USA pictures. Pictures from New York and California, two samples of this huge and diverse country.

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A somewhat impractical mode of transportation on Venice Beach

Skater girl on Venice Beach

Vintage car show on the streets of Culver City, Los Angeles

Interested parties at the vintage car show

Change is Obama

Unicorns, colors, salboats, clouds, sand. The whole lot.

Venice, an area of Los Angeles (loosely) modeled on Venice, Italy.

DeLorean, Venice beach

Detectors will detect

Safety first

It's hot

Experts recommend saving enough to live to 105, apparently.

Eyes (Hollywood Boulevard)

Fake graffiti for sale

Notice of filming

Back to an old future

The History of Future Folk, which is apparently a movie (taken at Sundance Cinemas on Sunset Boulevard)

Going to the beach

The Oscar given to the Godfather (Best Picture) - it can be seen at Paramount Studios

Arnold Schwarzenegger - on a house in Venice, Los Angeles near Muscle Beach, where Schwarzenegger used to be a regular

Relaxing on the beach on a scorching day

Cool(-ish) guys at the Culver City car show

I Hate Your Smile - emo on the beach

Headless sighting on Sunset Boulevard. Call them if you see this man


Helpful policeman taking picture of a kid

Hippies on Venice beach. I have a dream.

A cafe in Hollywood

The studios of Paramount Pictures

Sunset Boulevard and the houses of the rich on the hillside above it

Laser-eyed bunny (a kid's drawing, presumably) in the shopwindow of a store in Hollywood

Contact lenses. I think I'll be avoiding this store

Motorway in the city of Angels

The entrance to the studio of Paramount Pictures (Melrose Avenue, Hollywood(


Doctors prescribing medical marijuana on the beach

Cacti in front of a Mexican-inspired house

Proud homeless American

Psychic Therapist and Bartending Academy - Hollywood

Ronald Reagan before he became President

Rollerblading in Venice

Wooden roses

Bazinga! Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory


A bridge in Venice

The packed-up set of a show (probably being sent to storage between seasons)

Strip mall country

Billboard for the show America's Got Talent in Hollywood

Transformers vs. aliens

Atmospheric Venice, a suburb of LA

Colorful architecture in Venice

Venice night

The canals of Venice

Unrealistically tiny dog

Winnie the Pooh - not just real people can get a star on the Walk of Fame

Wise Yoda watching the people of Hollywood

New York City

Intersection of Gansevoort and Washington Streets viewed from the High Line, a former elevated railway turned into an elevated park

Crossing Brooklyn Bridge


The Harlem Meer lake in upper Central Park

Coastguard helicopter in the USS Intrepid museum

The Container Store - with hundreds of hangers in the shopwindow

Strolling down Columbus Avenue

The Hell's Kitchen neighbourhood, 11th Avenue

Many New York cycle lanes are excellent - wide and well separated from the main traffic. Interestingly (compared to large European cities) very few people cycle in Manhattan even though it's a very good way to get around in the city

Cycling down Washington Street

Having cocktails on the deckchairs of the South Street Seaport, overlooking the East River and Brooklyn


Dog run in the Hudson River Park (at Pier 84)

A dogwalking business

Drug-free school zone (i.e. it's even more drug free than the others)

Avenue of the Finest - found this while looking for the pedestrian approach to Brooklyn Bridge (not as easy as it sounds)

Quintessential New York fire escapes

Friendly NYC firefighters talking to locals and tourists at a midtown fire station (15 of whose firefighters died in the 9/11 rescue effort)

Foot massage - neon signs are still quite popular in NYC

Freedom - view from Liberty Island towards Ellis Island and Manhattan

Graffiti in a schoolyard

Graffiti in downtown Manattan

125th Street, Harlem

View over the tenements and housing developments of Harlem

Lunchtime on the High Line, a former elevated railway turned into an elevated park (the first section was opened in 2009 with further sections to follow later)

View over 10th Avenue from the High Line, Meatpacking District

According to the exhibits of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, about 100 million (1/3rd of the country's population) US citizens' ancestors first entered the States via the Ellis Island immigration station (open between 1892 to 1954)

Medical instruments used to examine the newly arrived at the Ellis Island immigration station - the doctors often had only minutes, if not seconds to examine people for various kinds of illnesses that could have posed a threat for the country's population

Is it a coincidence that the highlighted initials of NYPD's motto (Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect) spell CPR?

