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Saturday, December 30, 2006

The last of the holidays season / La période des fêtes tire à sa fin

Click on pictures to enlarge
Cliquez sur les photos pour les aggrandir


I know I cheated you guys by not showing you much of the Xmas decorations in San Francisco this year, but in the neighborhoods of the City I usually hang out, they were very much the same as last year's, and I didn't want to duplicate. (It's true that I could have shown you Mr. Aleo's window all decorated for Xmas, but on second thought maybe I better not ... ;-)

Je sais que je ne vous ai pas mis grand chose comme décorations de Noel, cette année, mais c'était pratiquement la même chose que l'année derniere dans les endroits que je fréquente habituellement, et je ne voulais pas poster la même chose. (C'est vrai que j'aurais pu vous montrer la vitrine de Mr. Aleo toute décorée pour Noel, mais bon, peut-être qu'il vaut mieux pas ... ;-)

Castro Underground Station - Harvey Milk Plaza
Une bouche de métro à Castro - Place Harvey Milk


Same tree, Harvey Milk Plaza
Le même arbre, Place Harvey Milk


However, I got an opportunity to check out different neighborhoods of San Francisco when a friend kindly lent me the keys to his apartment just a few blocks up from Castro, so I could hang out with the guys after the concert I mentioned in my last post, without having to worry about late-night public transportation back to my place. Nice guy! Thanks again, buddy. If you ever need the same from me, you be sure to let me know, OK?

Cependant, j'ai eu l'occasion de visiter d'autres endroits de San Francisco quand un copain m'a gentilment prêté sa clef de son appart à juste quelques pathés de maison de Castro, pour que je puisse rester avec mes amis après le concert de Noel dont je vous ai déjà parlé dans le billet précédent, sans avoir à m'inquiéter de rentrer chez moi en plein milieu de la nuit avec les transports en commun. Sympa, ce copain! Merci encore, mon ami. Si tu as besoin d'un service, n'hésite surtout pas, d'accord?

Xmas morning 2006 in San Francisco


When I woke up at my buddy's place on Xmas day, I decided to not go back to my place directly, but first go for a walk around his neighborhood and surrounding areas to see if I could catch anything blogworthy.

Quand je me suis réveillée le matin de Noel dans l'appart du copain, j'ai décidé de ne pas rentrer chez moi directement mais plutôt d'aller me ballader dans son coin de la ville pour voir s'il y avait quelque chose d'intéressant à bloguer.

Decorations on 24th St., Noe Valley


Well, I was in for a big surprise: his neighborhood, like most of the others I went through that day in the City, was completely deserted since practically everybody was out of town and most businesses were closed, including Starbucks, if you can believe that!

Là j'ai eu une grosse surprise: dans son coin, comme dans tous les autres coins de la ville par lesquels je suis passée ce jour là, tout était complètement désert et pratiquement tous les magasins étaient fermés, même Starbucks!


Noe Valley deserted / Pas un chat à Noe Valley


I had to walk several blocks to find a cup of coffee, and a couple of miles to find a decent place open for lunch. Eventhough the light was not very good that day, I continued walking, camera on hand, up and down the hills... you never know, in San Francisco, there is always something interesting to see, especially if you are willing to walk a little.

J'ai dû marcher au moins 500 mètres pour trouver un café, et presque 3 kms pour trouver un endroit sympa où déjeuner. La lumière n'était pas terrible ce jour-là, mais j'ai continué quand même, appareil photo en main, car il y a toujours quelque chose d'intéressant à voir à San Francisco, surtout pour celui qui veut bien se donner la peine de marcher un peu.

Pretty empty towards Mission /Plutôt vide vers Mission


Same thing in Lower Haight /Pareil à Lower Haight


Somewhere in Hayes Valley, I was busy trying to photograph a green house with a pointy roof and a cute little "lace" design in front when I thought I heard someone knocking from behind the window and thought I saw through the camera someone wave at me from inside the house. I then heard a bunch of noise (which unfortunately caused me to move my hand a little and cut the roof top right out of the frame, as you can see!)

Quelque part vers Hayes Valley, j'étais tranquillement occupée à photographier une maison verte avec un toit pointu et de la "dentelle" sur le devant quand j'ai cru entendre quelqu'un taper sur la fenêtre de l'intérieur de la maison et j'ai cru voir quelque chose bouger à travers l'appareil. Ensuite il y a eu un gros bruit de porte métalique (qui malheureusement m'a fait bouger l'appareil et couper un bout du toit de la maison!)

