where everything is for the next visit.

We had a few hours to relax before we headed out to dinner at Nopalito, which we saw on Triple D a while back.

We ordered and shared 4 of their appetizer type dishes:

Ceviche Verde de Pescado y Calamar - good

Tamal de Birria con Pollo - excellent (no pic because J started eating it right away)

Tacos de Pescado al Pastor - excellent

Quesadilla Roja con Chicharron - excellent...probably the best dish of the night

We will definitely come back to this place. I heard the mole is good, so maybe next time.

We headed back over the Golden Gate Bridge for sunset. Fog over the city was pretty much gone and the view towards the city wasn't great. So I headed over to the outlook in the back that looks out to Rodeo Beach. The fog blanketed the water and the view was amazing. I snapped a few as the sun was going down. I decided to keep the shot below. I am usually not a fan of sun flare, but I kind of like this one as the sun to my right produced some rays in my frame.

I was up at 4:30 for sunrise the next day to head back to the same area. I was hoping for low fog again but as everyone says its never 2 days in a row. When I got to Slacker ridge the fog was heavy. I put on my headlamp and hiked up to the ridge anyway and probably sat up there for a good 15 minutes before some of it started to burn off enough to even see the Golden Gate Bridge. I snapped a few during the morning blue hour and sunrise, but decided that I liked the morning blue hour shot the best.

The twilight hours produce some great colors even with overcast or foggy conditions. It's my favorite time to shoot city shots. I hung around and watched the sun rise and headed back to the hotel.

We were going to go hiking at Land's End but decided not to. Instead we headed over to Ike's Place for some sandwiches to take to the Ferry Farmer's Market. I read about this place on Yelp too, and we ended up deciding on the Hot Momma Huda (Buffalo Wing Sauce, Halal Chicken, Provolone, Ranch) and Matt Cain (Godfather Sauce, Provolone, Roast Beef, Salami, Turkey). Both were tasty, but Salumi in Seattle is still our favorite sandwich place so far.

We met up with Andrea at the Ferry building and spent the day at the Saturday Market and shopping downtown....well J shopped and I sat. We had early dinner reservations at La Mar. They also have a location in Lima, Peru so we wanted to check it out and see how good it was.

They start you off with some sweet potato/potato chips with dipping sauce. We also ordered the empanada sampler that had a trio of their beef, chicken, and mushroom empenadas.

J ordered the Lomo Saltado and I got the grilled seafood with aji and chimichurri. Both were very good. The Lomo was similar to the version we had in peru, more soy based and the beef was really tender and flavorful. The seafood was also amazing and real fresh.

After dinner we headed over to Yerba Buena Island for blue hour shots. The location I decided on was off a small pullout up near the housing on the island. I had to hop over a fence to get a good vantage point of the Bay Bridge head on. There was still a small bit of sunset color left in the fog as the sky turned blue for twilight.

Next time we visit, I am going to go to a location down to the left under the bridge where the bridge frames the city. I've seen quite a few shots from the location so have to get my own take on it.

I didn't wake up for sunrise on Sunday am as I was already exhausted so we spent the day at Fisherman's Wharf. We took the cable cars there and stopped off to eat at The Codmother for some fish n chips. I got the fish n chips and J got the fish tacos. Tacos were pretty good, maybe a bit too much tapatio as they use it to make it spicy. The fish n chips were bomb tho, real light and flaky. Some of the best we had was still in New Zealand but these topped all the others that we have tried recently.

We just killed time at Fisherman's Wharf until it was time to head to the airport. As always, we did way too much eating. We'll have to find another excuse to head back up north sometime in the near future.

On a final note, I wrote an article for Landscape Photo Mag which will be in the January 2015 issue. I'm working on another article as well which I will pitch to other mags once finalized.

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography

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Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography
Landscape and Wildlife photography