Saturday, August 12, 2017

San Francisco

I'm still relying on old scans for my "Anything Goes Saturdays". It's a long story, but hopefully I'll be able to get back to scanning some new stuff very soon. 

If I had to make a guess, I'd wager that most readers will recognize this bridge (seen here in a 1950's photo) instantly. The wonderful Golden Gate Bridge, which opened in 1937, is still considered one of the most beautiful bridges in the world - in part because of the gorgeous 1-mile wide "Golden Gate" straight between San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean. The bridge was the longest main span suspension bridge for 27 years, finally surpassed by New York's Verrazano-Narrows bridge in 1964. 

When I was a kid I had an older cousin who lived in San Francisco; every time we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, the tops of the towers (over 700 feet tall) disappeared into heavy fog.

Thanks to my complete lack of studies and zero research I have concluded that San Francisco's Chinatown might be the second most-photographed feature of the city. I love this shot looking down one of the streets - I couldn't figure out which one - with the old vehicles in the foreground, the traditional buildings festooned with signage and Chinese decor, and the Oakland Bay Bridge looming in the distance.


Nanook said...


It's hard to go wrong with images from San Francisco - especially with The Golden Gate featured, with just a touch of fog "rolling in on little cat's feet...".

A wise Chinaman tells me the second image is the 600 block of Jackson Street - along with ID's on the red truck: a 1950-1952 International; and the dark green truck: a 1955-1956 Chevrolet.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

That first image reminds me of "America The Beautiful" at Disneyland. Sadly, it also reminds me of the Six Flags-like park that was built in the old Disneyland parking lot. Maybe it's because I saw that ugly replica more often than I've seen the real bridge. Unfortunately, I have never been across the Golden Gate Bridge, but I did get to go under it on a boat about 32 years ago!

K. Martinez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K. Martinez said...

Probably still the most beautiful city I've seen and mostly because of its rolling hills and location on the bay. Sadly, the city itself doesn't hold the charm for me that it once did.

As beautiful as the Golden Gate Bridge is, I've always found the approach to the city via the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge more dramatic and exciting.

Love and appreciate vintage "American City" photos and today's two are pretty nice. Thanks, Major.

TM!, One of my biggest gripes with DCA is its poor representation of "The City by the Bay". The ugly replica of the "Golden Gate Bridge" and smallish replica of the "Palace of Fine Arts" just didn't do it for me. There's so much potential for a theme like a Barbary Coast/Chinatown setting.

Anonymous said...

Nanook, On the left hand side of the street, behind the International, and behind the yellow truck, isn't that a 57 Chev parked at the curb? Very distinctive grill on them.

Chuck said...

Love me some vintage San Francisco!

Ken, when I lived in Fairfield in the early '70s, we would almost invariably drive into SF on the Bay Bridge and home via the Golden Gate. We also took that route with school buses on field trips to Steinhart Aquarium and the Exploratorium (which why the PoFA replica jumped out at me at the Parking Lot Carnival). I wonder if that was the cheaper route with respect to tolls.

The only times I can remember coming home via the Bay Bridge were when we came back from picking someone up at SFO or the day we went to Marriott's Great America. Both bridges were pretty cool at night, although I remember the Bay Bridge having a better view of city lights northbound. We would always roll down the windows to listen to the foghorns.

Nanook said...

@ Anonymous-

Of course it's [the classic] 1957 Chevrolet; I'm just getting too lazy to ID all the vehicles that can be seen. Also, speaking of lazy - entering 650 Jackson Street into Google Maps will get you the exact set of buildings as seen in today's post, with a Verizon store now occupying the spot where the grocery once was.

Nanook said...

No, no, no... What I meant to say is The Foot Reflexology Center appears to be occupying the former home of the grocery store. The Verizon store would be next door.

TokyoMagic! said...

If all of those buildings are still standing today (which I am very happy to hear), have they been retrofitted at some point?

Irene said...

That is amazing that not that much has changed on that street! Why do I suddenly have a craving for Chinese food?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that Carl Sandburg poem was one of the first that I ever remember reading in school. Thanks for IDing the street and the vehicles!

TokyoMagic!, yeah, that misshapen DCA Golden Gate was a sorry thing - I am kind of glad it is gone. I’ll bet a lot fewer people have gone under the Golden Gate Bridge than have driven upon it!

K. Martinez, I’m not sure if SF is the most expensive city in America, but it is definitely up there. I wonder who can afford to live there, besides Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires. The Oakland Bay Bridge is impressive, but I have always loved the GGB.

Anonymous, maybe we can narrow down the date of this photo! So far I’m voting for 1957.

Chuck, wow, lucky that you got to go on field trips to the Steinhart Aquarium and the Exploratorium! I think we went to a dairy once (got a free cup of ice cream with a little wooden spoon), and Knott’s Berry Farm’s Independence Hall. Not as cool.

It is rather amazing that so many of the structures are still there - you’d think that with the price of real estate, mixed use buildings with “luxury condos” would proliferate the way they do in Los Angeles.

Nanook, clearly you are being paid by the Foot Reflexology Center!

TokyoMagic!, they have been retrofitted with espresso machines.

Irene, I always have a craving for Chinese food!

Anonymous said...

Major, these are so much fun. Thanks Nanook for identifying the street (so I don't have to) and of course, all the cars.

Both locations look much the same today. I have to cross that a couple of times a month, most recently on Saturday. So, @Tokyo, you have to cross over sometime, all the best parts of California are on the far side of the bridge. ;-D.

@Chuck, that route kind of makes sense for minimizing the tolls, the Bay Bridge was a lower toll, and neither bridge has a toll in the outbound direction. Now that the FastTrak system is in place, I have no idea what any tolls are, you just drive through and the government siphons the money out of your account.

@Major, luxury condos are everywhere in SF, except Chinatown. Many reasons for this, too many for the blog. It is a beautiful city with lavish architecture and amenities, as long as you look up and stay in the right neighborhoods, but it is incredibly dirty and disgusting almost everywhere else. It's sad to see the decline over the years.