According to the occupants, this house was built in the late 1800's / D'après les gens qui y habitent, cette maison date de fin du 19ème siecle


The front door opened up and a couple came down the steps and started marching towards me. The man said "Are you taking a picture of my house?!! I'm gonna need all the data in this camera, at once!" A lady was following him, carrying something in her hands...

Un couple est sorti de la maison et s'est avancé vers moi. L'homme a dit "Est-ce que vous photographiez ma maison? Donnez-moi tout de suite la carte à l'interieur de l'appareil!" Une femme le suivait, portant quelque chose dans les mains....

Some like it subtle / Certains sont discrets


Others would rather make a big statement/
D'autres préfèrent ce qui se voit bien


When they were closer, I saw that the man was smiling and the lady following him was carrying a plate of fresh chocolate chip cookies! She offered me some and after a short conversation about the houses of San Francisco, after asking me where I came from (shame on me, but I let them believe I was a tourist!) and after exchanging the usual holidays greetings, they went back in and I moved on up the hill towards my destination, something I've been meaning to photograph for you guys for ever.

Quand ils étaient plus proches, j'ai vu que l'homme souriait et que la femme qui le suivait portait une assiette de petits gateaux au chocolat tout frais! Elle m'en a offert, et après une courte conversation sur les maisons de San Francisco, m'avoir demandé d'ou je viens (là j'ai un peu honte car je les ai laissé penser que je suis touriste!) et après avoir échangé les souhaits de fin d'année habituels, ils sont retournés à l'intérieur et moi j'ai continué vers ma destination en haut de la colline, où se trouve quelque chose que je voulais vous mettre sur le blog depuis bien longtemps.



You know, I had been planning to tell you today that I was closing down the blog for good in 2007, only because there seems to be so little time to do it properly and it doesn't seem fair to anyone to always say "see you soon" or "I'll be posting more of this or that" and never get to it... It frustrates me a great deal to never have time to do anything for myself, these days, including keeping up with the blog ... but I think I've changed my mind about the blog.

Vous savez, j'avais prévu de venir vous dire aujourd'hui que je fermais le blog définitivement en 2007, la raison principale étant que je ne trouve pas le temps de bien m'en occuper et ce n'est pas juste de dire toujours "à bientôt" ou "je vais poster ceci ou cela" et de ne jamais pouvoir le faire... C'est très frustrant de toujours manquer de temps pour faire quoi que ce soit, ces derniers temps, y compris blogguer... mais je crois que j'ai changé d'avis à propos du blog.

Impromptu Christmas tree in Hayes Valley


I've changed my mind, because I'm really grateful to all of you, people out there, yes, YOU! I'm grateful for your comments, your virtual (or not) presence, your ongoing friendship and support (you know who you are!). And so, I'd like to try to continue giving back, when I can, by way of pictures and "postcards" from an area of the world I once thought was so special, I was willing to give up my entire life as I knew it, to move there.

J'ai changé d'avis, parce que j'ai réalisé que je vous dois à tous beaucoup, oui, oui, c'est bien à VOUS que je parle! Je vous remercie tous pour votre présence virtuelle (ou non), votre amitié et votre support (vous savez très bien à qui je parle!). Et moi, j'aimerais continuer de vous donner ce que je peux à travers mes photos et "clins d'oeils" d'une région du monde que j'ai tant aimée il y a bien longtemps au point de lui vouloir tout lui sacrifier pour venir y habiter.

Sutro Tower seen from Cole Valley


And so, this is my holiday present to you: the Painted Ladies, as we call them here, on Xmas Day 2006 in San Francisco. You can see the Financial District with its pointy Transamerica in the background.

Ceci est mon cadeau de fin d'année à vous tous: Les Dames Peintes, comme on les appelle ici, le jour de Noel à San Francisco. Vous pouvez voir le Quartier des Affaires avec sa Transamerica pointue tout au fond.

The Painted Ladies on Christmas Day 2006


Happy New Year to all of you guys, wherever you are, and thank you all for the best wishes, the many kind words you leave on my posts, and the gestures from the heart that I see some of you do throughout the year. Peace.

Bonne année à tous, où que vous soyiez, et merci beaucoup pour vos bon souhaits, les mots gentils que vous laissez sur mes billets, et les gestes du fond du coeur que certains d'entre vous font toute l'année. Paix.

* * *
By the way, I added a few extra pictures to my last post, including one of the Gay Men Chorus inside the Castro Theater, after the performance.

