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Sunday, March 22, 2009

My cute little neighbor

My cute little neighbor, photographed March 2009

Before the last wind storm a couple of months ago, there used to be a huge nest up in the tree branches outside my living room window. Several squirrels just like the one in the picture, above, used to hang out there. Now that the wind has knocked everything loose and there is very little of the original nest remaining, I only see one squirrel up there from time to time. That's him on the picture. I haven't seen his friends back up there yet, or any nest-rebuilding activity. Maybe they're waiting for their building permit or some bail-out money?

Thanks for letting me have this shot, little fellow.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patrick's Day in the Financial District, SF

Every year, the City of San Francisco shuts down a couple of blocks on Front St., right in the Financial District of San Francisco, for its St. Patrick's Day block party.

People usually show up after work to hang out and dance, and mostly drink as much beer as possible.

Even the dogs are welcome, providing they don't mind traveling undercover, hidden in a messenger bag underneath someone's coat... This one certainly seemed interested in making as many friends as possible!

These kinds of drinking parties are probably more fun with a bunch of friends and even more fun if you're very young, can recuperate quickly and DO NOT have to get up and go to work in the morning! ;) Still there were plenty of folks of all ages in attendance.

God knows people could use a bit of fun lately.

This little video takes only 29 seconds but it's pretty cute.

Happy belated St. Patrick's Day, everybody!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

For Lease

Photographed March, 2009

The other day, I decided to go up Sutter St. to go get something I saw in a store a few months ago. On the way, I was shocked to see that many of the boutiques that have been around for years are now either displaying either "Going Out of Business Sale" signs, or a "For Lease" sign when the space is already vacant. The store I was looking for was gone as well.

L'autre jour, j'ai décidé d'aller acheter quelque chose que j'avais vu dans une vitrine de la rue Sutter, quelques mois auparavant. Sur mon chemin j'ai été surprise de voir de nombreux signes "Soldes Pour Cause Fermeture Definitive" ou simplement " A Louer" dans les vitrines. La boutique que je cherchais avait, elle aussi, disparu.

In my neighborhood alone, in the last few months, 8 businesses have closed their doors so far (and 5 or 6 of them in the last 2 months or so): a shoe store, a nail parlor, a tobacco and newspaper shop, a stationery store, two women clothing store, and the consignment store one block down is is getting ready to do the same thing.

Times are hard, even here in the Bay Area.

Dans mon coin, ces derniers mois, je compte 8 petits commerces qui ont fermé leurs portent (dont 5 ou 6 qui viennent juste de le faire il y a un mois ou deux): un magasin de chaussures, un salon de manucure/pedicure, un vendeur de tabac et de journaux, la librairie en face de lui, deux magasins de vêtements pour femme, et j'en oublie, je suis sure.

Les temps sont durs, même ici.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Revisiting the past

Update 3/14/09: I've edited the photograph to get rid of the blue. Here is the before and after picture if you are interested. Let me know what you think, if you like. I'm learning! :)

Tool Shack, Photographed in Sonoma County, March 2009.

Since we had our first nice week-end in a while, I decided it would be a good time to break away from everything, so I jumped in my car and drove out to the Wine Country where I used to live, a long time ago.

Comme il a enfin fait beau ce week-end, j'ai décidé que ce serait une bonne idée de m' éloigner un peu de tout, alors j'ai sauté dans la voiture et suis allée faire un petit tour à la campagne, dans le "Pays des vins" comme on l'appelle ici, ou j'ai habité il y a bien longtemps.

Everything looked really green, thanks to the rain we've had in the past couple of weeks.
Tout avait l'air bien vert à cause de la pluie qui est tombée depuis 2 semaines

When I lived there, I didn't realize how pretty the area really is. Sometimes you have to get away from something to really appreciate its positive points.

Quand j'y habitais, je ne voyais pas vraiment combien l'endroit est joli. Des fois il faut s'éloigner des choses pour mieux les voir.

The California Wine Country is often compared to Provence, this cute area in the South of France. If you drive up there in the Spring when everything is blooming, you will see why.

Le "Pays des Vins" est souvent comparé à la Provence. Si vous y allez au printemps, quand tout est en fleurs, vous verrez pourquoi.

For some reason, most of the pictures I took that day did not come out very well, but I like this shot of a tool shed, taken towards the end of the day. It was photographed a few hundred yards from the Jack London State Park up in Glen Ellen. I guess I could have framed the shot a little better, but as I recall, there used to be a spirited and unpredictable dog living around these parts and roaming free, so I didn't spend a lot of time hanging around for a better picture, even if part of me knows the dog can no longer be alive...

La plupart des photos que j'ai prises ce jour là ne sont pas bien sorties, mais celle ci m'a plu. C'est un hangar à outils que j'ai photographié à quelques centaines de metres du parc Jack London, à Glen Ellen. C'est vrai que j'aurais pu le cadrer un peu mieux, mais je n'étais pas tres rassurée car il me semble me souvenir qu'il y avait un chien pas commode qui vivait dans le coin et se promenait librement, alors je ne me suis pas trop attardée, meme si je me doute bien que ce chien n'est probablement plus en vie ...

Probably a good idea, too, since I ran into this lot of wild turkeys only a few minutes later. Sorry about the quality of the picture, but these birds are huge, not particularly friendly, and scare me 1/2 to death to tell the truth; plus I've seen them before, they usually travel by group of 10 or more up there, so I snapped as quickly as I could and ran out of there FAST! ;)

C'était sans doute une bonne idée, car quelques minutes plus tard, j'ai rencontré ces messieurs... Désolée pour la qualité de la photo mais ces oiseaux la sont énormes, pas tres sympas, et me font une peur bleue pour dire vra. De plus je les ai déja vus se promener en famille, tout une bande de 10 ou plus, alors j'ai pris ma photo en vitesse avant de prendre les jambes à mon cou! ;)

The excursion out to the country was beneficial, since it allowed me to relax a little and take a break from my silly, stressed-out city life. But came back somewhat nostalgic because it can be difficult to revisit the past.

Ca m'a fait du bien ce petit tour à la campagne, car cela m'a permis de me relaxer un peu et d'oublier le stress de la ville, mais cela m'a aussi rendue quelque peu nostalgique car il est quelque fois difficile de regarder le passé dans les yeux.

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