Like much of the country and all of California, we’ve been suffering through higher-than-normal temperatures the past week. In using quotes around the phrase, my intention is not to diminish the seriousness of this for so many–the triple-digit temperatures in the East Bay and elsewhere (it was 103 in San Jose, 107 in Napa, and an astonishing 112 in Gilroy) have been responsible for several deaths, for example–but I have found it amusing when my co-workers and acquaintances who live here in San Francisco or Daly City speak so seriously about this “heat wave.”
In downtown San Francisco, that phrase has now been applied to a record-breaking temperature Saturday of 87 degrees Farenheit. Yes, 87 degrees on July 23 was the hottest that day had been; the previous record was 81° sometime in the early 1900s. Back in DC, we’d have considered a July day at 87 degrees a cold snap. And let’s not forget the 30% difference in relative humidity; even 87 degrees here feels cooler than 87 degrees back east.
To be fair, no one here has air conditioning. And I’ll admit that our upstairs level has gotten hot and stuffy during this period, with inside temperatures into the 80s, which isn’t comfortable. Still, it was nice to have some fog-free days; on Sunday afternoon Jeff and I drove up along the beach (I’m still constantly amazed that we live mere minutes from the Pacific Ocean) to the Palace of the Legion of Honor at Lincoln Park, enjoying the sunshine and getting some nice photos (so far, I only have a few of the Holocaust Memorial online, but will be putting some more from Sunday up soon; Jeff has some others up already, including the beautiful one of marigolds seen above). When we got back home, we walked to the top of the hill across the street–someone was even flying a kite–to appreciate the amazing 360° view taking in San Bruno Mountain, Golden Gate Park and downtown San Francisco, the Pacific Ocean and the Marin Headlands; next clear weekend day I’m going to take my camera and tripod up there and take some panoramic photos.
Oh, and another nice aspect of the heat wave: unlike other cities (I always judged the arrival of spring in DC as much by the disappearance of shirts around Dupont Circle as by the appearance of the cherry blossoms) one otherwise so rarely has a chance to enjoy the sight of shirtless men in San Francisco in the summer.