There’s something about the San Francisco skyline that feels like home whenever it comes into view. It’s tricky to pinpoint why. I’ve spent so much time working near all those big office towers yet the skyline from Dolores Park at sunset (pictured above) actually feels a little new to me. The first time I took a photo from that location was over a decade ago, and many of those towers didn’t exist back then. I guess you could say in the past 18 years I’ve grown up with all those new buildings.
It certainly can’t be the skyline alone that gives San Francisco its allure, but it can’t hurt.
As the sun sets, Coit Tower (above) is lit from below. This changes its appearance from a gray building one’s eyes can easily skip over to a somewhat imposing presence on Telegraph Hill.
It almost looks like someone stuck a giant pin at the top of North Beach to guide people over. North Beach is always worth visiting at night, even if it’s just to check out City Lights Bookstore. You can never go wrong with a visit to City Lights… unless of course you visit the other City Lights — the one that sells lights.
As daylight savings time ends and we go back to standard time, the edge lights on the four Embarcadero Center towers turn on a little too early.
Unfortunately one thing that doesn’t completely turn on are the ye olde fashioned lights at Pier 7. It wasn’t that long ago that these lights all worked. Hopefully they’ll get fixed before the masses start showing up for their wedding photos here once again.
Either way, the silhouette of the Transamerica Pyramid is prominent in the background. It hasn’t been the tallest building in San Francisco for a long time, but it’s still the tallest pyramid in North America. Suck it, Aztecs!
The red neon “Port of San Francisco” sign on the Ferry Building feels like a homing beacon of sorts. I don’t ride the ferries often — let alone after dark — but there’s something about this vantage point that feels welcoming in a way arriving any other way can’t even compare.
Don’t get me wrong, most of the time when I return to San Francisco it’s on BART. Nothing against BART, but it’s pretty boring compared to arriving at the Ferry Building. The funny thing is that even though it’s an iconic view, it’s not one you tend to see in movies or on postcards. It’s almost like a secret hidden in plain sight.