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BART train in SF

May 29th, 2000

The Carnival parade is held in the San Francisco Mission district, a BART ride under the bay and then a seven block walk to 24th and Bryant. I've done this before. I arrived at the Rockridge BART station at 7:30 and discovered on Sundays BART doesn't open until 8:00, so I waited outside on one of the benches. It was overcast and I was imagining the possibility of rain and remembering I hadn't brought any plastic bags to protect the cameras. I thought maybe I should (cough!) bag it. I'd shot three rolls of black and white the day before walking to the Giants stadium and I could call that a weekend of shooting and then the station gates opened, a train arrived and I was in the Mission. The parade started at 10:00 and I'd been hoping to arrive early so I could shoot pictures of bare breasted women in colorful costumes before the parade started.

I usually bring maybe ten rolls of film to a parade and generally shoot, say five. This is Carnival, Bay to Breakers. of course, the parade of colors, but I've been shooting black and white recently, so I packed six rolls of black and white and two rolls of Ektachrome color as backup in spite of a little voice that wondered if I might not need more. I shot every roll down to the last six frames on the last roll of black and white. And yes, I got some shots of bare breasted women, but I had to push through a crowd of amateur (point and shoot) photographers first, clubbing one old guy out of the way (The F5 is heavy, I'll say that), one good whack along the side of his head and it was clear shooting. Embarrassing business. And messy, like slopping hogs.

A young woman at the camera shop suggested I shoot a mini-Carnival today that was being held in a park Bay to Breakers. not far from where I live. I hadn't heard of it, but I drove over around 10:00 this morning (after the usual get up early, have coffee at the cafe by the lake, eat cereal, take a bath, pet the cat, load the cameras, brush the teeth) and discovered a giant picnic - barbecue out on the grass with a sound stage and rows of booths selling African oriented art objects (clothing, masks, colorful plastic need-to-haves), seventy four different kinds of barbecue and a parade. A Carnival everybody dressed in feathers parade. So I shot another five rolls of film and now I'm sitting here at the computer thinking what a hell of a fellow I am, fifteen rolls of film in three days. I wonder if any of them will turn out? If I never mention this again and you find nary a naked feathered lady photograph on these pages in the next couple of weeks, you'll know I crapped out. Now let's see what's coming this four day weekend I have planned starting Thursday.

The banner photograph was taken from inside a BART train taking on passengers at, probably, the Montgomery Street station. The others were taken at the San Francisco Bay to Breakers.