Posts Tagged: South San Francisco

The man who laughed t‘ai-chi

On my way to work this past Monday, I drove past an older man doing t‘ai-chi exercise by the side of a particularly busy street in South San Francisco. I broke several traffic laws turning my car around so that I could pull up to the curb in front of him to take a photograph. Luckily, I got to him just in time to capture this exuberant expression.

I’ve looked for the old man each subsequent morning since this encounter, but haven’t seen him…

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(Hillside Boulevard near Lincoln Street, South San Francisco, California 2017)

I’ve been seeing red

I don’t know what it is, but the past several days I’ve been noticing people who are dressed in red. It’s pleasing, but odd, as I typically never consciously emphasize any particular color when a scene has caught my eye and I decide it’s worth a photograph. Perhaps it’s my subconscious manifesting the abundant anger I’ve been feeling about my wife’s recent medical traumas and the death of my cat, among other things.

Nevertheless, I take photographs to celebrate moments in life that appeal to me and that you might also cherish, or at least find interesting. So here’s some glorious red, though the color is not so glorious as the people wearing it…

Kinetic Red, Webster Street @ Fell Street, San Francisco 2017

A woman crossing Webster Street while Fell Street traffic zooms by in San Francisco on March 28th.

 

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An stylish youth in Geneva Avenue traffic near Mission Street in San Francisco on March 29th.

 

NYC attitude at a South San Francisco Safeway, California 2017

At a Safeway in South San Francisco on March 31st.

(San Francisco and South San Francisco, California 2017)

Destination suggested but still unknown

Tiny woman, big butt

Spaceman and Mickey pants…

My wife has been in the hospital for almost two weeks. Thankfully, she should be home in a couple of days. It’s a dicey thing shooting photos in an hospital. Ethically (and morally, and legally), hospitals have very justifiably strict rules about whom and where you can take pictures. You can’t infringe upon a person’s privacy, nor endanger anyone’s patient confidentiality.

Fortunately, today I encountered a couple of good sports who allowed me to photograph them. I’m and grateful and happy to have the opportunity to showcase their visual distinctiveness…

An hospital technician in airborne disease precautionary headgear…

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A fellow in Mickey Mouse pants who I happened to see in an hospital hallway…

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Kaiser Permanente, South San Francisco, California 2017

Kaiser, my baby

I’m a lousy husband. I find it impossible to hang around my wife’s hospital room for hours watching her writhe in pain while the nurses and her doctor wait for her condition to stabilize. When it does, they’ll determine if she needs surgery. In the meantime, I’ve been bringing her things that she needs, and drinking too much when I’m home. This is all new and overwhelming to me. My wife’s the toughest son of a bitch I’ve ever known, and I can’t take away her pain. I can’t do anything at all right now but love her.

And take a few pictures, to maybe make some good come of this in the form of my inadequate art…

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South San Francisco and the El Camino Real from the roof of the Kaiser Permanente parking garage.

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Colma Creek from the roof of the parking garage.

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Hallway on my wife’s ward.

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Hospital gift shop couture.

Kaiser Permanente, South San Francisco, California 2017

My wife is in the hospital on her birthday…

She entered the hospital last night, for an ailment that is hers to disclose. Not life-threatening, but perhaps life-changing. She’s the best person I’ve ever known, so it was agony to see her writhing and shifting for hours in emergency room pain. I would have taken that nerve-lashing unto myself if I could.

And today is her 63rd birthday. I should be making her a favorite dinner, but she’s in a hospital bed on Opiate Street. “Time’s passing so slow” morphine-she said to me this morning. We both have less time than we used to have, but its savory quality has increased as we’ve aged.

I could’ve grown old with myself. I will likely grow old longer because of her. Not knowing what to do, and being a poor hospital tourist, I took some photographs when my wife didn’t need my attention. There will likely be more; but on her birthday when she can eat no cake on the inpatient ward, these will do…

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The admitting technician was a fine fellow of compassionate demeanor.

Sunday night at Kaiser, South San Francisco, California 2016

A dinosaur-child in the hallway as my wife was moved from the ER to her room.

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No names on the screen means no pain in a hallway for healing professionals.

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She’s in bed and waiting, and monitoring time.

Kaiser Permanente, South San Francisco, California 2017

Dance class

His name is Joe and we were both in the same waiting room at Kaiser Permanente in South San Francisco. He caught my eye because he was so nicely-dressed, looking much classier than the anxious people one typically sees in dreary HMO waiting rooms. Joe makes a habit of dressing nicely all the time. He likes to look good because he’s a dance instructor in San Francisco. According to his card, he can teach you the Tango, the Cha-Cha, and the Boogie. I can give you his number if you’re interested…

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(South San Francisco, California 2016. Also published on Scholars & Rogues.)

Determination

The grief motorist

His name is Michael and he was sitting in his car on Dubuque Avenue in South San Francisco, separated by a K-rail barrier from the spot on Highway 101 where his cousin Odalys was killed. He visits the spot from time to time, smoking cheap, fragrant cigars and staring through his exhaled smoke at the passing traffic while wondering how his cousin ended up on foot on the 101 where a car hit her and took her life. He says the cops still don’t know; after three and a half years the case is still open. Michael thinks foul play may have been involved. He misses Odalys very much and just wants to know why she died.

Michael got out of his car for this photograph, and to graciously give a summary of his story…

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(South San Francisco, California, April 2016)

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