USS Intrepid, a former aircraft carrier turned into a war museum, moored at W 46th Street

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird exhibited in the USS Intrepid museum (capable of acquiring speeds of over 3 Mach)

The Manhattan Greenway, a 50km long cycle path mostly running along the shore of Manhattan

Memorial bench for a 9/11 victim in Central Park


Uptown square

Multi-storey car park (car rack?) with little 'elevators' lifting the cars to their places - probably quite good against theft

Times Square billboards

Even the police station has a (blue and pink) neon sign in Times Square

Boarded up (one of about 10 such windows on the skyscraper)

Old tenement in downtown New York

One Way - the financial district

Lead article in the free satirical newspaper The Onion ( showing how much better a few beers make a people's job market prospects

Taking an afternoon nap in Central Park

Green lights along Park Avenue, Harlem

Family baseball in Central Park

On the corner of Bryant Park, one of the relatively few open spaces in downtown Manhattan

Cycling is one of the best ways to get around in Manhattan - lanes are wide, traffic is often slow-moving and the grid system is easy to navigate

Diner hidden in the underground maze under Penn Station

A busy day in Manhattan

New York colors

A bit of amateur modelling in the park

Central Park after work

Little interceptors, an example of the vast arsenal of NYPD equipment (ranging from bicycles to huge command centers) - New York has become one of the safest North American cities in the past decades

Huge police Mobile Command Center - it certainly commands respect, which happens to be a key element of the NYPD's slogan ('Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect' or CPR)

Psychic offices are surprisingly common in New York

Statue of Hungarian-born publisher Joseph Pulitzer, the founder of the Pulitzer Prize

Enormous Queensboro Bridge towering over the tiny cars and buses crossing it


'The marriage of money and real estate' - the first half of a two-piece statue pre-dating the subprime mortgage crisis by 10 years

'The marriage of money and real estate' - the second half

Rebelling against the system - licking the balls of the Charging Bull (or Wall Street Bull) statue, often used as the symbol of the power of the financial world

A rather subtle US Army recruitment center (aka 'Career Center') in Times Square

Love, Roosevelt Island

Tennis courts on the bank of the Hudson River

Roosevelt Island, a relatively calm spot off the coast of the Upper East Side

The Roosevelt Island Tramway costs the same as a subway ride and offers good views over the Upper East Side and the huge Queensboro Bridge as it takes you to Roosevelt Island

Street grocer

Ten second-rate superheroes and ten Sesame Street wannabes - rather creative ads above Times Square subway station (where 9 subway lines stop)


A rather serious-looking shoeshining business outside Bryant Park


Skylines, Liberty Island

Snake 'charmer', Battery Park

Central Park is very popular with cyclists and joggers

Lady Liberty

NY bagels are excellent, cheap, and widely available (try the classic cream cheese, salmon and black pepper bagel)

Outdoor chess in Greenwich Village


2nd Avenue near Queensboro Bridge's ramp

Battery Park

The New York subway

Rundown underground tunnels connecting the scattered entrances of 14th Street station

The NYC subway

Avenue of the Americas (formerly 6th Avenue)

The boss

Times Square

Times Square is entirely surrounded by billboards and neon signs like these

Incredibly crowded Times Square

Tourists (and a cyclist in the background going against 4 lanes of one-way traffic on the Avenue of Americas)

Times Square billboards advertising Atlantic City and less obvious casino destination Yonkers (a town north of NYC)

The chaotic streetscape of Midtown East

Under the elevated FDR Drive on the shore of the East River. Sadly much New York City coastline has been sacrificed to car traffic - the legacy of famous/infamous urban planner Robert Moses, one of whose taglines was 'Cities are for traffic'

Looking up in the financial district

A hot day in Harlem


Wall Street after work

The pleasant pedestrian boardwalk on Brooklyn Bridge runs above the road cars use

New York is the city with the lowest percentage of private car ownership in the USA - these are compensated for by an extensive public transport network and a huge fleet of (yellow) taxis

San Francisco

San Francisco seen from the Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill

A cell in Alcatraz

Crowded life in Alcatraz

Mural over the New Sun Restaurant on Columbus Avenue

Nightclubs oin San Francisco's Broadway

The Camera Obscura's rotating lens (built in 1947) projects soft, almost dream-like images of the surrounding landscape onto a huge screen (the camera is located next to the Cliff House at Point Lobos)

A chilli dog: a hot dog with chilli con carne at Buster's Cheesesteaks

Piano under the window - mural on the corner of Columbus and Broadway (just outside Chinatown)

Clam chodwer in a sourdough loaf

View from Coit Tower over Telegraph Hill

Dragon car (Jefferson Street, Fisherman's Wharf)

