This is a scale model of UCSF where I work.
My office is in that building, and one of those windows on the first floor is mine.
UCSF is a big research center for all things biomedical. As a pharmaceutical chemist by training, this is my world. I still find some odd humor in the signs and notices I walk by every day.
I mean, you don't see this kind of stuff on the walls at Google or Ebay.
The campus is so large, and my office so remote, it takes me seven minutes to reach my desk when I enter through the main entrance. And I walk fast. (Fortunately, I found a shortcut so I don't use the main entrance anymore.)
The university backs up to a hill covered with Eucalyptus and red valerian (Centranthus ruber), which has naturalized throughout the city.
I have to get a new camera. There's dust in the lens and a lot of my pictures have dust spots in the middle of them now. Sigh.
There's a piece of sculpture attached to a retaining wall at the bottom of the parking lot. It functions as a water flue fed by the stream that comes down off the hill.
It took me a week to realize this was art.
When the stream is really flowing, the sculpture basically becomes a water feature.
I cross a bridge to reach my office, in a very old, dilapidated building the university wants to tear down soon.
A nice patch of native Lupinus arboreus grows on the slope.
I don't know my building's story, but there's an old chemistry lab inside.
Some glassware got abandoned here--small beakers and a few nice chromatography chambers.
The structure on the right is an antique fume hood.
A fume hood has a fan in the ceiling that sucks up vapors--like the vent over your stove, but stronger and more contained--so the chemist does not breath in anything toxic or carcinogenic. Chemists work with many fine chemicals that are toxic or carcinogenic or both. And typically we have to work standing up because the doors on the storage cabinet under the hood prevent you from sitting down comfortably.
That's another reason why I like having a desk job right now.
Here we are in my office; that's my desk. I haven't cleaned up or decorated since I moved in. I'm not a big decorator at work. In fact, I like to keep my workspace spotless and devoid of personal effects.
Usually the only personal thing I leave at work is a bottle of hand lotion. This stuff is my life. I have the driest hands. Gardening (without gloves) has only exacerbated my condition.
So I'm all about the frequent moisturizing.
While I work in an old remote building, on clear days I have an ocean view! Not many people at UCSF can say that.
I also have a view of Golden Gate Heights Park, which I'd never heard of until I started working here and staring at it every day. One day, I shall visit.
Down in the parking lot, I've been following the progress of this weedy-looking Mimulus.
The flowers resemble M. guttatus, but that plant typically grows in moist seeps, not cracks in asphalt parking lots. I'm not sure what species it is.
By the way, lest you think that I took all these pictures today instead of working, I did not!
I've been taking pictures for several days now in order to put a good post together. It's going to be another huge post that noone's going to read, but I don't care.
There's a small stand of redwood trees and a little pocket park nearby.
I walk through here every day to/from work, and sometimes again at lunchtime. UCSF is located between the Haight-Ashbury and the Inner Sunset districts. The Inner Sunset is closer so I walk around there for my lunchtime distraction.
I like these pavers arrayed en masse like this.
Do people grow Alyogyne huegelii where you are too?
This is one of my favorite buildings in the neighborhood. I wonder what its story is...
Guy and I ate at the other Cafe Gratitude. I liked it a lot, but it was too hippy-dippy for him. He's a vegetarian who doesn't like vegetables. Me, I eat anything.
I used to eat at Arizmendi Bakery all the time when I was unemployed and volunteering every day at the Botanical Garden. I'm burnt out on their breakfast scones, but once in awhile I treat myself to a "Chocolate Thing" on my way to the office.
They're famous for tasty pizza--which I still eat quite often.
I have a friend who works there and she says people always mispronounce the name, "Azz-riz-mend-i". That made me laugh, so now I say Azzrizmendi too.
Craigslist world headquarters.
I worked the night shift as a veterinary technician here when I was a college drop-out in the early 1990s. Emergency work was thrilling. Sometimes it was overwhelming, but the job usually had a nice rhythm. One night here, after a particularly grueling all night shift, I hit my personal all-time emotional rock bottom. That's a story for another time.
Major trees in the neighborhood are Ligustrum lucidum, Eriobotrya deflexa, and Metrosideros excelsus. These trees are common all over San Francisco, except downtown.
I'd like to know what this tree is.
The flowers are very fragrant.
It seems oddly familiar.
Here's another view of the Eucalyptus forest behind the university that I just showed you.
And we're looping back. Back up on university hill, some of the north-facing views are spectacular. That's the DeYoung Museum tower rising out of Golden Gate Park, and three successive ridge-lines in the Marin headlands.
Our visit to UCSF and San Francisco's Inner Sunset district concludes with the medical school's statue of Hippocrates,
and this badly composed picture of a purple rhodie.