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goodbye 2008...

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 31 December 2008 in Lifestyle & Culture and Portfolio.

Each December 31st - San Francisco holds it's official New Year's Eve street party in front of The Ferry Building - with live bands and a huge midnight fireworks display.

Then, on New Year's morning - large crews from The City's public works department descend on The Ferry Building scene - collecting double-time as they hose down and clean-up the colossal mess. It was here on a bright sunlit morning that I collected this image - on the first day of the year, now spent.

2008 was in many way a tough year for this photographer. It saw a large number of challenges. My mother's consuming Alzheimer's disease which now has her fully disconnected from everyone she once knew. The death of two very close friends. A dark disruption in my own universe. The challenges of the economic collapse which has had profound impacts on many people I've known all of my life.

Yet, I express profound gratitude. For my many good and loyal friends. For the wonderful and dedicated care facility where my mom lives - and the staff there that consistently goes the extra mile. For the growth and insights I've received. For a warm home and the roof that keeps me dry. For health. For the ability to travel and explore. For the amazing new friends and clients that I've met. And for you - my extended efamily at Aminus3. Here is my wish to you for a Happy New Year.

[notebook]: Each New Year's Eve - I make a conscious effort in collecting a memorable 'last image' of the outgoing year. On the next morning - I take care in creating a 'first image' of the New Year. With any luck - I hope to present the last image of 2008 on New Year's Day; and the first image of 2009 on January 2nd.

A HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all !

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Suzanne from Huntington Bch, United States

Here's hoping that the difficulties of 2008 are simply history and the new year will only warm your heart...oh, and I love the hat. :o)

31 Dec 2008 6:24am

@Suzanne: Thanks, Suzanne - my experience is that life never throws more than I can handle - I have deep gratitude for the day before me - and for richness of my life.

Anthony Lambert from Bielefeld, Germany

Great shot,Happy new year to you !!

31 Dec 2008 8:08am

@Anthony Lambert: Thank you, Anthony - A Happy New Year to you and yours!

Alun Lambert from cheshire, United Kingdom


31 Dec 2008 10:11am

@Alun Lambert: Thank you, Alun - and to you. Health and happiness to you in the New Year.

yz from Budapest, Hungary

Happy new year!

31 Dec 2008 10:19am

@yz: Happy New Year, YZ.

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

Happy new year to your and yours…

31 Dec 2008 10:35am

@Calusarus: Thank you, Calusarus - stay well and be happy in the New Year.

k@ from Paris, France

Original shot and location ! ;o) Happy New Year's Eve in your fabulous city I miss a lot !

31 Dec 2008 11:47am

@k@: Thank you, k@ - we promise to stay here and invite your visit. Happy New Year to you!

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Stephen, I'm so glad to have met you and so many fantastic photo lovers in 2008!
No matter how tough 2008 could have been, it's gonna be over in hours... Have a great New Year Eve and Happy New Year!!!:-)

31 Dec 2008 12:04pm

@hugo poon: Health and happiness to you Hugo. I'm also grateful to AM3 for this venue and community. My mom taught me to savor every moment in life - so I'm not rushing the hours left in this year. This afternoon - I plan to be at 'The Hillside Club' in Berkeley where my dear friend, Jean Gleason is celebrating her ninetieth birthday. I sure wouldn't want to rush through that! Enjoy this day Hugo and I'll hope to see you throughout 2009. Cheers.

Rui from Leiria, Portugal

In fact, each new year brings new challenges, new dreams... but and the end is time to make an analysis to the one that has passed. After reading your words, I got touched. Life can be sometimes very unfair, and make us ask "Why me?". But we have to thank all the good things that also happened.
So let me just wish you a Wonderful New Year, and that this new year can bring you many good things, that can compensate the less good...

31 Dec 2008 12:32pm

@Rui: Bless you, Rui - and thank you for the thoughtful post. You will never find this fellow asking the 'Why, me?' question. When I find adversity at my door - my question becomes - what am I to do with this opportunity. Rumi taught us to bid the darkness, enter - to entertain the demons who visit us and treat them as royalty. I know the wisdom of this. A happy, healthy, expansive New Year to you!

melodia from ffm, Germany

wish you a very happy new year!

31 Dec 2008 1:18pm

@melodia: ...and to you, melodia. Thank you for being part of our AM3 family and best wishes for 2009!

chrissy from London, United Kingdom

Happy new year to you and yours

31 Dec 2008 2:25pm

@chrissy: Thank you, chrissy - a very happy and healthy New Year to you.

grant from kansas city, United States

excellent image stephen, and touching comments. best of luck for 2009.

31 Dec 2008 2:48pm

@grant: Thank you, Grant. Keep an ample supply of that Tmax100 in your camera and at your side. Be well. I look forward to a New Year of images and thoughts. Have a wonderful 2009. See you there...

