Photo essay time.
Rob T. Baker, Esquire: My old friend (and esteemed counsel for MGM) is a helluva guy from my brief tenure as an L.A. resident. In town for a Sigur Ros concert, Rob crashed with me for the weekend and we had a blast, drinking and eating our way through Berkeley and San Francisco. The photo below says it all about Rob -- this is not a posed shot, but rather a candid glimpse of an inspired guy making inspired points, his train of thought made somehow more commanding by the presence of an artfully gripped cigarette.
Speaking of Sigur Ros: I went to the show (at Berkeley's Greek Theatre) knowing nothing about the band. Here's what you need to know: They're from Iceland, and the singer sings in a falsetto in a gibberish language he invented himself...which he calls Hopelandic. With his usual gusto, Rob described their sound as "the lament of the sole Heaven's Gate eunuch who missed the Hale-Bopp comet." It was definitely a crazy show, but indisputably memorable, and it culminated in a beautiful crescendo that I happened to capture with my trusty iPhone camera:
...Noted in Berkeley: It's been a while since I've had the pleasure of visiting Henry's bar (in the lobby of the Hotel Durant in Berkeley), so I took the opportunity of Rob's visit to drop in there. In my trip to the loo, I happened upon this wonderful Berkeley tribute to arch-rival Stanford:
The city: This was some days later, during a quick detour off of the Bay Bridge onto Treasure Island. I got a view of San Francisco that I rarely get to appreciate and took the opportunity to frame an image of a city that never ceases to charm me. This is a place to be.