Abandoned Railroad Bridge/ Personal Santa


rr-bridge            This is the Dumbarton Railroad Swing Bridge. Built in 1910, it was the first bridge over SF bay, according to reliable internet sources. The last train went across it in 1982.  It used to swing open to let ship traffic through, now it’s welded open. Part of it was set afire by vandals in 1996, then again in 1998, when firefighters had great difficulty extinguishing the fire, despite a driving rainstorm. Once you get creosote-treated pilings on fire, look out.

d-bridge                      Aerial shot. In the lower left corner, you can see where Hetch Hetchy pipline surfaces.

p1010515p1010500                                                   Rusty stuff at Cooley Landing.

p1010554                                           Must be great to have your own personal shrine in your front yard.                       



car-carrier-continental-highway-currently-off-candlestick-point  We saw this ship come through the  Golden Gate maybe 2 months ago. She’s so huge it’s unreal- like an Imperial Battlecruiser or something. She’s been anchored off Candlestick Point for several weeks now. Thanks to hd-sf.com’s live map feature, found out it was the car carrier Continental Highway. Thanks to vesseltracker.com found out that she’s under the Panamanian flag, owned by a Panamanian company, Insured and managed by Japanese companies, and that she’s 652 feet long.
My guess is that she’s idle because not many cars are being sold at the moment, so they don’t need to be transported. I wonder about her crew- how many guys are out there seeing to the needs of this giant at rest? Do they get to go into the city and meet women ever? Are they Maylasian, Bangla Deshi, Korean, some mix of nationalities? What’s their duty like when anchored for an extended period; lots of painting and cleaning? Inquiring minds want to know.
(please to forgive, as you can see I’m still figuring out how to use the link feature!)


              Sticker on Franklin Ave.

p1010870                           In an alley off 3rd Street.

p1010915p1010916p1010917                                                    Our beloved ballpark.

p1010889                                                      Interesting hat with an Easter theme.

p1010896                                                                          Unintentional art shot.

p1010900                                                        This guy is at a lot of games. Kind of sweet that he wants to save us.




Mostly water valves, a couple gas, some mere hydrants.



 Rode out to Seaport Boulevard in Redwood City.

p10107931                                                               They used to have a little railroad, using these little cars to harvest salt.

p10107921This property  used to be owned by Leslie Salt, later it was sold to Cargill, now I believe it’s all owned by the local government, and being restored to tidal wetlands.

p10108241At the end of Seaport Boulevard is Pacific Shores Center, a 1.7 million square foot development, mostly offices. Before this was built, I used to bring my dog Studebaker out here. She loved to chase jackrabbits. She was a good dog.


My intention was to start from here and ride along the levees, between the salt evaporation ponds, and make my way back to the foot of Marsh Road, where there’s a hole in the fence. The landscape has changed since I was there a few years ago, a marina has been built. It looks kind of odd, a big bowl scooped out of a moonscape, with some docks in it. There was a sign- Members and Guests only. I confess, I trespassed. On my way through, a dog jumped out of a truck and bit me. Just barely broke the skin, but tore my pants.

    I asked the workers, Is that your dog? They said no, it’s the boss’s. They got the boss out of his big cabin cruiser. I said your dog bit me. He asked, are you a member or a guest? I said no. Then get out of here, he said. I tried to go out through the levees, but he chased me down in his truck, and escorted me out the gate. I guess those pants are the price I paid to be a photojournalist.

  Through Google I found out that the guy who chased me out was Mark L. Sanders, owner of the marina and former CEO of Pinnacle Systems. He’s put $15 million of his own money  into it. A guy like that, his dog would have all the necessary shots, thank goodness. 


