San Francisco From Bernal Heights

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From Bernal Heights, the view of San Francisco features downtown, Treasure Island, and the Bay Bridge.

In California, people often talk about “June Gloom,” “May Gray,” or “Fogust.” This of course refers to the coastal fog that can make some cities lucky to catch a mere glimpse of blue sky all summer. San Francisco is often considered one of those cities, but the gloom really depends on the neighborhood. On many summer days, fog does indeed inundate the neighborhoods west of the central hills. But as the wind pushes the fog east and over the hills, the air sinks, compresses, and warms. As this happens the fog burns off. Thus, the neighborhoods to the east, like the Mission or Potrero Hill, get far more sunshine. Bernal Heights Park, where I took this photograph, provides a great vantage to watch this whole dynamic take place. You can see the fog spilling over the peaks to the east, slowly evaporating over the Mission and downtown, and then almost always totally vanishing by the time it reaches the bay. I also love the park because this story of the fog is one I’ve watched from a similar perspective countless times in the Santa Cruz Mountains, like from Russian Ridge Open Space and Monte Bello Open Space, but now all I have done is add a city to the recipe. I find it amusing that I subconciously sought out the same old foggy dialogue.

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