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Monday, June 25, 2007

Guess who came to dinner?

(French translation will follow shortly)

As some of you already know, we had the great pleasure of welcoming Eric, of Paris Daily Photo, in the Bay Area, this week-end. It was a great evening, with a wonderful group of people, and I certainly hope we can do it again!

"Classic" Eric

The Leaning Tower of Pisa Eric

Additional pictures at PDP, of course, but also at Santa Clara Daily Photo.

(if you have posted anything about the PDP evening and I missed it, please let me know so I can link you, thanks!)

* * *

(Because this was an incredibly busy week-end, I will not be able to get to the San Francisco Pride update post until next week-end.)

(Parce que cela a été un week-end très chargé, l'article sur San Francisco Pride ne sera redigé que le week-end prochain. )

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pride, Not Prejudice (Gay Pride Parade 2007)

("Fierté, pas préjudice" est le thème de la SF Gay Pride Parade 2007)

Rainbow flags have been lining up Market Street for a couple of weeks already, in preparation for the annual San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, held every year, on the last Sunday of June. This year, the parade will take place on Sunday, June 24, between 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. In addition, the space in front of City Hall will be hosting events both Saturday 6/23, and Sunday 6/24 after the Parade. We hope you all come and have fun!

Des drapeaux aux couleurs d'arc en ciel ont déjà été accrochés tout le long de la rue Market depuis une quinzaine de jours, en preparation de la San Francisco Gay Pride parade annuelle, qui se tient comme tous les ans, le dernier Dimanche du mois de Juin. Cette année, ce sera donc le Dimanche 24 Juin, entre 10h00 et 12:30h. En plus de la parade, il y aura toutes sortes de trucs devant l'Hotel de Ville le Samedi 23 Juin, et le Dimanche 24, après le défilé. Venez donc tous vous amusez, et venez nombreux!

Hobart Building, Market St.

The rainbow flag raising ceremony that took place at City Hall on Friday, June 15, officially kicked off the begining of a number of Pride related number of events in the Bay Area.

La cérémonie du drapeau qui a pris place à l'Hotel de Ville de San Francisco, Vendredi 15 Juin, a donc marqué officiellement le début de tout un tas d'évenements ayant rapport à Pride dans la baie.

Click on Photos to Enlarge
Cliquez sur les photos pour agrandir

A small crowd (including Donna Sachet, wearing red as usual) had gathered to watch Gavin Newsom (San Francisco Mayor) raise the flag.

Une petite foule (dont Donna Sachet, vêtue de rouge comme toujours), s'était rassemblée pour voir Gavin Newsom (le maire de San Francisco) faire flotter le drapeau.

Donna Sachet

Among the people on the balconet upstairs, you can see Mark Leno (right side of the flag pole), some of the Pride board members and this year's Parade's Grand Marshalls. Unfortunately, my little point-and-shoot camera is what it is, and it can only zoom so far. By the way, I apologize for the quality of the pictures on this post; I had my camera on the wrong settings most of the evening! For instance, my camera doesn't do justice to the vibrant colors on that beautiful AIDS quilt.

Parmi les gens là haut sur le balcon, on voit Mark Leno (à droite du drapeau, quelques uns des gens de Pride , et les invités d'honneur de cette année pour la Parade. Malheureusement, mon petit appareil photo d'amateur n'est pas vraiment à la hauteur de ce genre de situation et ne me permets pas de zoomer énormément; de plus, l'appareil était dérèglé toute la soirée, donc vous m'excuserez pour la qualité des photos sur ce billet! Par exemple, l'appareil montre très mal les couleurs extraordinaires de ce beau quilt pour le SIDA.

No Flag /Pas de Drapeau

Here you go! / Voilà!

Come on in! /Montez!

Gavin Newsom (in the middle, to the right of the flag) did not waste much time with speeches, and after only a few words and a couple of hand-shakes, simply turned to the crowd below and said: "Come on in!"

Gavin Newsom (au milieu, à droite du drapeau) n'a pas perdu de temps avec des discours, et après seulement quelques mots et poignées de main, se tourna vers la foule en bas et dit simplement: "Montez!"

An excited crowd proceeded through the door, through security, and up to the second floor, where a party (complete with buffet and music) had been organized for the public while another party for the dignitaries and their guests of honor was going on a little further, behind closed doors.

Les gens trop heureux se sont donc dirigés vers la porte, et après avoir passé la securité, se sont retrouvés au premier étage où une petite collation et de la musique les attendait, pendant qu'une autre reception pour les gens importants et leurs invités d'honneur se déroulait un peu plus loin derrière porte close.

Have you ever been inside City Hall? If you come to San Francisco, take a little time to go in, it's really worth a look. It looks a little bit like this(again, I apologize for the quality of my pictures).

Vous avez déja été a l'intérieur de l'Hôtel de Ville de SF? Si vous venez à San Francisco, je vous encourage vivement d'y aller y faire un petit tour, ça vaut le coup. Ca ressemble un peu à ceci (encore une fois, désolée pour la qualité de mes photos).

