Winter in the Bay Area

Winter in the Bay Area

5 min read#Photoessays#California

Previously, we’d travel during the winter. Recently, after the start of the pandemic and the birth of our child, we’ve stayed in the Bay Area. Fortunately, my family from around the US makes the trip over to celebrate the holidays with us.

Last year, we spent most of our time in the Peninsula and South Bay, with a weekend at Late Merritt in Oakland.

Allied Arts Guild

We first visited Menlo Park’s Allied Arts Guild as guests at our close friends’ wedding. Ever since, my wife has wanted to make a proper visit.

The complex is a collection of gardens, artist studios, and a cafe, all for the benefit of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. It was originally founded nearly a century ago in 1929, and it shows. The whole place has a beautiful patina. The trees are tall and sturdy. The iron and steel on the buildings are covered in rust. Surfaces — from the space between bricks, to the roofs — are home to moss.

Unfortunately for us, they were mostly closed during the holidays. So, we settled for a calm walk around the grounds

L1040254 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2 · 1/1000 · ISO 100

L1040240 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2 · 1/320 · ISO 100

Leica CL · 23mm · f/3.2
Leica CL · 23mm

L1040188 Leica CL · 23mm · f/4.5 · 1/60 · ISO 100

Anderson Collection at Stanford University

Almost hidden away among the sprawling trees and buildings of Stanford’s campus lies an impressive collection of art museums. The largest is the Cantor Arts Center. The building is a mix of classical architecture warm and sandstone echoing the core campus. Up front, four tall ionic columns stand at the crest of the stone stairway. Walk through the portico, and you leave behind California and enter Italy, a vestibule clad in white marble. Further in, most corners of the globe are represented by the works on display.

L1040374 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2.2 · 1/160 · ISO 100

L1040384 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2 · 1/60 · ISO 100

In 2011, the museum received a large donation of modern art from the Andersons. Given the sheer size and importance of the donated collection, the decision was made to construct a new building to house the works. Ennead Architects oversaw design.

L1040395 Leica CL · 23mm · f/5 · 1/60 · ISO 1600

L1040310 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2.5 · 1/60 · ISO 400

Leica CL · 23mm · f/5.6 · 1/60

My favorite detail is the building’s footprint, essentially a trapezoid pinched in the middle. The architects and designers mirrored this motif across the museum, from the benches, to the visual identity.

L1040334 Leica CL · 23mm · f/5.6 · 1/60 · ISO 4000

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Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt is a familiar place, as I’ve visited friends and nearby attractions, but this was my first time staying overnight. For an extended weekend, we set up camp in a rental home large enough to fit all of us.

L1040668 Edit Leica CL · 23mm · f/2.5 · 1/1600 · ISO 100

This neighborhood, if you haven’t been, has all the vibrancy and diversity you’d expect from Oakland. In the chilly mornings, we’d walk to a local cafe for coffee and pastries. At sundown, we’d push my kid on his stroller to the grassy lakeside, where we could let in the view while he ran free. We’d later stop by the pergola to listen to a drum circle in full swing.

L1040453 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2.5 · 1/100 · ISO 100

L1040446 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2.2 · 1/60 · ISO 100

L1040449 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2.5 · 1/60 · ISO 250

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Leica CL · 23mm

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In our time in Lake Merritt, we enjoyed a sampling of cuisine from around the world. Each and every bite was delicious. Some of our favorites are Fen Classic Guilin Rice Noodles, Haddon Hill Cafe, Arizmendi Bakery, and Cafe Romanat.

Jelly Belly factory

Lastly, we spent the better part of a day at Jelly Belly’s California factory. Looking like a time capsule from the 90s, the whole place brought back feelings from my childhood. I’ve always loved Jelly Belly since their flavors are so natural unlike other candies. Also, given that both my wife and I love factory tours, we knew it was a must for us.

L1040870 Leica CL · 18mm · f/2.8 · 1/200 · ISO 100

L1040861 Leica CL · 18mm · f/2.8 · 1/125 · ISO 100

L1040863 Leica CL · 18mm · f/2.8 · 1/50 · ISO 200

L1040823 Leica CL · 18mm · f/2.8 · 1/50 · ISO 2500

L1040825 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2.8 · 1/60 · ISO 400

L1040826 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2 · 1/60 · ISO 100

L1040835 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2 · 1/60 · ISO 1600

L1040840 Leica CL · 23mm · f/2 · 1/60 · ISO 800

L1040864 Leica CL · 18mm · f/2.8 · 1/50 · ISO 125

Camera setup

Camera setup

Thanks to Q for reading drafts of this.

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