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

     

Hollywood

     

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(

     

Suburbia

     

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

     

Skater

     

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

     

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

     

Crossing Brooklyn Bridge

     

Lunchbreak

     

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

     

Poodle

     

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

     

A dogwalking business

     

Drug-free school zone (i.e. it's <i>even more</i> 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

     

A MiG

     

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 (www.theonion.com) 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

     

Lunchbreak

     

'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)

     

Dusk

     

A rather serious-looking shoeshining business outside Bryant Park

     

Chinatown

     

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

     

Streetball

     

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

     

Waiting

     

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 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

     

California

     

Dusk

     

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

     

California

     

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

     

Freedom

     

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

     

Harmonica lessons

     

(Big) Hill warning sign indicating that a <em>very</em> 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

     

Chinatown

     

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

     

Passenger

     

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

     

Alcatraz

     

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

     

     

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)

     

     

California

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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