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

You are such a thoughtful human being Stephen and I'm very sorry about your Mom, and sorry about your losses, and I hope for the very best for you in 2009. And Yes indeed, this IS one HELL of a photo, bravo , i give it a ten ;)

31 Dec 2008 4:46pm

@Lorraine: Thank you so much, Lorraine. I count you among the many blessings of my life. A very happy, healthy, expansive New Year to you.

marc from Halluin, France

happy new year!!
Hope 2009 will bring you better!
friendly, Marc

31 Dec 2008 5:25pm

@marc: Best to you, Marc - a happy and healthy New Year to you and to yours.

JJ from Jersey City, United States

Great shot, 2008 seems not to have been without its challenges for anyone I know, lets hope that for us all 2009 is heading where we all want to head


31 Dec 2008 6:50pm

EYES WIDE SHUT from United Kingdom

Beautifully written. I hope that 2009 is a year that brings you much happiness.

31 Dec 2008 6:59pm

@EYES WIDE SHUT: Much thanks. Have a healthy, joyful, and expansive New Year!

Chris from South Jersey, United States

each year is full of challenges and opportunities, and the turning of the calendar offers each of us a fresh start - I look forward to seeing your pictures of the next couple of days, and for the rest of 2009! Happy New Year....

31 Dec 2008 7:04pm

@Chris: Thanks so much, Chris. A very healthy, joyous, and expansive new Year to you and yours.

Marcie from United States

A wonderful image to ring in the new year. Simple..and straight to the point. Wishing you all the best for 2009 - may it be filled with light!!!

31 Dec 2008 8:06pm

@Marcie: The plastic hat in the gutter is fine - provided your head is not in it.

Thank you Marcie - Happy New Year!

Viewfinder from Bradenton, United States

A very thoughtful message. A wonderful discipline you've chosen for the end and beginning of each year. A photo of much worth and interest. May God bless your 2009 with far more than material goods alone.

31 Dec 2008 9:16pm

Scott Schilling from San Martin, United States

Dear Stephen, I enjoyed your photo and thoughts on 2008. It was a difficult year and I too am more grateful than ever to just have a roof over my head! Keep up the good work and I am hoping for a great 2009!

31 Dec 2008 9:37pm

@Scott Schilling: Thank you, Scott. - And a Very Happy & Healthy New Year to you.

Francesc B. from région parisienne, France

MMMmmmh... très bon champagne !!!
Beautiful and original B&W.
Happy new year, Stephen.

31 Dec 2008 9:51pm

@Francesc B.: Thank you, Francesc - again, Happy New Year...

Alain Berger - vu@granby from Granby, Québec, Canada

I like the hat ! Super B&W photograph !

From the group of 48 granbiens of vu@granby,
Happy New Year 2009 !
Thank you for your encouragement in 2008 !

31 Dec 2008 10:18pm

@Alain Berger - vu@granby: Thanks, Alain - I look forward to our experiences ahead. Happy New Year.

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

The kind of Tophat I would have ha ha ha. Very best wishes to you Stephen for a healthy and happy new year. May the dark clouds be gone in 2009

31 Dec 2008 11:20pm

@Observing: Cheers, Mike - see you on the next calendar...

willow from Chelsea, United States

Happy New Year, Stephen! I love how you can see the positive amongst all the hard times. I hope that 2009 brings a change of fortunes for you aand for so many people who have struggled this past year. Can't wait to see more of your work this comming year.

1 Jan 2009 3:40am

@willow: All will be fine going forward. happy New Year, willow - Thanks for your imagery and words. It has been a pleasure getting to know you a bit this year and I too look forward to all that unfolds in the New Year. Cheers!

Lesley from Lincoln, United States

Thank you for the inspiring post, Stephen. My awful year was in 2005 when my stepdaughter was killed, followed by my brother's diagnosis of colon cancer. It was so easy to ask "why me" but between the support of good friends and family, a job I love, a best friend for a husband, I was able to move forward and begin to enjoy life once again. I'm sorry for the heartache you must be experiencing with your mom's Alzheimer's, coupled with the loss of your friends. I wish for you a year of peace and joy. Nice to have met you here at AM3. Looking forward to many of your beautiful images.

4 Jan 2009 7:58pm

@Lesley: Thank you so much Lesley for this touching note. Bless you and your husband and all those who support you. This is the true measure of importance in our lives - the gift we can be for others. Going forward in spirit and joy is what those who have departed would want for us - and they are just a little ahead of us. Life is a gift - it is also a blink...

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Wishing you all the best in the New 2009 Year!

8 Jan 2009 1:50am

@Magda: I've missed you and it is so good to hear from you. May it not be too late to wish you - Happy New Year!