Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Mt. Davidson
San Francisco, California

Views of the densely-packed housing that lines the flanks of Mt. Davidson. These are attached, single-family town homes that are organized around an interior light court (Canon 24-mm, June 1999)

The topography of San Francisco peninsula includes a ridgeline that develops at the north end of the city and extends southward to separate the Pacific Ocean from the calm waters of San Francisco Bay. Mt. Davidson is the tallest hill in San Francisco at 938 feet above sea level. Topping the hill is a 103- foot-high cross, dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934, has been a magnet for controversy in the past decade.

The Mt. Davidson cross in silhouette with the Pacific Ocean in the distance (Canon 24-mm, June 1999)

Arguments regarding the cross have stemmed from disagreement among groups who believe it should be preserved as a landmark and those who see it as a clear violation of laws that guarantee a separation of church and state. The 1996 appeals court ruling was made after the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Jewish Congress brought a successful lawsuit charging that The City should not be displaying a religious icon on public property. Three years ago the cross was sold to an Armenian council with a side agreement saying that the cross could be illuminated no more than two days a year and that no other religious structures would be built on the property.

Another view of the Mt. Davidson cross as fog closes in (Canon 24-mm, June 1999)

Photographs of actual protesting atheists are available at the American Atheist WWW Site. Some in San Francisco supported their arguments that the cross was a historic landmark by pointing to its use in Clint Eastwood's movie Dirty Harry. 

Neighborhood views taken when the kite was flying from the top of the hill. My next flying site was to be the baseball field visible in the lefthand image  (Canon 24-mm, June 1999).

While flying from the top of the hill I remember being approached by a very animated woman who complained bitterly that my kite, three hundred feet aloft, had frightened her (illegally) unleashed dog into the bushes. It made me wonder whether there was an anti-anxiety drug that could be used by both species.

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