Customized sourdough loaves in the Boudin Bakery

At Fort Point under Golden Gate Bridge

Animal loaves at Boudin Sourdough Bakery

A DVD Blowout



Coit Tower's murals depicting turn-of-the-century life in San Francisco


The Golden Gate is a bridge of immense proportions (at least from a European perspective)

A 1950s Ford Fairlane - restored old cars are quite a common sight on the streets of San Francisco

Crissy Fields under the gigantic Golden Gate bridge; the Marin Headlands' hills can be seen across the Golden Gate strait

Chinatown's Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (free entry and tasters; you can also buy fresh cookies); I asked where the fortunes come from (secretly expecting a sage with a long beard in a corner writing them down), and the answer was 'They just get shipped in.'

At Land's End

Garage sale

Sunday in Golden Gate Park

Leather jacket, Alcatraz

Graffiti on the corner of Washington Square Park

The Mission District is well-known for its street artist community and many of the city's walls are covered by murals


3 Harley Davidsons parked in the Marin Headlands just across the bridge from San Francisco

Harmonica lessons

(Big) Hill warning sign indicating that a very steep slope is coming up

The less glamorous back door to Larry Flynt's Hustler Club

Mobile taquería selling Mexican food in the Mission District

'Indiand welcome to Indianland' - after the Alcatraz Penitentiary was closed, the island was taken over by Native Americans in the 60s and 70s, demanding compensation for the crimes committed against them


Jack Kerouac Alley - the author of On The Road spent a lot of time in San Francisco (and so did many other Beat Generation writers; the Beat Museum and the City Lights Bookstore commemorate them)

Street art in the Mission District

San Francisco Bay

Literature in Alcatraz

Little City Meats - butcher in North Beach

The Powell & Mason Line cable car at its Taylor St terminal

Mexican village life on the side side of a taco van

Modern dance(?)

San Francisco is full of extremely steep hills; the city's still quite cyclist-friendly with its wide lanes and alternative hill-free routes

Dungeness crab is a popular delicacy in California; crabs are usually cooked alive shortly after they are caught

San Franciscans on Ocean Beach on a chilly spring day

The painter

Free papers, including one by an organization called the Purple Lotus Society

Park life


Fort Point

View towards downtown San Francisco from Potrero Hill

Bill in Chinatown talking about the 2010 elections in Chinese

View form Sutro Heights Park over the nearby hillside and the Pacific Ocean; it's amazing that despite its confined geographical location (ie. the tip of a peninsula), San Francisco has prevented large areas of such green space from being built up


When visiting Alcatraz you can see a demonstration of the prison doors' opening mechanism (and also hear the clang of 20 prison doors closing at the same time)

Prisoners' clothes in Alcatraz

Demonstrating the physics of pulleys (the more pulleys there are between you and the weight, the easier it is to lift it) at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Basic Steak Sauce recipe in the window of Little City Meats

Telegraph Hill

San Francisco offers amazing views to those who can afford it; this photo was taken in Pacific Heights

San Francisco bay

Point Lobos Avenue; former San Fransco mayor Adolph Sutro's iconic baths and amusement park used to be here; now it's a recreational area

San Francisco's Broadway is a much less grandiose place than the one in New York

The Balclutha, a huge 19th century ship that sailed between San Francisco and the UK many times (circumnavigating South America)

Which one would you go for?

Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard, named after the eponymous musical revue, which has been running continuously for more than 35 years

A solitary cell in Alcatraz

A San Francisco cable car

San Francisco has many excellent views from its hillsides

'Postcards from the other side' - a documentary and discussion on Mexican immigrants' lives in the US and their families left behind (the Mission District has a high population of Mexican migrants)

View from Potrero Hill in the southern part of San Francisco

San Francisco's cable cars are turned manually at their terminals

Climbing Telegraph Hill - the city's terrain is not kind to old legs

Vintage cars lined up along Fisherman's Wharf

Dog-walking/dog-sitting business

Silicon Valley

Google's HQ in Mountain View has hundreds of such bikes, and they can be used by anyone (they're not locked) when going to a distant building on campus (for lunch, for example)

Outdoor tables at Charlie's, Google's first cafe - today there are more than 10 places on campus (serving American, Indian and Mexican cuisine, among others) where employees can eat for free

Dinosaur skeleton statue at the Googleplex (they also have spaceship replicas and all sorts of weird things)

Gardening at the Googleplex

The 'main square' of Google's campus, inherited from one of Silicon Valley's former computing giants, Silicon Graphics (currently under liquidation)


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