Au fait, je vous ai rajouté quelques photos supplementaires sur le dernier billet, dont une de la Chorale des Gays de SF, à l'intérieur du Castro Theater, après le spectacle.

19 Comments:

Blogger buzzgirl said...

Happy New Year! Now about those crepes...

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Fauvette said...

Bonne Année 2007 de Paris !

12:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Wow, you had me scared there at the end! I'm so glad you've decided to keep going with the blog.

Something you said in your post really struck me..."an area of the world I once thought was so special that..." This is so true. Whenever I pass the Eiffel Tower I really try to remember the first time I saw it and the feelings I had. I think the longer we live in our fantasy city, the more neutral we become, so I really try to remember all the good feelings from the beginning.

It's weird that after being in the U.S. the last 2 weeks, there are so many things I miss and other things I don't miss at all. It's that feeling of "where do I really belong" that really bugs the crap out of me.

A bit of a ramble, but hopefully you get what I mean.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TOMATE and thanks for the Painted Ladies shot. Really special.

- Michael

P.S. Starbucks was closed??? Hope you're equipped! ;-)

5:06 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Woops...shouldn't have hit enter twice. Please feel free to delete!

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Manu said...

As you know, I wouldn't mind another post about Mr. Aleo at all! ;-)

Happy new year!

8:06 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

First of all, a very happy new year to you, Tomate. I check your blog close to daily, just to see if there is a new entry, and I am always incredibly happy whenever there is one. So, needless to let you know that I am glad that you decided to keep the blog going.

And thanks for this entry, I felt like I was taking this stroll with you. I can't wait to see San Francisco, although it will have to wait until next year (as you may know from my blog, the Popular Culture Conference will be held there in 2008.)

Michael - I can totally relate to the "where do I really belong?" feeling, and I have written about it many time in my blog. A very happy new year to you too, by the way. I hope to have the good fortune to meet you in person if I travel to Paris this spring.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Happy new year Tomate and I echo Michael on the painted lady. I can still remember when I saw them for the 1st time.

And I do understand when you say you wanted to quit your blog and could not!!

I hope don't know if I'll make it to the bay area this year but I really wish so. Will keep you posted ;)

2:00 PM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

Thanks guys!

Buzzgirl: Yeah, I see your point ;)

Fauvette: Merci bien!

Michael: Yeah, I'm equipped :)

I know EXACTLY what you mean about not knowing where you fit, about seeing a monument and getting emotional about it (as you know), and about seeing the same monument later on and not even realizing it's there only because there is so much noise running through your head at the time, you can't even hear your own thoughts...

Not knowing where you fit, en bon Français, ça s'appelle "avoir le cul entre deux chaises". I think every (long term) expat knows that feeling, unfortunately. It was another reason why I should keep the blog open, I suppose. I believe that 1) one can never have enough support, and 2) one should never discount the power of the online community... enuff said :)

Manu: I can do better than that; would you like to meet him? :-) Thanks for the good wishes, and congratulations on the success of your blog.

Elisabeth: Thank you for your good wishes, and thanks for checking on that poor semi-abandonned blog of mine so faithfully!

I know you do, too, feel somewhat ill-at-ease (can't think of a better word) with your "bi-cultural heritage" (again, can't think of a better word) at times. I think we (expats) all feel that way for the very same reasons, no matter where we are.

In fact, I truly believe that we (expats) should set aside our differences and stick together more, but sometimes I get the feeling that I'm the only one feeling that way... Could it be a byproduct of growing up in the 60's ? Enuff said. ;)

Anyway, I took more than 200 pictures on that walk, but I am waiting to receive my new editing software to try to bring them out a little better. The light was really very dark that day (you can see it, in fact, on a couple of pictures) and it absorbed all the color of the City, why even the Painted Ladies looked like they were coming down with a cold that day!

Eric: I know what you mean. The first time I saw the Painted Ladies was in Paris in a subway ad from Sprint. You could see the houses, and undearneath it said "Wanna call home? Call Sprint!" or something like that. I still remember thinking "Never mind calling, I just wanna GO home!" because this Tomato had already left her heart in San Francisco...

8:56 PM  
Blogger julie70 said...

bonne année 2007

c'est agréable quand quelqu'un t'acceuille bien d'un coup, j'adore les discussions qui s'en suivent, le contact avec les gens

belles images de cette ville intéressante encore une fois!

11:25 PM  
Blogger Gabrielle said...

