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the island

tiexp: the island: outdoors
Our island home will only exist for a few more years before the city razes everything to put up an exclusive golf course and some hotels. Till then, there's all sorts of natural features and odd navy stuff to check out.

Here's the grand tour, including some quicktime vr panoramic shots.

the gate

the gate (click photo to view qtvr)
By law, the city can't own a gated community, so the occasional guards are just for show. When there's something going on, like fireworks in the bay, the heat does close down the island to nonresidents for general safety reasons. Don't tell them you're with us or they might shoot to kill.
cop shop

the cop shop (click photo to view qtvr)
The island has its own force. A nice beat, as there is really no crime here, just some complaints of loose dogs running about and a some job corps kids who don't stand in line for the bus properly.

the sign

the sign
The old sign is about as intelligible as my old uncle frank, who lost bits of brain in korea, suffered a stroke on the right side and soaked the rest in booze.

the great lawn view

the great lawn

the great lawn (click photo to view qtvr)
During most of the year, it's rented out every weekend. Party organizers build massive tents and cater events for the rich and famously rich.

Huge, flat and green--and often very windy. My friend benny used to drive out here just so he could throw a frisbee to himself. The views are great, but views from the peripheral dike road are better.

playground

the view playground (click photo to view qtvr)
The island is littered with playgrounds, but this is the largest and my favorite. It sports a great view (it feels like you are next to a giant postcard) and there's a large open space for volleyball, jungle gyms for the kids and a basketball half court.

forbidden pier

the forbidden pier
Police tape prevents the cautious from exploring this old pier. Fashion models frequently do shoots on it. The reason it's closed to mr. joe schulmp is that the american disabilities act says that if you can't explore things in a wheelchair, you can't do it on foot, either. Plus it's kind of splintery and creaks when you walk on it. Or so I'm told.

job corps the job corps (click photo to view qtvr)
Everybody thought it was a great windfall when the feds offered to build a job corps campus in the middle of the island. Then it was suddenly realized that training disadvantaged kids to make something of their lives would severely limit development opportunities for the island. But it was too late to move job corps over to the less desirable edge of the island.
school the school
Haven't visited this yet, but it really does exist. This part of the island creeps me out because it feels like the love canal, and is probably just as toxic, if not more so. I have no facts to support that, so don't yank your children out just because I said that.
the view

the incredible sunset
Is the it weather or the pollution? Hard to say, but easy to enjoy. This is the view just after the last heavy rain, before the clouds cleared up.

striped bass the fishy streets
Some navy dude liked to fish. He named a street 'halibut', another 'sturgeon' and then went overboard with 'flounder.' To top that, he named the last one 'striped bass.' I'm glad that's not my address. I'd have to get a po box.

east bay view

bowl

retail store

the east side
This side looks toward oakland. It's quiet and deserted looking. The east side, that is... well, oakland, too. There's a nice baseball field, a fire fighter's training center, and a large pier hanging off the southeast corner, plus various abandoned, industrial looking things.

The east side is full of vacant buildings from the navy occupation. Most will likely get razed soon, as they're not worth the money to clean up and earthquake retrofit: a movie theater, a bowling alley, a laundry and various other old military businesses, including the imaginatively named 'retail store'. This was the first old navy outlet in san francisco.

the hanger the hangers (click photo to view qtvr)
Built for the airport that didn't happen, they are now sound stages and vast empty shelters that are used for various things, like filming disney movies and nash bridges. No, don johnson's character doesn't really live on a pier under the bridge, he lives on treasure island in an old hanger.

big gun

the really big gun
This looks like it was designed to kill airplanes. It is big.

I once got flack for checking it out. They didn't have the no trespassing signs up then, but I got a oppressed by the man anyway.

the marina the marina (click photo to view qtvr)
As soon as we buy our sailboat, we'll run over here and rent out a slip. Nick has been involved in racing before, and I've been in a boat twice.
west bridge

the west bay bridge
The only reason I don't like this bridge better than the much more popular and tourist golden gate bridge is because you can't walk or bike across. If you try, the cops give you a beat down. C
altrans is bidding for a contractor to hang a bike path off the side of the bridge. This will be cool. I hope they make an island bike off ramp that hangs under the double decks, as otherwise, it'll be a steep climb up from treasure island.

If caltrans were interested in moving people, not cars, they'd also hang a third deck of rail underneath the bridge, to allow high speed passenger rail traffic to oakland and sacramento from the city and san jose, and all points in between.

east bridge the east bay bridge (click photo to view qtvr)
This is the bridge that fell in during the 1989 quake. Caltrans is planning to replace it with a junior engineered, elevated freeway with less capacity than the existing bridge. It will also cover up prime bits of city property on yerba buena, so mayor brown is furious. Caltrans is fast tracking the project and suggesting that any questioning of the design will prevent an unsafe bridge from being replaced. It's been sitting there unsafe for over a decade. Come on, third world countries are doing a better job than that.
ybi yerba buena island
Named for the mint once grown there, it retains the former name for the city of san francisco. The coast guard occupies the southern half, and people live in the hilly north. There's a skinny causeway between the two islands. In the event of an big earthquake, there will be a mad panic to get over there, as our artificial island will instantly liquefy into knee-deep muck and rubble.
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