Upstairs, some of the members of the Gay Men Chorus (left on the photo) performed with a small orchestra while people mingled and enjoyed some very interesting snacks. At some point (I kid you not!) the orchestra performed Piaf's La Vie en Rose.

En haut, quelques uns de la Chorale des Hommes Gays (à gauche sur la photo) chantaient avec un petit orchestre pendant que les gens faisaient connaissance et goûtaient des trucs intéressants. A un moment donné (véridique!) l'orchestre a même joué "La Vie en Rose, d'Edith Piaf".

Buffet / Petite Collation

* * *

June is a great time to be in San Francisco, and it looks like a lot of people know that already, judging by the number of tourists walking around the City lately, in small groups, with maps and cameras in hand, many of them speaking foreign languages... Or maybe they all came for the "big party" at the end of the month? Who can blame them... we, too (locals) think it's a lot of fun even if, over the years, it's also become increasingly commercial, as well... Anyway, be sure to check out the links below to get more information about the Parade and all the activities in the City that week-end, what to expect in terms of streets closures, etc.

Le mois de Juin est très agréable à San Francisco, d'ailleurs on dirait que vous êtes déjà tous au courant si on en juge par le nombre de gens qui se promènent dans les rues de la ville en petit groupes, avec leurs cartes et leurs appareils photos à la main, souvent en parlant étranger... Ou bien, ils sont tous venus pour la "grande party" à la fin du mois, c'est ça? Bon, on vous en veut pas, on sait bien (les gens du coin) qu'on s'y amuse beaucoup, même si au cours des années cela devient aussi de plus en plus commercial... N'oubliez pas de cliquer sur les liens pour avoir une idee des activités qui se derouleront ce week-end, pour savoir quelles rues seront fermées etc.

* * * *
Other links worth checking out:

SF Chronicle's guide to what to do in San Francisco.

SF Chronicle's comprehensive article on past Parades, photographs, useful links

Map of street closures during the Parade

From sfgay.org: Pride calendar of events (click on the links to see what they are)

Pride official website

Harvey Milk would be proud /
Harvey Milk serait fier

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Haight Ashbury Street Fair 2007

Translation in French will follow shortly / Traduction en Français dans quelques jours

Click to enlarge photographs / les photos sont cliquables

I went to the Haight Ashbury Street Fair today, not really knowing what to expect. The Summer of Love has long come and gone, so what would I find? Well, first of all, I found this:

... this...

and more of this!

The street was so crowded, it was almost impossible to put one foot in front of the other! I suppose, today, if nothing else, I've developped some new found respect for the journalists and photographs who are dispatched to cover such crowded events.

As usual in San Francisco, the crowd was diverse. You had man's best friend (those two were fortunate enough to have been assigned watch duty over this handicapped parking place a few yards away from the main street; some less fortunates ones were made to walk through the thick of the crowd with their air-headed onwers. Just imagine what this (below) must feel like, if you're a dog!)

As you'd expect in this district, there were a few punks around ...

... and a few hippies ...

(something tells me that the guy on the right might have been around when the movement originally started in the 60's, but I didn't really get a chance to go ask him)

These kids were definitely NOT around in the 60's, but the spirit lives on ...

Speaking of spirit of the 60's, I suppose Haight-Ashbury wouldn't be Haight-Ashbury without the glass pipes and/or miscellaneous drug paraphernalia ...

... the tie-dye T-shirts and peace signs...

There was all kinds of live music around, sometimes overlapping. You had this...

and that...

Even the guys singing "Harry Krishna" were there. I never thought I'd say this, but I was kind of happy to see them, and so was the crowd. There must be something reassuring about familiar sights... After all, most people my generation have seen these guys since ... well, forever, really!

There was plenty to eat, barbecued stuff mostly, which created a huge cloud of smoke at each street corner and a strong ambiant smell of burning meat ...

... but they didn't plan for anyone seating down, so this generation of people did exactly what others had done 40 years ago: they sat down wherever they could, on the sidewalk, in little groups, and consumed ... well food, actually. (OK, some had chairs, as you can see.)

Whoever was smoking marijuna did not do it in public when I was around. Most people there were strictly eating and/or drinking, and even the drinking was done more or less out-of-sight, inside the bars and/or at private parties. Like this one, on the roof, for instance.

smoke comes from the barbecue 1/2 a block away!

Oh, why not, the entire district was having a party, might as well join them ...


Not everybody cared for the crowd, however, and some managed to find a quiet spot to make a phone call ...

or just chill.

Before I left the event, I got into a conversation with an older lady holding a sign to remind people to please register to vote. She asked me what I thought about the fair. I told her in all honesty that I thought things had changed quite a bit since I first set foot in the Haight District more than a generation ago, but I couldn't say that it had changed for the better. To my great surprise, the lady then responded in French with a very slight accent "Le plus les choses changent, le plus elles restent les mêmes." [The more things change, the more they stay the same] see Comparison between the Summer of Love and Today ])

So, Haight Street Fair next year? I'm sorry to say this, but ... I don't think so.

