June 11, 2008

This is not another mountain-climbing metaphor


Gabriele Basilico, San Francisco, 2007, 2007; Collection of the Artist; © Gabriele Basilico

Gabriele Basilico, San Francisco, 2007, 2007; Collection of the Artist; © Gabriele Basilico


Market St from Twin Peaks, Terril Neely

Terril Neely, Market St from Twin Peaks

But something else entirely: Here are two similar pictures of a familiar view of San Francisco, taken facing east from the top of Twin Peaks. The first is by Gabriele Basilico, the Italian photographer famous for his documentation of urban and industrial landscapes. SFMOMA invited Basilico to the Bay Area last year to photograph our local landscape (“From San Francisco to the Silicon Valley“).

The second photo is by Terril Neely, SFMOMA graphic designer, famous for baked goods and an inordinate love of kombucha, who snapped the picture during a holiday visit with friends. Terril sent me both pictures when she saw the Basilico, which she was about to place into some marketing material, back in February.

Someone in a nearby cubicle, when I said I was going to post these side-by-side on the blog, claimed that of course the Basilico was the “better picture”, because it more closely captures the feeling of actually being at the top of Twin Peaks, the sense of isolation, quality of light, expansiveness of scope of vision, etc. Better-pictureness, to my mind, isn’t so relevant here (although I do like the bit of hair left frame in Terril’s shot): Twin Peaks is a REALLY POPULAR San Francisco taking-in-the-view spot, for tourists and locals alike. For a zillion more such like: Flickr.

Comments (4)

Leave a comment

Please tell us what you think. We really love conversation, and we’re happy to entertain dissenting opinions. Just no name-calling, personal attacks, slurs, threats, spam, and the like, please. Those ones we reserve the right to remove.

Sign Up

Join our newsletter for infrequent updates on new posts and Open Space events.
  • Required, will not be published

Dear Visitor,
We regret to inform you that Open Space is no longer active. It was retired at the end of 2021. We sincerely appreciate your support and engagement over the years.

For your reference, we encourage you to read past entries or search the site.

To stay informed about future ventures or updates, please follow us at

Thank you for being a part of our journey!