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.