San Francisco Chronicle


San Francisco is a place of beauty, dreams and sadness. It’s easy to experience all three in a short span of time. It’s a city of dichotomies: lights and shadows; love and heartbreak; worldly success and existential failures. Its jagged coast is a rip in the planet taped together delicately, dividing the hemispheres of the Earth and sometimes the heart.

Decades ago, Humphrey the Whale [a humpback whale that lost its way migrating between Mexico and Alaska, and became stranded in the Sacramento Delta] was lured back into the Pacific Ocean by the Coast Guard and scientists using acoustic recordings of whale vocalizations. They led Humphrey back to saltwater through the Golden Gate Bridge into the Pacific.

I stared at the bridge and thought about how we often get lost in the vast ocean of the universe as we try to stay true to our course.

Humphrey was last seen in 1991. At least one of us made it.




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To the Daughter I’ve Yet to Meet:

One day, when you’re older, I want you to walk around San Francisco. You can use the photos on the blog as your guide.

I want you to explore the streets, hills, alleyways and neighborhoods I’ve wandered through millions of times. Hopefully we’ll be able to go around together, but if we can’t for whatever tragic reason, then this little adventure will do.

Who knows, maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of me among the faceless crowd.