Mar 292012

A rainy day can intensify moods and emotions. If you’re in love, a rain can be wonderfully romantic. If you’re sad or heartbroken, it’s painfully bitter cold. If you’re nostalgic, it can bring a tear to your eye. Or maybe you just find rainy days to be an inconvenience.

I think that a good rain helps to make a city interesting and edgy while it creates a veil of anonymity. As you’re doing the umbrella dance (my name for the raising and lowering of umbrellas to avoid collisions with others while walking on a city sidewalk), nobody is really paying attention to you. Everyone’s into their own mood.

On my way to a meeting in San Francisco’s financial district Tuesday night, I was compelled to take a few photos even though it meant an awkward juggling of umbrella, computer bag and camera. Here are a few that I liked. I hope that you see one or two that say something to you, as well.

I haven’t been able to get this great 1970s song out of my head, so if you’d like to hear “In the Rain” by The Dramatics while you look at the photos, click on the link below.

If the rainy day music and photos have put you in the mood for something drier, you might want to check out my blog post featuring America performing “A Horse With No Name”: The Heat Was Hot: My desert road trip.

This is my contribution to this week’s Travel Photo Thursday originated by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to check out other contributions on her website.


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  45 Responses to “Moody San Francisco on a Rainy Day”

  1. Ah, not only a windy city but a rainy wet one too, I see.

  2. Looks bloody miserable to me – but you’re right – your mood is 90% of the experience!

  3. Your photos are great but I do count myself in the group that finds rain to be a bit of an inconvenience – and if it’s cold and rainy then I’m miserable! πŸ™‚ Love the first couple of shots – I don’t think I appreciated just how steep the San Francisco hills are.

    • Thank you! I don’t like the traffic jams that rains can cause, but I like a good walk in the rain sometimes.

  4. Great shots Cathy! I love San Francisco but it can be a challenge at times. The elements add so much to this beautiful city but it makes it difficult for visitors.

  5. The rain polishes everything up so the city shines. I think we do have an esp thing going on, Cathy.

  6. Once I’m there, I don’t really care what the weather is. I just love being in San Francisco. On the other hand, if I’m trying to get in or out of the city, the rain and fog is a huge inconvenience. Can’t count how many times I’ve been delayed going through that airport.
    Your pictures SO make me want to go back though.

  7. Nice shots! Spring is “officially” here in the Bay Area but it seems more like winter.

  8. Great to hear the music while scrolling down through your shots here, Cathy! Very interesting to see one of my favourite cities, San Francisco, through your eyes like this!

  9. I think I’m one of these people who finds rain mostly inconvenient, but you’re right it can make a sad day even more sad. The reflections of the light in your pics are my favorite parts of the pictures. Gives them realy something interesting!

  10. I never think to take pictures in the rain, but it adds a whole new look to everything – I loved these!


    • I don’t usually think about it either, but for some reason I went right for the camera after leaving the BART station.

  11. Always better looking at the rain from behind a window or in photographs. Your images take me there!

  12. I agree that rain can be emotional. Munich is the rainiest place I’ve ever lived and it takes a bit of getting used to.

  13. Raining here, too but, ya got me in the mood to grab my camera an get wet ! Thanks for sharing !

  14. I love the rain. It sets the best mood! I grew up in Florida and moved to Vegas from the tropics… Now that I live in the desert, I miss that.

  15. I’ve never been to San Francisco, and even in the rain it looks interesting. Nice set of shots.

  16. I guess I never really think about the “umbrella dance” it just seems so instinctive now. The winters in San Fran are interesting often due to the rain there. I hope it didn’t rain too much though.

    • I don’t know why that phrase just kind of sticks in my head. It first occurred to me in NYC on Fifth Avenue in the rain as I watched all the umbrellas in front of me constantly moving up and down — as if to music.

  17. Lovely photos Cathy, I never manage to get clear photos when it rains!

  18. You’re pretty adept at handling umbrella, camera and computer bag, Cathy! These are some fabulous shots. Hope you weren’t too wet when you got to your meeting. Great sound effects in that song. I didn’t remember that part at all.
    We had a beautiful shower here yesterday – lasted about an hour. I love the smell of the earth after a drenching shower. It’s like it’s been freshly tilled.

    • Thanks very much. Yeah, the bottom of my pants were pretty soaked, but otherwise I arrived in meeting-appropriate condition.

  19. Sometimes rain creates the best photos! Love the look of stormy skies πŸ™‚

  20. I love the photo of all the people holding umbrellas. We have sure had a lot of rain lately but really needed it, didn’t we?!

  21. It looks like Seattle! It looks like Seattle has for the last year. . .or so it seems! Nice photos, especially considering you were juggling an umbrella.

  22. […] Cathy Sweeney Moody San Francisco […]

  23. Wow, looks like SFO and Vancouver have quite a few things in common, but I bet Vancouver is a lil wetter πŸ™‚ But it does not diminish the good things. I am absolutely with you but wouldn’t have been able to express it so adequately: ” I think that a good rain helps to make a city interesting and edgy while it creates a veil of anonymity.”

  24. I love San Francisco! I wish I was there right now. Even in the rain it’s such a beautiful, fun city.

  25. […] enjoy an occasional walk in the spring rain. On a late afternoon last spring, the rain created a moody San Francisco […]

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