Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Palace of Fine Arts was designed in 1915 by the fifty years old architect Bernard R. Maybeck, who was known for his innovative ideas. He chose a Roman ruin as his theme, mutilated and overgrown, in the mood of a Piranesi engraving. But this ruin was not to exist solely for itself to show "the mortality of grandeur and the vanity of human wishes .... " Although it was meant to give delight by its exterior beauty, its purpose was also to offer all visitors a stimulating experience within doors.

In playing host to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, The Fair, which opened on February 20, 1915, San Francisco was honoring the discovery of the Pacific Ocean and the completion of the Panama Canal; it was also celebrating its own resurrection after the shattering earthquake and fire of 1906.

Exploritorium entrance (click to enlarge)
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There was a wedding taking place inside the dome (click to enlarge)

This couple looked really cute climbing on to the structure

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Pakistan's Independence day celebrations in San Francisco

This year, Pakistan's Independence day celebrations took place in front of the City Hall in San Francisco.

Pakistan Association of San Francisco Bay Area organized the event. It was nice to see people wearing national clothes :)

There was a music program after the speeches, Saira Arshad (from Pakistan), Hip Hop Group (LA/SF), Pehchan Entertainment Group took part in it

There were a lot of familiar Pakistani faces, we have a relatively small but well connected community in the Bay Area

I met Obaid from Rahimyarkhan, he was dressed very nicely in the traditional Sindhi dress

Rehan was holding two cups of tea while posing for the camera, I stepped into the picture with my cup as well :)

The only urdu banner I saw there belonged to the Pakistan Peoples Party booth

I wanted to have a picture taken with the urdu banner .. urdu banners and signs are a rare sight in the Bay Area

Thats the park where all the booths were set up

Mehran is one of the better resturants in Fremont area, Hyderabadi cuisines are their speciality

Mehran booth had a side attraction, the smell of grilled chicken :)

Here's what I had for lunch there

The mutton biryani and grilled chicken were spicy and delicious but the curry didn't work for me

Ahh .. how can I forget TEA! the patrons made you feel right at home ;)

This is the Afghan food booth, there are a lot of Afghani people who live in Fremont

Afghan booth, better presentation for drinks than Mehran

Afghani-Naan (bread) with Kabaabs being grilled at the Afghan food booth

This sign is posted at the entrance gate of Naz 8 cinema in Fremont. I always found it funny for "obvious" reasons :-P

Linux Picn*x

I volunteered for the 13th Annual Linux Picnic which took place this Saturday. It was fun socializing with other geeks, and I met some really interesting people there. Google among other companies sponsored the event and you can check out more pictures at the official website

Geeks are uber cool, they dont wear armani suits .. they wear cool tshirts. This gentleman was wearing a DefCon tshirt, I loved the quote at the back.

I met this interesting 38 years old engineer from Tokyo who works for Sony Entertainment. As I said, geeks are uber cool and they make a statement with what they wear, this gentleman was wearing a Scottish kilt, a matching hat and had the trademark geek pony tail.

We talked about Sony's line of products both in US and in Japan and the future of Memory stick (Sony's proprietory memory device). I told him how I've been wanting to visit Tokyo and see the famous Shibuya district, I've been in love with it ever since I first saw it in the Applied Materials commercial 4 years ago. You know you've met a genuine Japanese engineer when you see a guy carrying atleast 4 complex electronic devices on him :) and he was really excited about showing me his radio-sync, solar powered, auto-adjusting wrist watch, his pocket multifunction GPS and his vertical optical barrel Minolta DiMage digital camera. I showed him my pocket Nikon 2200 which had some really fun and easy to use features.

I also met Bill, a developer who writes games for Qualcomm's Brew platform (for Cellular phones). Bill was a really fun guy and we talked about the development process for writing games for cell phones and discussed the problems in testing different phones and the process of getting the game tested at the Qualcomm labs. Bill told me that he was able to run an Apache server, Php and MySQL off of his Sharp Zaurus PDA! which is absolutely mind boggling!!


I bought an 8x11" print of this photograph from the Fremont Festival of Arts yesterday. The picture is taken by an amazing black and white photographer Kurt Scheeler, check out his website