Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
Jonal entry 1126 | September 14 2010
I took my daughter Chris and grandson Antony for an outing on Sunday to a realtively new park in San Francisco, the Presidio. For generations, the Presidio was San Francisco's major military installation, and for a while before that it was California's major military presence. It was the home of Letterman Army Hospital, which you may have heard of if you go back more than three decades. But with the changes in how wars are conducted, it like most of the bases and "forts" in the country has been declared obsolete and decommissioned. In Northern California, nothing else would be acceptable but to turn it into a National Park, and that is what is happening. The following four-minute video condenses the highlights of our day in the park.
It's not a great video, originally shot on my pocket-sized Kodak XE digital in mov file format and converted to wmv. The weather was far from a perfect September day, with lots of fog and heavy clouds, and I try narrating the scene for a little of the video but not most of it, but the mission of GloTube here on your Home Page is to encourage amateur participation, so consider this a contribution to that. The park itself was not yet very developed. There was not enough signage on its roads to keep us from going around in circles, and though there alledgedly is a visitor center for the park, we were never able to find it.
We ended up having our picnic lunch on Crissy Field, which is adjacent to the San Francisco Bay, just east of the Golden Gate. And the prime attractions of the day were the Golden Gate Bridge which we walked onto to get some video, one of the main points of which is Fort Point, a historic fort built there during the Civil War because the Lincoln government feared attack from the rebels from the Pacific. It never happened, and neither did Japanese attack in World War Two, which was more likely than the rebels getting around South America before the opening of Panama Canal, so the Fort is virtually as good as new.
The other major attraction on the video is the Palace of Fine Arts, a "temporary" building put up for the World's Fair that was held to celebrate the rebuilding of San Francisco after the great earthquake of 1906, which was held in 1915. Though it is located in the part of the city most damaged by the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, the "Palace" is still standing (but was rebuilt in 1965), and its grounds are being relandscaped for another lease on its life as another park attraction in San Francisco. Most California parks are accessed only by paying fees, but the best ones in San Francisco have free admission and free parking, which (along with the fact that the parks are generally better when you get to them) makes the trip from San Jose worthwhile.
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