The Docks

Can you think of a spot in your home town that brings you back to your childhood every time you visit? It had been years since I’ve come back to Red’s Java House in San Francisco, but stepping inside the old dining area, I realized that nothing inside has changed. Except for the prices, of course. Ouch!

When I was very young, my Dad would sometimes say “hey son, let’s go to the docks.” I knew that meant a trip to Red’s to grab a hot dog or burger. The dining room is antique and charming, but we’d always eat outside, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. I’d throw bits of bread at the sea gulls and stare at the murky, green bay water. My Dad would tell me these crazy stories of when he was my age. Jumping in the bay and swimming around, chasing wild animals with nets he and his friends had stolen from local tennis courts, running over the once barren red-rock hills of the city…hills now covered by houses, hotels, and other businesses.

(blue bottle coffee)

As a third generation native of the city, it makes me think of how San Francisco has evolved since I was young. Old, run down areas of the city now replaced by a culture of young professionals who insist on their $4.50 cup of fair trade, hand roasted and brewed cup of coffee every morning. Ok, I’m guilty of loving the gourmet coffee, I admit it! But every so often its nice to revisit the old days and grab a simple burger on a sourdough roll at Red’s.

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G
BW Conversion: Silver Efex Pro II

22 thoughts on “The Docks

    1. Silver Efex Pro is a black and white editing program for digital photography by Nik Software. I use their lightroom plugin for black and white conversions.

      1. Well, a simple conversion itself is one thing, but Silver Efex goes way beyond that. Black and white photography is an art form all on its own, so having software that lets you really explore black and white, in all its complexities, is probably a good idea if you’re into that sort of photography.

      2. I have now tried silver efex and I think the simulation of different types of film is very nice. I guess if you shoot a lot of B&W that this tool might be worth it, instead of mixing in PS or LR. I must say I really enjoy your blog, keep up the good work! Maybe a post about silver efex pro is coming soon? 😉

  1. $4.50 coffee? I will see if I can get a government grant for a photo trip there. Seriously I love your story and you photo essay.

  2. $4.50 for coffee – big big ouch! Love the story here – a picture of you as a young boy in the end of the post would totally complete the story =)

    1. Hmm, you’re right! You wouldn’t believe how many pictures there are of me as a kid too, since my Dad was a professional photography for more than two decades =P

  3. How nice! I’ve never been to Red’s but it sounds really homey. And how neat that you’re 3rd gen native SF. That’s so cool; you have such history in SF. 🙂

  4. Great post here man… I especially love the first black and white shot… powerful and seemingly full of memories. I know what you mean about finding a place that brings back those thoughts man, just going to the park by my house brings a smile to my face no matter what the weather is like 🙂

  5. Those photos don’t even look like San Francisco! Pretty awesome that the vintage look hasn’t changed. Those black and white photos are really sharp!

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