San Francisco Postcards
iPhone shots from a recent journey across the San Francisco Bay on the high speed ferry to and from Larkspur.
Sitting on prime waterfront real-estate is California's oldest prison, San Quentin, which is also home to the
country's largest death row for male inmates. Not being the best informed traveller, I like surprises, it was only
later that I discovered this strange, suspicious looking building which might well have been San Quentin prison was
in fact SQP. And of course it comes with so much fascinating history.
My favorite fact is that it was home to country singer Merle Haggard who as a 19 year old was sentenced to 15 years for
grand theft auto and armed robbery. Merle was born in a converted boxcar in Oildale, the wrong side of the Bakersfield
tracks which ran across the bottom of his bare bones street. We drove down his street last summer but it doesn't take
more than a peek anywhere in Bakersfield to make you feel like the stand-out stranger in town. His final act of teenage
delinquency in robbing a Bakersfield roadhouse saw him on his way to San Quentin where he served 3 years.
I didn't come here to talk about Merle, I didn't come here to talk about much at all . . .
The houses, known as Arks, are part of an extensive floating community whereby the houses are lifted with the incoming
My grateful thanks to artist Mike Lipsey for the great conversation and guiding tour through this fascinating part of
Marin County. You can check Mike's great work out over at stoicmike.