The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #131


A reader writes:

A flat roof, so no snow. No fallen leaves, so we must be in evergreen country – Seattle? Distant mountains – the Cascades? View looks north of northeast, I'd guess from the satellite dishes. No ferries, container ships, navy or cruise ships, but lots of facilities for leisure sailing. OK, a few mins on Google Earth should pin down this one …  [Some considerable time later… ] I'm going to be tactically vague and say Puget Sound.


My gut reaction when I saw this week's contest was somewhere in the Puget Sound region.  The populated hillsides surrounding the water, the mix of evergreen and deciduous trees, the Interceptor parking patrol vehicle, the color of the recycling bin, mix of house colors and middle class car types all spoke Northwest to me.  With only a bit of time to search, the best I could come up with is Port Orchard, with its several recreational vessel piers filled with sailboats.


A "no search" guess here: it’s got to be somewhere on the west coast of North America, although if the cars were going the other way I would have liked it to be some place like the Bay of Islands in New Zealand or a bay on the Southeast Australian Coast.  Just too many boats here.  With no time to ponder satellite maps, I’ll guess Victoria to cover the amount of hillside development (more than in the US’s San Juan Islands). And it goes without saying that I’d rather be there than here; three weeks of snow and temperatures around zero make me a very cranky Alaskan …


I'm sure this is Dunedin, New Zealand, somewhere between Ravensbourne and the city, looking across at the port hills (Shiel Hill/Highcliff on Google Maps). Buggered if I can be more accurate than that – and I've spent about an hour of my Sunday morning trawling Dunedin's street views.


The town is really beautiful – I really don't have any idea where it is.  All I know is that it looks like the town from The Goonies, which according to the Internet is Astoria, Oregon.  Probably not correct, but a good childhood memory all the same!


I can't figure out quite where this is, but everything about it – the sailboats in the harbor, the other side of the bay so close, the twin piers – screams Monterey to me. I think it's in the neighborhoods up the hill from the water, behind the International School, though the exact address – Franklin Street? Jefferson? – eludes me.

Another nails it:

Wow, to know the feeling of setting down the google map man right where you think the VFYW is and have the exact scene unfold in front of your eyes is quite the thrill.

Back when I lived by the Bay, I went to beautiful Sausalito, passing by that low brown building and marveling at the gorgeous bay scenery with the numerous sail boats lying in wait many, many times. I am sure the sender at 520somethingorother Johnson St. appreciates just how good they have it. I couldn't for the life of me find away to get around a branch obscuring the address, but please find attached the requisite screen grab with window outline and street view:


Close to 300 readers got Sausalito, California. Another:

After seeing your VFYW shots week after week for as long as you've been doing this, I can't believe I immediately knew this one!  And anyone in the San Francisco bay area should figure it out pretty quickly.  (But maybe I'm the first?) The hills, the water, it's obvious:  it's Sausalito, CA. Specifically, I'm guessing the address is 520 Johnson Drive, looking out the big picture window to the north with the lovely view of Richardson Bay and the Tiburon/Belvedere hills in the background:


Obviously taken in the summer or early fall, judging by the golden color of the hills.  I'm so psyched that I got it!


One of the prettiest towns on the West coast.  Lived there for years, loved every second of it.  Sushi Ran is a two blocks from here and is one of the best sushi spots in the US.


The barren hills initially had me thinking Arizona, but the size of the marina and the steep street in the foreground led me back to California. This week's view shows an inlet of San Francisco Harbor, Richardson Bay, as seen from Sausalito. The bay itself is a fairly important ecological sanctuary, and the Audubon Society is responsible for its' protection and day-to-day management. Overhead view attached:

VFY Sausalito Overhead Cropped Marked - Copy


Less than a mile away is the US Army Corps of Engineers' Bay Model, a truly unique 1/1000 scale model of the entire San Francisco bay. This thing is enormous: almost three acres. Until computers became powerful enough, it was used to simulate tides and currents in the bay, for instance to determine the impact of oil spills. It's oddly mesmerizing, and I highly recommend a visit if you're in the area.

The piers on the left side of the photo used to be a major Liberty ship building area. By the end of the war, they had 70,000 workers cranking out a ship every 13 days. You can't see them very well, but there's also a bunch of cool boat houses docked towards the middle and right of the photo, including what has got to be one of the weirdest floating things ever (see attached photo – yes, that's actually a boat):

Screen Shot 2012-12-01 at 11.56.04 AM


I was lucky enough to have an uncle with a small sail boat berthed in the marina on the right side of the image. This was back in the late '60s and early '70s when there were still piles of rotting wooden ferry boats – common along the waterfront back then.  Oh, and most of the hills in the distance were sparsely populated. Yes, nice memories of Sausalito.


This is from the glassed-in porch of 48 Glen Drive, Sausalito, California, looking out over the red-leafed plum trees at the Belvedere portion of the Tiburon peninsula. We live in town and have walked our greyhound past there more times than I can count! I'm pretty sure that the folks who live there own Eyeitalia, an Italian import and gifts shop, at 43 Princess Street in Sausalito. They also have a Dalmatian who likes ear scratches. We don't know these folks personally, but Sausalito's a small town, especially for dog owners. Hi, neighbors!

I ran over today to take a couple of pictures: one looking at the house from the street, and one of the street view, with my poorly-focused smartphone showing the VFYW contest pic. The photo was taken from one of the east-facing panes, facing down the hill in the house photo:

48 Glen street view

Funnily enough, you featured our own VFYW almost exactly a year ago.


I have lived here since 1965, except for a couple of years in Manhattan.  Perhaps Sausalito thought of as a tourist town, but that is true only for Bridgeway,  the "main drag."  It is a very settled community:  we could have a 1967 Sausalito Nursery School car pool reunion if so inclined.   We all care for one another. But we have the Welcome Mat out at all times for visitors from other countries and from elsewhere in the U.S. of A.  I am a member of the Sausalito Volunteers in Public Safety – "The VIPS" - we work closely with the Sausalito Police Department –  and it is a unique pleasure to meet and individually welcome people from all over the world on every public occasion.

I sailed competitively for many years in the Knarr fleet. The opportunity to sail on San Francisco Bay is beyond price. If you don't find an opportunity to do that, the Golden Gate Ferry to San Francisco will at least give you an interval out on the water, "away from it all."

And yes, we live with extra supplies and a "Plan B" because we are close to the San Andreas fault. There are small earthquakes all the time.  As for "The Big One" – the geologic stratification of Sausalito is interesting, with advantages to living "up the hill."

To select the winner among the hundreds of correct entries this week, we turned to a reader who has gotten several difficult window views in the past without ever breaking the tie, including a few recent close-calls:

As a resident of the Bay area, I instantly recognized this as a view from the East side of Marin County over Richardson Bay to Tiburon. However, even if I hadn't known where it was taken from, this shot is unique amongst the puzzles I've worked on in that, based on obvious features of the image and geography, it could literally have only been this one place. Here is why:

1) It's unambiguously California. The overall appearance of the hills, water and car strongly suggest it. But the definite tell is the campaign sign in the foreground for California Proposition 37 – the hotly contested GMO labeling bill:


2) It's a view looking east based on the direction of the south pointing satellite dishes.

3) The water in the foreground is protected – not open bay or sea. 

With those three things, it has to be Marin. There is no other place in California with an east view of mountains over a protected body of water in a reasonably populated area. So then we're left with figuring out the exact location. It's Sausalito. The green awning identifies the street as Johnson St., and the house is clearly 48 Glen Dr.