* * * * *
Additional Resources:

Haight Ashbury Street Fair (English)

Comprehensive article by the Chronicle with videos and photographs on the Summer of Love well worth a look (English).

The Haight District : an overview (English).

Thursday, June 07, 2007

For the geek in you / Pour les geeks parmis vous

I found this interesting series of cool computers on a Canadian website today, and you know me, I kind of like fun, off-the-wall stuff, so here you go.

J'ai trouvé tout à l'heure cette série interessante d'ordinateurs sympas sur un site Canadien, et moi vous me connaissez, j'aime bien les trucs loufoques et amusants, alors voilà.

Aren't these things gorgeous?
Vous ne les trouvez pas magnifiques?

This one should probably win a prize:
Celui là devrait remporter un prix:

The Torso: created by Micke Gustafson in Sweden /
Le Torse: créé par Micke Gustafson, Suède

For the making of this computer, please click here.

Pour aller voir comment ils ont fabriqué cet ordi, cliquez ici.

* * * * *


Voici l'article complet (en Français)

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Google Street View / Google Vue de la Rue

Tired of waiting for the bloggers' pictures of your beloved San Francisco? Wish you could just be there and walk around but can't afford the trip? Well, don't wait anymore, just look up San Francisco directly on Google Street View and have yourself a happy little virtual visit instead!

Vous en avez marre d'attendre que ces satanés blogueurs expats mettent en ligne des photos de votre cher San Francisco? Vous aimeriez bien y être et vous promener dans les rues mais vous n'avez pas les moyens? Eh bien, n'attendez plus et venez plutôt vous offrir une petite visite virtuelle de San Francisco sur Google Street View!

Go ahead, click away, you know you want to! To start with, Google's little tutorial will auto-launch and then you'll get to practice on a couple of views, including one of the Golden Gate Bridge (well worth the visit, by the way). It takes a little while to get the hang of it, but then it's really fun. Come on, go ahead, just try it, it's fun! I'll be waiting for you right here, promise.

Allez-y, cliquez dessus, vous savez bien que vous en mourrez d'envie! Pour commencer la leçon, Google vous fait voir une petite vidéo pour bien vous montrer comment ça marche, et il y a même des vues pour pratiquer dessus, dont une du Golden Gate Bridge qui vaut largement le dètour, je vous assure! Ca prends un petit moment pour comprendre comment naviguer dans le décor avec la souris, mais quand on y arrive, on s'amuse comme des petits fous. Oh, allez-y cliquez, je ne bougerai pas d'ici pendant ce temps là, promis! Allez!

This photograph from www.gothamist.com

How do they do it? According to this website , they used these nifty little cameras on these vehicles like this one:

Mais comment font-ils? D'après ce site , ils ont utilisé des petites cameras comme ceci sur des voitures comme cela et ça donne ceci:

This photograph from www.boingboing.net

Naturally, the new technology raised some valid privacy concerns. Look at this guy, for instance. Did he really forget his keys or is trying to break in? But that guy is not alone. There were other bizarre or interesting sightings reported and the list is growing.

Evidemment, cette nouvelle technique inquiéte déjà un certain nombre de gens qui la voient comme une atteinte de plus à leur vie privée. Regardez ce monsieur, par exemple. Est-ce un voleur ou bien a-t-il seulement oublié ses clefs? Et il n'est pas le seul. Il a eu d'autres photos bizarres ou intéressantes et la liste ne fait que s'allonger.

This photograph is all over the net already

At the moment, Google Street View is available for the following towns: San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Miami et New-York. If you want my opinion, we haven't heard the last of this, yet. And you, what do you think? Scary, awesome or ... a little of both?

Pour le moment, Street View est disponible pour les villes suivantes : San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Miami et New-York. A mon avis, on n'a pas encore fini d'en entendre parler de ce truc-là. Et vous, qu'en pensez vous? Ca vous fait peur, ça vous fascine ou ... un peu les deux?

* * * * *
Resources Worth a Look:
Ca vaut le coup d'y cliquer:

Look I can see your thong from here! : Very cool article in English (with lots of cool links) by Mark Morford, for the Chronicle (in English)

Google Street View may be illegal in Europe, a Times Online article by Struan Robertson (in English)

Top 10 sightings (with pictures) (photos liens)

Mais non, je n'ai oublié les lecteurs Français. Voici un ou deux articles en Français, bien expliqués avec des photos très intéressantes! ;)

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Sarkozy's horse / Le cheval de Sarko

Translation: "They found Sarkozy's horse."

Oh, well, since I'm here, one more ...
Oh, et puis tiens, pendant que j'y suis, une de plus ...

[A little translation help for the non-French speakers. The title says "Presidential Picture." The first brand of camembert (L'Ancien = Before) says "President" and the second one ("Le Nouveau = The New One) says "Le Petit" (Little One); it's supposed to be a "before and after" picture of the French Presidents, highlighting the fact that Sarko is rather short.]