Land's End, San Francisco, viewed from the Marin Headlands. The building(s) at the top center right are the Veteran's Administration Hospital. Further right and below is the Cliff House Restaurant. Below the VA hospital is Lincoln Park and the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The light isn't particularly good in this image - the sun was beginning to set.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, San Francisco, was a busy place on Christmas Eve! This Christmas Pageant took place at 5:00 p.m. (pardon the camera shake...). There was a service of Lessons and Carols at 8:00 p.m. and a Choral Eucharist at 11:00 p.m.
American merchants have been seriously infected with political correctness. Each year it becomes more difficult to find mention of Christ, not to mention Christmas. We can say "Holidays", we cannot say "Christmas." How ironic that the windows at Macy's, one of the meccas of "holiday" political correctness, sums up CHRISTMAS with one prominent word in their windows: BELIEVE.
This amazing nativity scene is on a hill alongside Moeser Lane in El Cerrito. It is the work of Sundar Shadi, a Sikh, born in India in 1900. Mr. Shadi and his wife bought a home and the large adjoining lot on Arlington Drive in El Cerrito in 1937. In 1949, he joined his neighbors in putting up outdoor Christmas decorations by putting an illuminated star out. Each year thereafter until 1996 (!), he crafted a new decoration to add to his Christmas display. Thus each Christmas, the lot next to his home became "Bethlehem." The Soroptimist Club of El Cerrito and the El Cerrito Foundation maintain Mr. Shadi's ongoing gift to us and installed the display on Moeser Lane this year.
Christmas Tree, Neiman-Marcus Rotunda, Union Square, San Francisco
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Many years ago, on the site where Neiman-Marcus (or as «Louis» calls it, "Needless-Markup") now sits, was a San Francisco department store known as The City of Paris. In the center of the building was a beautiful glass-domed rotunda. When Neiman-Marcus acquired the site, "preservationists" fought the construction of the store Neiman planned. A happy compromise was reached when Neiman agreed to preserve the rotunda. It was moved from the center of the old building to the entrance of the new store. Each Christmas season, the rotunda houses a huge Christmas tree, the "2009 edition" being seen here.
The twin towers of Saint Ignatius Church, one of the most beautiful worship spaces in San Francisco, are visible in the left of this view of San Francisco from the Marin Headlands. Saint Ignatius is on the campus of the Jesuit University of San Francisco. Below and left of St. Ignatius, the white buildings with red roofs belong to the former Army base at the Presidio. To the center, is the University of California, San Francisco dominating the lower slopes of Mt. Sutro, topped with its iconic TV tower.
The Officers Quarters at Fort Cronkhite, built in the first third of the 20th century, are almost identical in style to those built in the 19th century at the Presidio in San Francisco. Both former Army forts are now part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area.
As the fog (unusual for this time of year) rolls in from the Golden Gate, the bridge is obscured - the top of the north tower barely still visible - making it difficult to tell which is water and which is fog.
The harbor at Sausalito, seen from Mount Tamalpais. Also visible are Angel Island, Tiburon, Alcatraz Island, Treasure/Yerba Buena Islands, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and points in the East Bay including Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville.
Dr. Timothy Zerlang, Director of Music at St. Mark's Lutheran, San Francisco gave a special presentation of Bach's setting of Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland for the third Sunday of Advent.
The original hymn dates back to Saint Ambrose in the fourth century. The text of the first movement in Bach's setting was written by Martin Luther. Bach used text by the Lutheran Pastor Erdmann Neumeister for the second, third and fifth movements. The text for movement four is from Revelation 3:20. The text for the sixth movement is from Philipp Nicolai. Nicolai was a German Lutheran pastor, poet, and composer, author of two famous hymns: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers awake) and Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (How beautifully shines the morning star). These two chorales have inspired many composers, including Bach, whose cantatas BWV 1 and BWV 140 are based on Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern and Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, respectively. Those two hymns are sometimes referred to, respectively, as the King and Queen of Chorales.
Bach's setting of Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland was first performed on 2 December, 1714.
Dr. Zerlang performing Bach's Prelude and Fugue in G-Minor on the day of Dr. Zerlang's installation as Director of Music at St. Mark's.
Two of the six bridges - well, actually seven - that span the Bay are visible in this photo taken from the Marin Headlands. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is actually two bridges. A cantilever section runs from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island in the middle of the Bay; a suspension bridge runs from Yerba Buena Island to San Francisco.
Somewhat reminiscent of how le grand arc de la Défence just outside of Paris mirrors l'arc de Triomphe, the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge and the TV tower on Mount Sutro seem to be mirroring each other.
Viewed from the Marin Headlands, a container ship heads out under the Golden Gate Bridge, going back for more cargo - probably from China... Those of you familiar with the Bay Area will spot the following landmarks: San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena Island, downtown Oakland, Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, the Bank of America tower and Fort Mason, to name a few.
«Louis» usually shows you images of the Golden Gate Bridge taken from le balcon Chez la Vache. Today, we've driven across the bridge and we are in at the visitors center on the Marin County side of the bridge. The TV tower on Mount Sutro is in the distance.