I've been to San Francisco countless times in my life. When I was growing up, a trip to the city was a special occasion, and usually meant a trip to the Zoo, a walk through Chinatown, and then over to Fisherman's Wharf, for dinner at Fisherman's Grotto No. 9.
Debra and I spent part of our honeymoon in the city in 1987, and then took an annual trip up until the time that Son #1 was born in 1990. After that the trips became a little more intermittent, but we still tried to get there as often as we could.
When I started to work at my present job in 2004, that meant more trips to the city, because of its popularity as a conference site and its designation as a part of the annual conference rota for the Association where I work.
This trip was a lot of fun, and armed with my new Blackberry, I probably took more pictures than I had during the previous trips combined. Because we were there for just a couple of days, we didn't have time to hit every part of the city, but we managed to cover a lot of ground.
It's a great city. And it has a ton of character, but sometimes the character is lurking in the shadows of the places that you're focused on instead, because someone has told you that's what you need (or want) to see. This shot, I think, qualifies as both. I'm sure that millions of photos of this spot have been taken over the years, but it's still a great one (not my photo specifically, but the subject generally). It is the gateway to another world. And in the shots to follow, I tried to capture a bit of that atmosphere.