Chinese New Year Parade

This year's San Francisco New Years Parade went really well. The weather was really nice and sunny during day time and it wasn't too cold at night.

I went to the city around lunch time and decided to take advantage of the nice weather by taking some pictures and doing some walking. I went to Embarcadero's Farmer's Market, and then to Chinatown, where a sea of people shopped at street vendors.

Afterwards, I went to a Chinese restaurant at Powell for lunch and then went to Union Square to relax and take pictures. I decided to take the elevator up to Cheese Cake Factory to get a better view of Union Square. I've forgotten how nice the view is from up there.

From there I noticed that people were starting to line up along Powell and Geary for the best view of the parade. I then made my way down and grabbed a nice spot in front of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. I had to sit there with my MP3 player a good two hours before the parade to get a nice spot.

Below are Pics (As always, click to see a larger image):

Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island from Embarcadero

Perfect timing on this seagull

The famous Coit Tower

Farmer's Market and Bay Bridge

Arts & Crafts on Market and Embarcadero

Entrance to Chinatown

Chinatown street vendors

Macy's on Union Square. The top "Macy's" logo is where the Cheese Cake Factory is located.

View of Union Square from Cheese Cake Factory. In the center is a granite column commemorating Admiral Dewey's Spanish-American War victory at Manila Bay with a Victory statue modeled after Mrs. Adolph de Bretteville Spreckels, a San Francisco benefactress.

Corner of Post and Stockton, where you'll find Niketown

Saks, Tiffany and the Victory Statue

More of that Victory Statue

Corner of Powell and Post, where you'll find the Disney Store

iPod Ad, and more of that Victory Statue

The famous Mayor Gavin Newsom. I shook his hand the second time. The first time was during the Chinese New Year Parade two years ago, a couple of days before he tried to legalize Gay Marriage in SF.



Gigapxl Project and Photography

Gigapxl Project is a really cool site. Basically they created a "giga pixel" camera. It's large format (film, of course!), and then they scanned it to make it digital. During my trip to SF last weekend, a photographer in the art show in Union Square was selling medium format pictures, the biggest of which was two-by-three feet in dimension and was selling for $600 framed. Medium formats are around 100GP to 400GP when scanned digitally. Obviously, the 1000GP camera is a large format film camera.

Also, when I was walking to Embarcadero to catch the bus to Pier 39, I passed by a person who was selling framed photographs at the end of Market Street. The pictures where printed off digital SLRs. I asked the person what camera they used and she said they used the 12 Megapixel Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro, which is a pro-level digital SLR costing around $2000 without lens. The pictures she has were also two-by-three feet, but you can tell it was from a digital camera. The picture was decent when viewed from seven feet away, but a closer look shows that it can't be compared with medium, or even 35mm film. I think 35mm film is equal to a 45MP digital camera. She was selling her pictures for around $150.

I went to Pier 39 to checkout the Wyland Gallery and Rodney Lough Jr. Wilderness Gallery. The Rodney Lough gallery sells landscape pictures of sizes up to 3-by-6 feet in dimensions and costs thousands of dollars. I think they were also taken with medium format film camera.

Ken Rockwell has an article on how to build a 100MP camera system for around $2000. He also argues that medium and large format films are "future-proof" since today's film scanner does not show the maximum possible resolution for these formats. Better scanners will be built in the future. While you're stuck with what your digital camera can take today.

Anyways, going back to the Gigapxl project, below are pictures I stole from their website, clearly, these are copyrighted by them. They have lots of pictures in their Image Gallery, but I chose to steal the Half-Dome picture and post it here. It's amazing how much detail it retains when zoomed-in:

Nickelback (Recycled)

I saw this online, it's really interesting. Basically they played two Nickelback songs side-by-side and it looks like the band used the same *formula* for the songs.


I thought this picture was nicely captioned.

Power of Makeup (Before and After Shots)

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron." -Dwight Eisenhower

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -Theodore Roosevelt



I went to SF yesterday (Saturday 2/4) for dinner with friends. I decided to go early and hang out in Union Square area...

I took the BART to the city, as usual. I was listening to my MP3 player and had my eyes shut when I noticed we've been stopped in Castro Valley stop for a while. When I opened my eyes I saw two cops with a bomb sniffing dog walking along the aisle. I take BART regularly to the city and I don't remember this happening before.

When I got off the BART station, I made my way to the restroom in the shopping center and then went to Blondies for some veggie pizza. Since it was a nice sunny day, I decided to take my pizza to Union Square.

There was an Art Show in Union Square. Mostly paintings and photographs. The exhibit was really good. The medium-format pictures on exhibit were from really nice part of the world. The detail and colors on the pictures were amazing.

Also on Union Square were these Heart Exhibit...

NBC 11 had these guys on olympic outfits promoting the upcoming olympics in their station:

While in Union Square, I saw this nice looking car...

The trip to the City was fun. I haven't been there in a while. The weather was really nice and sunny, and the Art Exhibit was fun as well. I saw several photography students from Academy of Arts SF with their SLR camera taking pictures of people and things around Union Square. That would have been a perfect time to have an SLR camera with me.

Dinner was really nice. We went to Osha, a really nice and cheap Thai restaurant on 2nd Street.