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San Francisco from Bernal Heights, by Matt Tilghman
San Francisco from Bernal Heights
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San Francisco
In California, people often talk about "June Gloom," "May Gray," or "Fogust" – referring to the onslaught of coastal fog that can make some cities lucky to catch a mere glimpse of blue sky in summer. San Francisco is often considered one of those cities, but the gloom really depends on the neighborhood. On many summer days, the neighborhoods west of and on top of the central hills (Twin Peaks, Diamond Heights, etc) can indeed be inundated by fog. But as the prevailing wind pushes the fog over the hills and down towards the flat land below, the air sinks, compresses, and warms, and thus the fog burns off. The neighborhoods to the east, like the Mission or Potrero Hill, get far more sunshine. Bernal Heights Park, the location from which I took this photograph, is one of my favorite parks in San Francisco because it offers such a great vantage to watch this whole dynamic take place. You can see the fog spilling over the peaks to the west, 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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