Instead of a post about ballooning tent encampments throughout the neighborhood, or apocalyptic skies from wildfires north, east, and south, here is an account of a San Francisco Bay walk at Oyster Point a few weeks ago in South San Francisco.
The afternoon temperature was in the perfect low 70s with less wind than usual...
...and the various micro wetland environments were beautiful.
This stretch of the shoreline, from Oyster Point Marina to the SF Airport, was once industrial, with all the waste that involved, and is currently transforming into the northernmost reach of Silicon Valley, with biopharmaceutical giant Genentech as the area's real estate pioneer for tech.
Their outside grounds are open from the Bay Trail and the natural plant landscape design is impressive.
The tidy perfection, however, can be a little frightening.
Over the years, through partners and freelance work, I have visited similar New Age employee outdoor spaces, from Pixar to Electronic Arts, and they always give me a dystopian sci-fi vibe. For people concentrating on computers all day, the spaces seem to be alienating rather than enticing, and are usually spookily empty.
David Cronenberg's 1981 horror movie, Scanners
, where heads blow up real good, ends with the pharmaceutical villains working out of a Canadian suburban office park that presciently looks like most of the office parks in Silicon Valley 40 years later.
The designer barrier walls at the Genentech campus are a reminder that the natural world can be restrained and molded for only so long.
A number of windswept trees on the shoreline nearby, for instance...
...have been enveloped by what appears to be armies of arachnids.
The attempt to restore natural habitats is admirable...
...but countervailing human destruction is still very much with us.