A Rainy Wintery Day

Lots of rain in San Francisco. And snow in the Sierras. Happy New Year. We found a nice spot to sit through a leisurely lunch, even though it took some wet walking. Pelted with rain. But BART works good. Wonderful soul food at Brenda’s, and a great place to enjoy a  stormy day.


Brenda’s French Soul Food. Nice menu, great food.


Taking care of business at Brenda’s.

Oakland West

Oakland West. Open air, after the trip under the Bay.

Art in Public Spaces


Bloodlines by Emma Webster, 2014


Sails of the Bay by Marius Starkey, 2014

Art in public spaces! Truly a gift for all to enjoy. These heart sculptures are sponsored by the San Francisco Hospital Foundation. Produced by a host of different artists, including Tony Bennett, there are more than 120 of them. Many are in private collections and not available for viewing. But each year new Hearts are displayed at Union Square and around the city. A number of Hearts from past years can be found around the city although there is no list anywhere to help people find them. The first was found at the Lyon Street Steps, and the others at Union Square. I get help from a number of Heart Spotters, like Mary, Claire, Bill and Beth, and others. Thanks Heart Spotters! See more Hearts at: http://www.thomaspappas.com/Home/SF_Hearts_Project.html

13th Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival – 2013


The crowd at the Star Stage enjoys Natalie Maines on Saturday!

It is hard to believe this free event even exists! Yet each year since 2001, thanks to Warren Hellman, Golden Gate Park swallows up a mass of humanity and somehow everyone gets along together while they enjoy great music, sunshine and the type of camaraderie that only a magical event like this can inspire!

This year about 800,000 people attended over the three days. 84 acts performed on the 6 stages, and the police reported just two arrests! I always remember my out of town guests in 2011 remarking to their friends back home that after Emmylou Harris closed the festival, as she has done every year, people started picking up after themselves before leaving. Well of course! Warren Hellman expected his guests to take care of the park, and that is what people do every year.

Headliners included Bonnie Raitt, Bozz Skaggs, The Flatlanders, Natalie Maines, Dr Ralph Stanley, Allison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Steve Martin Chris Isaak, The Forest Rangers with Katey Sagal , and Elvin Bishop.

Each year I think about all the hassles of getting into San Francisco, finding parking, and dealing with the crowds…and sometimes I almost lose my resolve to attend. But the moment I arrive, and settle back to enjoy the event…and all the people, I know I have arrived and I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

Read more here:  http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Festival-draws-record-crowd-organizers-say-4876581.php

See more photos here: http://www.thomaspappas.com/Home/Hardly_Strictly_-_2013.html

Visit the festival site at: http://www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com

The Day the Sea Lions were Released

December 13 2011

I happened to be in the Marin Headlands with my friend Christina and we decided to stop in at the Marine Mammal Center. How lucky we were to learn they would be releasing two sea lions back to the wild that day! The sea lions had been suffering from a bacterial infection but were now recovered!

So, not only a beautiful sunny December day in Sausalito enjoying the coast, but the opportunity to see these sea lions return to their natural habitat!

I hope you enjoy my photos.

Marine Mammal Center Fauna Marin California
13 December 2011 – Two sea lions celebrate their return to their native habitat after recovering from illness at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito California!
Marine Mammal Center Fauna Marin California Seasons Greetings
Marine Mammal Center volunteers releasing sea lions back to the sea!
Marine Mammal Center Fauna Marin California
Plywood shields are used to guide the sea lions and also for protection, if needed!
Marine Mammal Center Fauna Marin California
Back to the sea…at last!

Beware the Roller Derby Lady of Union Square!

Today was the second time I saw the Roller Derby lady of Union Square in downtown San Francisco. She skates backwards, at quite a good speed, around Union Square threading her way past pedestrians, and seems to do 10-20 laps from what I have seen! Counter-clockwise…not that it matters! I don’t know if she has hit anyone yet but it seems it is just a matter of time before she does!

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