                                                               Yesterday’s high winds took down this old oak.


p10107751                                                             Turns out it was rotten to the core, like yours truly.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————                                                                                               4/13/09

Rode my bike to Bedwell Bayfront Park, at the foot of Marsh road in Menlo Park. This park used to be a sanitary landfill (dump). I built this thing, with all the hauling jobs I did, dammit. It closed in 1986, and was converted into a park. It’s a good place for mountain biking.

p1010705To the south one can see the headquarters of Sun Microsystems, AKA Sun Quentin, also the Dumbarton bridge.

p1010703p1010732To the north, one can see  the salt evaporation pond that formerly belonged to Leslie Salt being restored to the tidal wetlands they once were.

p1010724Here’s a sailboat that has washed up. I wonder where the owner is.

p1010742This used to be a Canada Goose. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It has shuffled off this mortal coil, joined the Choir Invisible etc.

p1010751 Miscellaneous bayland stuff:


p1010754p1010750Where shopping carts go to die.



I gotta get one of these. Probably burns a lot of gas though.

p1010612Or maybe one of these:



Took a walk around the Tenderloin on a sunny afternoon. p10106361                                             Saw this festive bicycle.

p1010639p1010640                                             This is a car repair shop in an alley. Some of it resembles the work of the great graffiti writer Twist.

p1010643p1010666                                                                                  Creatures in love.


                                                                  Face on a dumpster on Bush Street.





I plan to post pictures from  East Palo Alto and around the SF Bay, plus other stuff.

Here are some photos of the EPA baylands.


Spring it is.



While turning some compost, I ran into this little guy:


I was eager to get a picture of him for this new blog. Though I handled him gently, he got all stressed, tied himself in knots, and excreted something. I was worried that he would become another victim of the New Media.


So I set him down on a log,  and in a couple of minutes, he slithered away. Please forgive me P.E.T.A.


Lots of real estate intrigue in EPA.


There used to be an apartment building here, along with a couple of stores, a storefront church, a hair salon, and a pretty good taqueria. One can only wish the developers luck in the current economic climate.


These are the folks to see if your landlord goes into foreclosure, and realtors are trying to push you around. Bless these folks, they really help the people who can’t afford a lawyer. Know your rights!

p1010543This is my favorite taqueria in EPA. Their jukebox has hundreds of ranchero, mariachi, and band CDs, and one James Brown CD.


Attention Realtors: this is a building on University Avenue, next to markets, cell phone stores, restaurants etc.


The interior needs a little work.


Can you name this band?

p1010461These are the pipelines of the Hetch Hetchy water system, which brings water from the Sierra Mountains to the SF Bay Area. For some reason, the pipes go under the bay, but come up maybe a half mile from the shore. This is your classic aged infrastructure.


Here you can see a leak.



In the area next to the pipeline there used to be a gun club, with target shooting and skeet shooting. Turns out not only the lead shot but the clay pigeons were toxic. They had to do a lot of cleanup here- digging up the soil and shipping it off to the toxic dump. Here are some leftover shotgun shells.


Here are some fragments of the clay pigeons.


Another development that might happen and might not. This used to be a lot where many semi trucks parked. The sign’s been up for a couple years with no evidence of construction.


This is the site of a shopping center, first called University Heights, then Nairobi Village, that was torn down in 1989. This sign has also been up for quite a while with no action.

p1010483p1010523This is Cooley Landing. Long ago it was a bustling port. The bricks for San Francisco’s Palace Hotel were made in East Palo Alto, and shipped out of here. It’s supposed to be turned into a park in the future.


I get a lot of good SF bay pictures from the Sausalito webcam:




7 thoughts on “Abandoned Railroad Bridge/ Personal Santa

  1. Loved the pics. I used to travel over the old Dumbarton Bridge and I remember Nairobi Village, though it was abandoned by the time I saw it. I hate what they did to EPA – sure it was a mess, but why couldn’t they have replaced the downtown with a sense of place? They replaced one bad with another.

    Fun, fun to go through these. I loved the pipe pics and always wondered about Cooley Landing – thanks for the info.

  2. Pingback: Today on the Bay « EPA and around the bay

  3. Pingback: The Dumbarton Bridge « EPA and around the bay

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