12 April 2014

The Endless Concourse?

It looks long but it's actually longer, you just can't walk the entire length.

You are greeted with this hypnotic-somwhat beautiful view after stepping out of the 16th Street Mission Station platform elevator.

In fact the concourse does not run the 700 foot length that the platform does. Rather there is a large empty room above the northern end of the concourse. There are two doors that lead off from the concourse that are locked to the general public.

The longest concourse may actually belong to Powell Street Station, whose concourse goes from west of Fitfth Street and just east of 7th Street.

21 March 2014

Tunnels Never get the Post Card Treatment

Here's a picture of the Holland Tunnel ramps entering the tunnel from Manhattan I took this February from high above in the Trump Soho Hotel.

I like the shot for it's fan-shaped spread of roadways in a field of snow surrounded by earthy toned old warehouse towers.

Incidentally I was visiting with my little daughter. She was apparently more interested in the taste of the window than the view.

It made me think (the tunnel thing, not the baby) - how do you photograph a tunnel? You can't look at it from the shore of a river like you can of a bridge. You can take a shot will driving through one. (Or take one while walking through one - no fun stroll as I found from walking through San Francisco's longish Broadway Tunnel.) But you're so closed it - you can't grasp the entire tunnel all at once.

05 March 2014

Parking Lot with a View

Where: Sausalito, California, USA
When: August 2013
What: Parking lot of Bay Area Discovery Museum
Comment: Most shots of the Golden Gate Bridge don't include a parking lot. The view from this lot is stunning. Parking lots (and garages) come in more shapes and sizes than you'd imagine. That said, I couldn't but notice the strange contrast between the beautiful sight of the bridge in the stunning natural surroundings with a parking lot in the foreground.
Is it the best parking lot picture ever? The worst image of the Golden Gate Bridge. You decide. Too bad it's needed, you can't get to this wonderful museum by transit - only by car or bike (or a long walk).
Related Posts: Playground with a View, "Historic" Parking Garage

31 January 2014

From Plan to Reality (mostly): Santa Fe's Railyard District

Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
When: August 2007 and December 2013
What: Railyard District
Comment: Santa Fe planned and built a commuter rail station for Rail Runner service to Albuquerque. I visited in 2007 when it was only a plan with some construction. Six years later I went back to see what the real deal looks like.

MORE IMAGES and story coming soon!
Related Posts:
Image: Urban Life Signs


Original Concept Promo Image of a park and a train station. Image: Urban Life Signs

The Water Tower and Farmers Market Building in architectural rendering. Image: Urban Life Signs (2007)

Today's Rail Runner Trains. Image: Urban Life Signs

The vibrant and popular indoor farmer's market (December 2013). Image: Urban Life Signs

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.
Related Posts: a more perfect parking sign, Parking more important for...

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.
Related Posts: Give Me Sunsetting Solar, Shortening Towers

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.
Related Posts:
Image: UrbanLifeSigns.com
Image: SFMTA