Lake Merced, near the southern boundary of San Francisco, one morning of Thanksgiving weekend. Fog in, out, in, out again. It was a certain kind of morning that urged a certain timeless treatment of the images … or at least, a treatment evoking an earlier time in photography’s history. Strangest and most wonderful to me were the tall unfamiliar rooftops rising in the melting fog. In their stairstepping vagueness they seemed like something from an ancient civilization.
As I entered Golden Gate Park, it appeared that the first fog of autumn would be short-lived. It was already dissolving in wonderfully filtered sunlight when I reached a favorite stand of trees on the outskirts of the ballfields.
But by the time I reached the Music Concourse, twenty minutes later, the fog was as heavy as ever, even laced with sprinkles. Goethe and Schiller huddled, thrown off kilter, wondering if this was perhaps a fake news event.
The Roman Gladiator, always a man of action, was determined to resist. There was a vaguely quixotic feel to his battle with the elements.
On the other hand, Francis Scott Key sat back in contemplative resignation. Or maybe he was just preocuupied with thoughts of his most famous poem and what had become of it in recent days. Below him, fog or no fog, the blackbirds made their daily rounds.