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Home, Instagrammed: San Francisco Through an iPhone Lens

I squirm when I sit still. I think about elsewhere, and how we will get there.

But I mustn’t overlook this place.

Yes, I write about not knowing where or what home is.

That something is missing, that here isn’t quite right.

Then I walk around. I explore where I live.

And I’m reminded that things, truly, are fine.

Bay Bridge via Embarcadero.

Grant Street, Chinatown.

Golden Gate Bridge. Between Crissy Field and Fort Point.

Herakut Mural, Polk and Hemlock.

Transamerica Pyramid via North Beach.

Dolores Park.

Fort Point.

Anchor Steam Brewery.

Embarcadero meets South Beach. AT&T Park.

Hayes Valley.

Cartoon Museum, SOMA.

Bay Bridge via Embarcadero.

Marlowe Restaurant, China Basin.

McCovey Cove.

Rickhouse, Financial District.


San Francisco via Treasure Island.

South Beach.

Vesuvio, North Beach.

Yerba Buena Gardens.

Yerba Buena Gardens.

View from Twin Peaks.

Valencia Street.


Musee Mecanique.

Union Square.

How Weird Street Faire, SOMA.


City Hall.

Caledonia Street.

North Beach.

MUNI Underground.

AT&T Park.

Market Street.


City Lights Bookstore, North Beach.

Clarion Alley.

Hayes Valley.

How Weird Street Faire, SOMA.

Lucky 13.

Precita Center, Bernal Heights.

Mission District.

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Categories: photography travel

Tagged as:

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Writer at Writing Through the Fog. Editor at Automattic.

79 replies

  1. Reblogged this on closetoeighty and commented:
    Last two weeks I had surgeries on both eyes to improve vision.
    Then I had to put a lot of drops in each eye to heal them ASAP. Currently I see everything through the fog. However, even now it is clear that this is an excellent blog, Thank you for it, Cheri.

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  2. Wow, beautiful photos. Reminds me how much I love this city, even though it’s been almost ten years since I visited. Never before in my life had I seen so many smiley people. I so hope I get to go back one day.

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  3. Wonderful series of photographs. Looking through them this city does feel like your “home,” because there is a sense of intimacy and a familiarity that seems born of a long relationship with a place, rather than that of a tourist just breezing through and capturing the surface. While you may often be thinking of being elsewhere, I am sure that when you get there a piece of you will then be thinking about here. Happy travels and good luck with your photography classes when you take them. If this is what you can do without study, I’m sure your later images will be beyond belief.

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      1. It was because I recognized your name from those Trazzler days that I stopped at your blog, and was able to enjoy your photographs. All is well, and I hope you are making it out to enjoy this sunshine today. It’s warmer than summertime, Karl the Fog must be on vacation.

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  4. Ahhh!! Though wanderlust is grand and I have been abroad for a number of years, photos of San Francisco always make me homesick. Thanks for these, I’m a bit sad, but in that really good way :) Thanks for following!

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  5. *sigh* I miss San Francisco. I just spent 4 days there this summer visiting a friend. We packed it all in and saw a lot of what you photographed. Our trip ended with food & drinks at Red’s Java House and a Giants/Dodgers game. Such a cool city!

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  6. This is a beautiful introduction to what looks like a beautiful city. I love the pictures of murals/graffitti. I think you have captured a spirit of the city here, I feel some writing coming on based on one or more of your photos…

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  7. God, makes me think the iPhone isn’t a waste.
    Now Im Jealous (;
    Love the street photos, you make what some people think of as dirty seem like art that should be in a priceless collection.
    And all this with a phone, extra kudos.

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  8. What a fabulous tour and now I am missing SF all over again – I have spent enough time there to torture myself with the game that has me wondering which part of SF I would most like to live in. Thank you lucky you!

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  9. Stunning photography, Cheri. I’ve not been to San Fran although my sis has and says it’s beautiful. Hope I get to visit one day and I’ll have to bookmark this post so I can be sure and see some of these lovely sites. Thank you.

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  10. Absolutely loved Yerba Buena Gardens and Marlowe Restaurant, China Basin. The Gardens seemed like a great place to just relax and breathe in fresh air. The restaurant’s quotes are fantastic. I’m glad to see Kurt Vonnegut up there. Thanks for posting!

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    1. Thanks, Toddy — glad you enjoyed this series of shots. Yerba Buena is a fun place, smack in the middle of downtown. It’s mellow when there’s nothing going on, which I like, and can be really lively when festivals and events are set up there. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  11. Thank you for sharing these! I’ve only been to SF once but I really loved it and have always wanted to go back and see more.

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  12. I’ve never been to SF, so thank you for showing it to me :) – I really identified with what you wrote above, about home. And yes…things are fine.

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  13. What beautiful images! When I first saw San Francisco, I thought it was the only place I’d ever visited that felt just like walking into photograph. Will never forget the fog rolling in from the ocean. Thanks so much for bringing me here and for following my blog. I’ll be following yours!

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    1. Yes! I still want/need to take a class — I have so little technical experience. I’d like to learn about lighting and action shots in particular so I can put my Canon and Nikon to better use. Once I have some free time in my schedule, I will.

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  14. Is Tommy’s Joint still there, somewhere, travelled all the way there from England to be recommended a beer that’s made where I worked – taste the iron in that situation eh?

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  15. I’d go back to San Francisco in a heart beat for its fine street art. I’m so obsessed with it! I do the same Instagram posts on my blog of my city. As much as wanderlust gets to me, I sometimes forget I live in one of the best cities out there!

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  16. I had to smile throughout this post. Drat for this awful grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side-syndrome! I’ve been focusing on getting away from where I live and your pictures are just one more thing tugging at my heart now and tickling my feet to start wandering off again. Yet for you, being in SF is normal. So maybe I should pay more attention to the things I take for granted that are around me and that someone else might be yearning for…?

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    1. I often dream about living in different places for periods of time, and in fact am trying to figure things out so this is possible in the near future. Yes, I take San Francisco for granted, all the time. I really must remind myself that I’m lucky to be here. Totally the “grass is always greener” syndrome…

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    1. Thanks, Eugene. I like that one as well because it includes/focuses on something else other than the bridge. I love the more iconic shots of the GG, but in photographs I also like to see what else is around it.

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