I went up to San Francisco to do some “book readings” at two book events on two different nights.
I took the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Oakland.
I left from Union Station in Los Angeles. Consensus pretty much says this is the last great train station built in the United States. I agree.
We stopped at the Santa Barbara Station for a smoke break. It was a wonderful station right out of the 1920s. Taking the train is like going back in time.
An hour or so later we stopped for another smoke break here. This train station needed a good coat of paint but it was still beautiful.
Along a 50 (?) mile stretch all we could see out the windows on one side of the train was the Pacific ocean.
It was cool being that close.
I arrived at Jack London Square in Oakland — then took a shuttle bus to San Francisco.
PALACE OF FINE ARTS
Since I was going to San Francisco there were a few places I wanted to see and this was number one. This has to be one of the most beautiful buildings ever built and then rebuilt.
We went at the right time of day. The light was just great.
This building was originally built for the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in 1915.
The architect was Bernard Maybeck.
It’s just wonderful.
Originally built of plaster and wood it was on the verge of collapse by 1963.
The city of San Francisco wisely rebuilt the entire structure in 1964.
It’s an amazing monument. It’s only function is to be beautiful.
That’s me, Guillermo Luna, at the Palace of Fine Arts.
THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
Uh, it’s the Golden Gate Bridge. It wasn’t on my to see list but I’m glad I went because it’s spectacular.
This is a plaque on the way to the bridge. Basically, the plaque says the Bank of America’s founder Amadeo Giannini was the first finance guy who thought the bridge was a good idea. On the plaque he’s shaking hands with the bridge’s engineer.
The engineer of the bridge was Joseph Strauss. This blurb and photo are from a brochure I bought at the bridge’s store.
I’m not into selfies but I did take one of myself at the GG Bridge.
This photo was taken before walking across the bridge. That’s Alcatraz out there.
This view is from the bridge itself. You can see the Palace of Fine Arts in the foreground.
I went to the first tower. It was really windy and cold but I forced myself through.
It’s huge. “That’s what she said,” The Office.
A brochure I bought for a $1.
This is a view of Coit Tower (architects: Arthur Brown, Jr. & Henry Howard) from the Ferry Building.
It’s not a exceptionally tall building but it does have a presence. It looks like a government building.
A plaque from when the building was built.
There are murals throughout the ground floor.
He’s a surveyor and very WPA.
I think the reason I like these murals so much is because they are WPA.
This is one of my favorites. It seems so working class.
He’s a big cowboy and he looks moody.
Here’s a picture of Bob at Coit Tower. Bob is my number one picture taker and my oldest and best friend. I’ve known him for more than a quarter of a century so I emailed him and said, “Why don’t you meet me there, we can go and see all these sights together, go to these book “events,” and you can take pictures of ME!” Jeez, I sound big headed when I write this stuff down. I don’t know why he puts up with me.
I bought this at the gift shop.
The primary reason I went to San Francisco was to read my short story, Motorcycle Mash-Up, at a book launch. My story was included in an anthology called, Best Gay Romances 2015. I’m not sure why they included my story. My story is bitter, angry and unhappy. What’s that got to do with romance? I took this picture about an hour before the event started.
This was inside the window. There’s the book.
Felice Picano is doing an introduction.
This guy, Kevin Killian, had a great story (But for the Grace of God, Baby, There Go I) and he had a low key, almost lethargic, delivery. He was quite funny.
Dale Chase is a wonderful human being. I immediately liked her. She was reading from her story, Matters of the Heart.
That’s me. I wasn’t nervous at all but I felt as if everyone else had much more experience doing this. I was thrilled to be there.
Daniel M. Jaffe is an experienced storyteller. His story is called The Great Masturbator.
There was a good crowd.
All these writers read that evening. The night surpassed my expectations. I’m glad I went.
I didn’t like any of the pictures that were taken of me at this event, Good Vibrations, but I like this one. It’s a little blurry but that just makes me look younger. It was an unusual venue.
There’s the book on the counter.
Felice is reading his introduction to the anthology.
This guy was humorous. I forget his name. He’s been published in over 30 anthologies. That’s 29 more than me but it’s not a competition, I know. Whatever.
I’ve know Eric Andrew-Katz for about a year. He always dresses so nicely and he’s slim. His story is called The Kingdom of Haeven.
I didn’t get to talk to Tom Baker but his story, Jury Duty, was interesting. It involved murder. The other authors that read that night were Dale Chase, Daniel M. Jaffe and me.
My story, Motorcycle Mash-Up, is at the link below. You can read the whole thing there. It’s got an alternate book cover but it’s still the same book.
The Ferry Building
It was a nice building with restaurants, gift shops and a grocery store. It sits next to the bay.
The story behind the Ferry Building.
I took this shot. I’m going into photography if this writing thing doesn’t work out.
These two birds spent a lot of time squaking at each other. The one on the railing was kind of dirty. He didn’t groom himself very well. Maybe, that’s what they were talking about? It was obvious they were friends.
Cable Car safety tips.
We went downtown to take a Cable Car ride. We wanted to get on the Powell/Hyde line because it went the furthest.
We were near the front so we had a pretty good view.
The gears were ancient.
Look at that ceiling. It must be a hundred years old.
Another selfie but this time on a Cable Car. It was a rocky, jerky ride so I’m amazed it’s in focus.
THE ODD FELLOWS TEMPLE
That’s me at the 7th and Market Streets Odd Fellows Temple. It is such a cool building. How this building survived all these years intact is a miracle.
I like “God’s eye” the best followed by the shaking hands.
The three tenets of the Odd Fellows are Friendship, Love and Truth so it’s appropriate that Truth is painted on the side of their building.
I contacted California Lodge no. 1, in advance, because I wanted to visit their lodge. They no longer meet at 7th and Market streets (but other lodges do). Instead, they meet in this building above. I don’t remember the names of everyone I met but Tammy, Rose, Tom, Frank and Chris were all extremely friendly when I visited their lodge. The great thing about being an Odd Fellow is no matter where you go — you always have friends. I’m glad I joined the three links fraternity.
SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY
We didn’t have the best WiFi in our motel room but it was at a great location — 17th and Market Streets. Consequently, we went to the San Francisco Public Library every morning to plan our day. I’m looking at my iPad here. One of the wisest things my publisher had me do was create a website. I never realized how much I would use it. On the other hand, one of the worst things my publisher had me do was create a website. I find myself fixating on it sometimes which is never good.
Great bag! I bought some post cards at the Golden Gate Bridge store and they put them in this bag. I’ve put it in one of my scrap books. My book, The Odd Fellows, was published on December 16, 2013.