the one and only truly amazing katster (katster) wrote,
the one and only truly amazing katster
katster

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The trip to the earthquake memorial

I don't have a lot of battery, so I'm just typing general impressions of the locale in. Some of the references might be vague to most of you, and those refs are in mainly for the sake of my fellow gamers who read this -- shadur and aris_tgd, as well as my GM, inflection, and it might tickle the funny bone of archangelbeth and malakim. For the rest of you, the refs are about a role playing game called In Nomine, and my trek into San Francisco to find the Tether to Infernal Fire. And all things considered, after some googling, it ended up not being very hard to find.

This entry includes a lot of pictures, so I'm going to cut the text.

Most of you know that I'm a student at the University of California at Berkeley, and Berkeley is a day trip from the City. As of late our gang of intrepid roleplayers has ended up in California, partially because Nicole Hollister, my character in the game, hails originally from Sacramento, and one of the major NPCs in this arc spent a lot of time hanging around the Tether to Flowers that is Golden Gate Park.

Now Golden Gate Park, for those of you not familiar with the geography of San Francisco, is sorta our answer to NYC's Central Park. It stretches from Stanyan St. to the ocean, and is one of the larger city parks in the nation. (To give you some idea, here's a map.)And within this park, you will find the singular memorial to the 1906 quake in the entire city. And it is this memorial that, in game terms, is a tether to Infernal Fire. Of course, it's in the middle of Golden Gate Park, a much larger tether to the other side, so its usefulness is strictly limited.

But why is an earthquake memorial a tether to Infernal Fire? Well, that has to do with Californians and our funny attitudes towards earthquakes. I mean, don't get me wrong here, but we try to keep them as far from mind as possible. If you ask a Californian, we're likely to say, "Earthquakes? Pshaw, I'd rather have earthquakes than [tornados|hurricanes|blizzards|insert disaster here]." But I think we're really actually pretty scared of 'em.

And back in the days of '06, the SF business community was scared that people wouldn't want to invest in the booming town, and thus the city's growth would be stunted. I mean, living in a place where there's periodic Acts of God would make anybody nervous. So they billed it as the Great Fire of '06. Every town has Great Fires, and we won't mention the earthquake that led to the fire...

And to be utterly honest, most of the damage to San Francisco on that fateful April morning was due to the fire and not the quake. Granted, the quake didn't help, with there being piles of rubble in the way, and all the water mains being cracked, combined with wind patterns prevalent over the city, led to a massively destructive fire, which is just what Belial loves.

So yeah, where was I? Earthquake Memorial, right. Well, looking over the scene, I don't think inflection realized that the scene he set was a bit difficult to pull off given the geography. For example, I don't think he realized that one of the busier streets in the park runs right by the Earthquake Memorial. There is, however, on the other side of the road, a meadowy area that could have been full of folks to have the fun Shedim chase scene we had in our game (scroll down for it). But the memorial itself is next to a small lake (that is *really dirty* because of all the ducks), and is set into a hillside.

(battery went dead, and now I'm at a wireless cafe on the corner of Geary and 20th).

Anyway, would you guys like to see some of the pictures I took today? :)

Anyway, I took the 5 Fulton bus line out to Fulton and 22nd, because in glancing at a MUNI map, that was the bus that came closest to Lloyd Lake, which is where the memorial is. Walking into the park, this was the view behind me and in front of me.
BehindForward


The road in front of me is Cross Park Road, and I had to cross it to get to where I was going. You can see that Golden Gate Park is definitely a tether to Flowers, though:



So, I hike across the road, and down a dirt path and find Lloyd Lake:



But there's no sign of the earthquake memorial. But it's got to be around here somewhere, I probably just came upon the wrong part of the lake, so I take the trail to the west, and was rewarded with this sight:



But there's nothing here for the Shedim to possess except some birds:



(Speaking of which, that was one of the most difficult shots to pull off, as I'm standing very close to the lake edge, and have the camera sort of away from my body. I really like how the image turned out.)

Anyway, here we can see the plaque mounted on the memorial which makes it Belial's tether. Note that it doesn't say *anything* about an earthquake.

The text: Portal of Residence, California and Taylor Streets, of A.N. Towne, for many years Vice President and General Manager of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. This relic of the conflagration of April 18th, 1906 was obtained through the kindness of Mrs. A.N. Towne.


The next shot is looking out at Lloyd Lake from the steps of the memorial:


And here's a good shot of the memorial itself. Remember, it's somebody's front porch, or was, nearly one hundred years ago. (The knapsack on the stair is mine.)


This is up the hill behind the memorial. It's a bit blurry because I had some trouble keeping my camera still.


Here's a couple more potential possession victims, err, geese:


And here's a shot of the memorial from across the lake. It's really a very beautiful location, and you can get an idea of why the entirety of Golden Gate Park is a tether to Flowers. It's really a very beautiful place, full of plants and living things.


This is JFK Drive, and a meadow beyond, which is Kat trying to make the scene as it played out fit the actual geography. Yeah. I'm kinda weird about this. But it also provides another example of Golden Gate Park being full of life. And yeah, I figured, I'd note, the sky is usually that grey most of the year, and these pictures will kinda fit the ambience and light levels (the game is shortly before Christmas, it's only mid-January now.)


If I was to guess, this is about where Nicole would have been in the events of 'When Shedim Attack!', but it's just a pretty picture anyway.


As I've been saying, this is Lloyd Lake, even though it's really a pond:


And this is the pretty waterfall that feeds Lloyd Lake:


This is the view from where I sat to start this post:


Ahhh, now there's a person. Let's hope he has a strong will... :)


Just a shot through the portal, so that you can see that it looks just like a porch:


The ducks are running away!


These birds aren't scared of me:


One last shot, looking back at the bench I was sitting on to type some of this post:


And back to the real world. I love this city. (Note the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge in the far distance, you might need the bigger picture.)




I hope you enjoyed this romp through Golden Gate Park. Now I have to get downtown to meet Luns for dinner. Catch y'all latah. :)

[I need an exploring icon or an SF icon...but this'll work.]
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