Postcard: The Lonely Swing


I went to San Francisco recently on a business trip but was able to spend a couple of days with an old friend and her family in Berkeley. They live near the border of Albany, and when I asked her husband if he had any ideas of where I might take some photos, he recommended the Albany Bulb. The what?

The Bulb is an old landfill that juts out into the water on the east side of San Francisco Bay. It’s an al fresco art gallery, slash unofficial dog beach, slash seagull heaven, slash homeless refuge. [More about these slashes in subsequent posts]

The bulb sounded intriguing so I went early on a Saturday morning.  As I walked towards a strip of beach in the distance where people played with their dogs, and joggers fit in their morning run, I saw this makeshift swing off to the side.

It seemed lonely to me. Forgotten. It was worn and weathered and so still as if a museum exhibit. I imagined that once it was a favorite among visitors but had been abandoned for some inexplicable reason, and it made me a little sad.

Suddenly, I heard a dog barking, and when I looked towards the sound I saw a shaggy mutt playing in the surf.  Its human was laughing, and there was undeniable happiness in the air –  a picture waiting to happen.

And I, like everyone else, left the swing, alone.

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