SAN FRANCISCO SUNDOWN

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During my August 2008 visit to San Francisco, it occurred to me that I had never seen the sun set in the Pacific Ocean, or an ocean of any kind. This spurred a sunset trip on the MUNI L line (San Fran has subways and light rail) out to “The Avenues” for a view…

This is a scene that could be taken in 2009 … 1526 … 272 BC … one million BC … 3 billion BC. The sun dropping into the ocean and the view being distorted by the atmosphere.

Minute by minute the sun got a bit dimmer and flatter. Bear with me…on the east coast, you don’t see this except if you live near a big bay and even then there is land to set it off.

Soon there was just a sliver of sun.

And then, just a hint. Some observers say they have seen a brief green flash as the last of the sun sets. I think it has to be rather clearer than this, since I didn’t detect anything.

The week I was in San Fran it was unusually warm. It hit about 85 degrees most days and even got to ninety one day. It was crystal clear and bright, regardless, but this evening reverted to form and the wind kicked up, the sky began to cloud over, and it got cool; nevertheless, a swimsuit-clad woman was frolicking about, as well as a couple of canines. I hear, though, that swimming is prohibted due to the riptides.

While we’re on the subject, here are some sky phenomena I have never been lucky enough to see that are on my list: a) a total eclipse. In the 1990s, where I was, one day the sun was about 95% eclipsed, but I wan’t carrying eye protection and thought better of peeking. b) as a corollary, it’d be awesome to see the sun totally ecliped at sunset or sunrise. c) I would like to see the crescent moon set into the ocean near the equator, since both the horns are facing up there. I think it would be too hazy to get the full effect. If any ForgottenFans have seen any of these sky phenomena, let me know.

The Avenues“ is so-called because the north-south streets are all numbered avenues from 2nd to 48th Avenue. The cross streets are mostly Spanish or Spanish-sounding names from Anza to Yorba. The L runs along Taraval Street. RIGHT: concrete house at Great Highway and Sloat Boulevard (named for the Mexican War officer who claimed California for the USA, Commodore John Drake Sloat). The area is likely the flattest in San Fran, and could be the sunniest: there are very few street trees.

Surface transit tracks run past the Ocean Park and Roberts Motels.

Just an aspect of San Francisco that somehow escapes the guidebooks! I had not heard about VegNews Magazine, but here is the headquarters.

4/9/09





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