Oh, I'm so glad you're not closing it down! Especially based on this post, which I've read a few times. I love how you captured San Francisco in such a quiet moment. And I do think I'm going to have to live in that house with the snowman. In Paris I usually only see that atop one of the boulangeries on rue des Abbesses. I want to live in a house where I can do that, and you give me oh-so-needed snippets into that world.

2:55 AM  
Blogger Gabrielle said...

Just read over the comments and they're reflecting how I feel right now--perhaps exacerbated from a visit by a friend from Australia, which raised a lot of issues. I live in an apt. in Montmartre with a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower, and I try to go out every few nights on the hour to see it sparkle, so I can remind myself of that moment when I first saw the tower for myself and got goosebumps and had tears in my eyes.

But then I think about the first moment I saw the Golden Gate Bridge and how it took my breath away. I feel San Francisco calling me so strongly these days, and know in a few years I'll call it home. And then I'll have a whole new set of issues to deal with. But at least it'll be in English ;-)

The air raid sirens are going off now, to remind me it's the first Wednesday of the month. It's always the little things...

3:02 AM  
Anonymous NoComment said...

Happy New Year!

11:29 AM  
Anonymous fred said...

Kikoo c'est Kikoo ...

Je te souhaite une excellente année 2007 avec pleins de bonheur ...

J'ai de plus en plus envi de visiter San Francisco dpuis que je lis ton blog.

Numériquement,

12:52 AM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

Julie 70!!! Ca fait plaisir!!! Bonne année à vous aussi, et peut-être au plaisir de vous rencontrer à Paris en 2007! :) Au fait, je vous ai pris des tas de photos du Golden Gate Bridge l'été dernier, suite au billet très émouvant que vous aviez écrit sur La Lettre que vous avez écrite, assise sous le Pont, il y a + de 20 ans.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

Gabrielle: I do understand how easy it might be for you to get homesick when you see these littles samples of San Francisco. The lifestyle around here (and maybe in the US in general) is like no other, and it must take an incredible amount of flexibility - for lack of a better word - for someone who grew up in the States to adapt to life abroad. I guess I couldn't give it up either, not even for all the social benefits I had in France ... for a long time, my family thought I was crazy because I never made my way back "home." But I don't know where I belong the most anymore and after a number of years, you tend to take the easy way out : stay where you are! Yes, these issues are very difficult...

Just keep in mind, however, that I mostly post about the positive things I see, so that people all over the world can dream a little bit when they hang out here... But you knew that, right? ;-)

By the way, I totally agree with you: the English language is much easier to manipulate than the French, without a doubt. :-)

9:30 AM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

No Comment : Thank you, same to you, and it's good to have you back!!! I hope you start blogging again soon (well, when you're ready). You just let us know, OK?

Kikoo : Il faut venir!! De plus en plus de gens se mettent à échanger leurs appartements pour les vacances sur Craigslist

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/swp/

Comme ça, il ne reste à payer que l'avion et l'argent de poche. Attention, la vie est chère à San Francisco, mais l'Euro est fort, donc c'est bon pour les Français.

9:39 AM  
Blogger luggi said...

Happy new year, Tomate. Such an interesting post, and I'm glad you've changed your mind about ending the blog. I'm very inspired by how you blog, and one reason why I can't wait until February so that I can end my own daily photo blog after exactly one year, is so that I can blog less frequently and more in the style of your blog. I made one post à la Tomate in May

http://losangelesdailyphoto.blogspot.com/2006/05/burger-continental.html

and it's still my favorite. I would like to do more.

Also, as someone who's learning French, your blog is a friendly resource.

Thanks again.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

Luggi: Thank you so much for this incredible compliment, but allow me to return the same to you! I don't know how you guys do it (I mean, those of you who are daily bloggers). I'd probably have to quit my job if I decided to post daily! (Which maybe wouldn't be such a bad thing, but that's a different story, ahem...).

Unfortunately, the bad thing about these posts "à la Tomate" as you call them (with a narrative, pictures, and translation) is that they take hours to write and put together. It doesn't look like much at all when you read them, but they do take a long time, believe me (sigh). That is another reason I can't post very often.

Also, be aware that my translations are approximate, at best, and I sometimes use "casual" words that are not always appropriate in all situations. Enuff said :)

8:37 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Luggi - You CAN'T stop L.A. Daily Photo!!! Pleeeeeaaaasssseee!

Guess I better get over there and tell you myself!

12:26 AM  

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