September 29, 2010

Beach Volleyball

It’s one of these glorious summer days at the end of September, and it would be perfect for some beach volleyball – if San Francisco had any beaches like this one (which you can find near San Diego).

September 28, 2010

Mr. Hi-Fi

Bose – you’ve probably heard the name. Here’s the man who founded the company: Dr. Amar Bose, a pioneer in all things audio. There was a big product announcement today, and it made me think back to my interview with Dr. Bose, back in 2007. You can find it at (and may have to feed it to Babelfish or Google Translate if you don’t speak German).

September 27, 2010


I’m a big fan of the Stars And Stripes. Not necessarily out of patriotism for my adoptive country, to be honest – it’s more that the U.S. flag can be stunningly photogenic in the right light, like here in downtown Boston, dangling from the storefront of the local Macy’s (fittingly, the company that sponsors the annual Fourth of July parade in New York City).

September 26, 2010

Ivy League Row

When you pay $100,000 or so for your college education, life tends to center around getting ahead – and at a place like Harvard that means you hop into a kayak for a bit of workout when you’re not busy studying for your A+ finish.

As a visitor of Cambridge, walking along the Charles River, you can see the students tirelessly paddling against the stream (and sometimes just floating along)... their eternal quest to beat their rivals at the next competition, once again. Watch out Yale. And better go practice.

September 20, 2010

This Is Bolinas – Please Go Away

Supposedly they don’t like strangers in Bolinas, a secluded community of hippies, surfers and artists a few miles north of the Golden Gate. According to local lore, Bolinians (if that’s the term) have a habit of taking down street signs pointing to the one road that leads into their little town of some 1,200 people.

True, it’s easy to overlook Bolinas when you’re driving along Highway 1 – but I’ve always enjoyed my stay and never felt unwelcome. The scenery is breathtaking and the road into town worth looking out for. Just don’t blink, or you’ll miss it.

September 19, 2010

Marina Bird

No idea what species this fellow belongs to – but I appreciate the picturesque posing in San Francisco’s Marina, right next to Fort Mason.

September 18, 2010

The Gate to the World

It’s a fairly safe bet that this ship passing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge picked up its cargo at the Port of Oakland, across the Bay. San Francisco’s lesser known, not-quite-as-pretty twin city handles 99 percent of all containers coming to and from Northern California by sea. The port has ten container terminals and is the fourth busiest in the U.S.

And while that’s certainly impressive, the prettier picture (sorry, Oakland) is still the passage through the gate to the world...

September 17, 2010

Canale artificiale

Ah, Venice! So beautiful, so romantic – and so conveniently located, just a stone’s throw away from Paris, the pyramids of Egypt, and many, many shopping opportunities from around the world. Only in Las Vegas.

September 16, 2010

City Lights

San Francisco’s skyline on a moonlit, fogless evening, as seen from Acquatic Park.

September 15, 2010

Wet Feet

Even if you don’t like cars or golfing, Pebble Beach near Monterey is definitely worth a visit, with its long stretches of sandy beaches where the Pacific Ocean (on nice days) gently waves hello to the California coast.

September 13, 2010

Coastal Grass

No, not that kind of grass, even though this is California. Simply some weeds along Highway 1, glowing in the afternoon sun.

September 12, 2010

Silver Sailor

Sure, they call it the Golden Gate – but at times, it can seem as if the San Francisco Bay were filled with precious metal of a different kind...

September 11, 2010

Dolphins Under Palm Trees

Santa Barbara is very fond of dolphins. They’re everywhere in this glamorous resort town just north of Los Angeles – most prominently in the form of a fountain by the pier. I liked these dolphins best as a silhouette against the blue sky, but I wish the sun had been a little further to the west; that would have allowed me to take a couple of steps to the left, separating the dolphin from the palm tree. Oh, well, can’t have it all, not even in sunny California.

September 9, 2010

In Your Brain, Inc.

Busy day yesterday with the announcement of Google Instant (and writing a quick article for Here’s Google’s VP for Search Products and User Experience, Marissa Mayer, speaking at the press event in San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art.

The best illustration of what the search giant aspires to do comes from Google itself... (This is picture was projected onscreen shortly before the presentation started.) 

September 7, 2010

The Colors of Fall

There’s no Indian Summer to speak of in San Francisco, nothing like the exuberant changing of the leaves in New England – which may explain why I got a little trigger-happy ...

...when I came across a tree on Russian Hill which was illuminated by the afternoon sun in all its colorful autumn glory just as I happened to walk by.

September 5, 2010

Life on a Pier

Some people like to live by the water, almost in the water, but still in a house rather than on a boat. In Sausalito, right across the Golden Gate, there are several communities-on-a-pier of this kind – in safe distance from the tourist crowds visiting this formerly quaint seaside town, yet close enough to San Francisco for a short boat ride across the Bay.

September 4, 2010


The fog is back, and Baker Beach probably looks as forlorn today as it did on the grey day of spring when I saw this seagull hovering over a stretch of sand, suspended in the air near the Golden Gate Bridge.

September 3, 2010

Museum Ships

Square-rigger “Balclutha” taking a bath in the late afternoon sun in San Francisco’s Acquatic Park. Nothing special, I was just trying out my new Tamron 70-300 mm zoom lens. First impression: mediocre handling, due to stiff zoom and oddly placed focus ring, but very good optical quality for the price. It’s a keeper and will see more action when Fleet Week comes around. Meanwhile, here’s a close-up of Balclutha’s neighbor, “Eureka.”

September 2, 2010

Saviors of the Inbox?

When Google announced its “Priority Inbox” feature for Gmail this week, I couldn’t help but feel that the Internet giant took a cue from a small but innovative start-up called Xobni (that’s “inbox” in reverse, in case you’re wondering). The company, co-founded by Adam Smith and Matt Brezina, pictured here in the company’s original San Francisco office, has become a cult favorite of many heavy Outlook users. By constantly analyzing the user’s e-mail traffic in a multitude of ways, Xobni manages to show at a glance what’s important and who’s important – even if the torrent of new messages never seems to let up.

By now, Xobni has become successful enough to move into a newer, bigger, sunnier office, which became available when former tenant Twitter moved a few blocks across town. Here’s Brezina, with appropriate office mural, posing for the photographer.