i can’t let go

hi guys! i got to ny on the red eye and am taking tonite to pretend i’m still in sf. and if i don’t go thru these pics right now, they’ll sit in a  folder for the rest of my life!

when i was outside the fairmont, there was a lot going by!

i started practicing using my camera and testing its tricks on the fly

i love this city more than ever. it’s got fresh air and beauty everywhere you look.

ok, more soon, buona notte!

August 11, 2010. California, San Francisco. 11 comments.

it would take many lifetimes

when i got to this hotel i had no idea how much of our time in sf would be devoted to it! now i see why the show ‘hotel’ in the 70s was centered around this incredible place! around every corner is more intrigue, history and glory like  the tiny vanderbilt in pink and blue above and below.

anyway, from my trip to see some of the ballrooms, i met jessica, one of the kids in charge of running the place who really got my love of the old nooks and crannies.  she was gracious enough to give me a tour of the penthouse which was an unexpected treat.

this is just a small sampling of the magnificent floor:

since john’s in food, she introduced us to their hip  executive chef (unfortunately i think i erased the photos)!  he showed us some of the projects he’s working on, like creating all the hotel’s honey (he put beehives on the roof), and adding sustainable gardens which will grow all the hotel’s herbs and vegetables! fairmont.com/sanfrancisco bee hives

and i didn’t see jessica this morning but wanted to thank her for the invitation yesterday to see the sf ballet in the park. it was a real treat and something we  wouldn’t have seen if not for her ongoing hospitality!

so, that will have to do it for my little obsession today as we’re packing up and heading out.  i look at this photo above (dorothy draper’s incarnation of the lobby, thanks lynn) and think of the young cool crew that’s handling it now. they’re set to remodel the laurel court restaurant which still has the old school feel but with who’s in charge i know they’ll do a great job preserving it.  more soon!

August 9, 2010. California, Fairmont Hotel, Hotels, San Francisco. 12 comments.

the fairest of them all

hi guys! i can’t believe it’s actually been an entire week since i’ve had a chance to post about this trip to san francisco. even as i write this it’s rushed. lynn is about to pick me up again for another morning of foggy fun and although i got up early to write, it’s dwindling fast and my connection is slow. still i’m determined that before i see another thing or take another shot i’d say hello and nip the tip of this iceberg of a city!

our home for the past week has been the fairmont hotel at the top of nob hill. (yes virgina, they do have affordable rooms)! it’s been an incredible experience as a history buff and lover of all things old and grand.

the gold dining room in the teens above and today below

the detail is stunning.

this grand dame has seen it all. there is no way to squeeze it all into this short time but the hotel halls are lined with ephemera and photos, old menus and archives from breaking ground to the earthquake to the fire to the resolve to rebuild. just being here is humbling, knowing what the early settlers went through to create this splendor, revel in its glory and see it destroyed. their strength to regroup and rebuild, not knowing if it could all just crumble again is mind boggling.

yet they did it without hesitation, living in tents, carrying supplies uphill, in chilly fog, without bathrooms, heat, electricity or phones.

the more i learn about san franciscans and the pioneers who created this masterpiece of a city brick by brick the more in awe i am.

these men and women are unsung heroes whose names are forgotten but their work lives on.

the ballroom was used in the relief efforts after the quake. it is such a grand room, i’m sure they were beyond grateful it was spared. it must have been strange to live and work in such contrast but they did it. twice!

i’m dying to get into the archives of the hotel. the shot above is from one of the many incarnations the lobby has had over the years. i would have killed to see this one by dorothy draper. ok she’s here, more soon. hope you’re having a great weekend!

August 8, 2010. California, Hotels, San Francisco. 10 comments.

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