Some Halloween Stuff

monsterbash-2015Captain Always great fun is the Monster Bash on board the historic USS Hornet aircraft carrier in Alameda.

inferniredo This year is the second annual Halloween attraction in the old Armory Building on Mission Street .

Armoryuse Built in 1914 to store munitions, some scenes from the original ‘Star Wars’ were filmed in the Armory Building.

AlamoSqhouseuse I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’ve heard that this house on the corner of Scott and Fulton Streets is where ghosts go while their waiting for a vacancy at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland.

BBridgeMoteluse The Bay Bridge Motel: “Oh, we have 12 cabins, 12 vacancies.” Oh, wait, that’s a different motel.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA Hmmm, it’s funny I didn’t notice that when I took the picture!

ferry-night                                                             The Ferry Building at midnight: 12 “Bongs!” and a scream.

Festeruse Next time your at Fisherman’s Wharf try the Uncle Fester electric arcade machine. Three thousand volts will light up anyone’s Halloween!

Arnold Genthe

Grntheopener  Arnold Genthe has been called ‘The father of modern photography”. His pictures of pre 1906 Earthquake Chinatown opened up, what was then a world of mystery, to the public, and one of his pictures from the San Francisco Earthquake is considered among the best ever taken. All of his pre 1906 San Francisco pictures were destroyed in the earthquake except his Chinatown pictures that he stored in Carmel, and his earthquake and fire pictures. What a treasure the lost ones would have been!

DupontSacramentouse A mother and child on Dupont (Now Grant Avenue) and Sacramento circa 1900, and a mother and child on the same corner today: I have a little bit of brag here; this picture is usually identified as being at Jackson and Dupont, three blocks north. I’ve seen photos of this picture categorizing this shot as Dupont and Jackson by printing that appears to be by Genthe himself, so that was where I did my first then and now. Then I noticed something interesting, the cable car coming down Jackson. To the best of my knowledge, cable car lines never ran down Jackson as far as Dupont (Grant). I checked all of the old cable line maps I could find. It had to be Sacramento or Clay! I sent an email to a fellow named Rick Laubscher from the Market Street Railway who wrote back that he wasn’t sure, but he would check. He kindly emailed me back, “Did some checking, it’s Sacramento and Dupont.” Arnold must have been tired the day he labeled this picture, and I can appreciate that.

RossAlleyredo Ross Alley then and now: Chinatown alleys aren’t as mysterious nowadays, yet this alley was once noted for Tong wars, opium dens, and frequent Shanghaiing. This is an interesting spot today, where the the Fortune Cookie Factory is. You cam write your own fortune, and they’ll bake it in a cookie for you. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily increase the odds your fortune will come true.

Genthesacramentoredo This photograph has sometimes been called one of the ten best news photos of all time. I suppose you could argue that, but I think it’s a masterpiece! Genthe centered this dramatic picture perfectly filling almost the whole frame with something important. It was taken down Sacramento Street from Powell as San Franciscans watched the approaching fires that would, eventually, destroy most of the city.

Genthelafyetbloguse I got this picture from the January 03, 2014 posting of a fine website called History in Photos. They identify it as “probably by Arnold Genthe”. It certainly has his flair. It was taken toward San Francisco from the southeast corner of Lafayette Square.

Genthegrantbloguse Nothing changes in Chinatown except the cars! Genthe came back to Chinatown in the 1920’s to take this picture of Grant Ave. at Sacramento where his turn of the Century mother and child photo was taken, but looking north, instead.

The Last Empress

Empressopeneruse  Soong May-ling, more famously know as Madame Chaing Kai-shek, was the Princess Diana of her time. She was the wife of the leader of China during World War Two when China fought alongside the Allies against Japan, and was so popular, her picture was on packages of cigarettes Allied soldiers carried into the various theaters of the war. In March of 1943, in the middle of the war, she paid a goodwill visit to Chinatown and the crowd that greeted her rivaled anything the Giants or 49ers received! This was over 72 years ago, and it’s safe to say that the majority of the crowds cheering for her are gone now, but it’s doubtful that many of them lived to 105 as the last Empress did when she died in 2003.  Empblog2use Madame Chaing Kai-shek passes through the Chinatown gate escorted by police and bodyguards. This gate interests me, it’s not where today’s Chinatown gate at Bush and Grant is. I had to do some building match ups, but it was at the north side of the Clay and Grant Ave intersection. I can’t get much information about it, so I don’t know if it was put up for the occasion or if it was part of Chinatown back then, but it’s gone now.  Empblog3use The other side of the gate as her entourage passes by.  Empblog4use A parade in her honor moves up Grant Avenue from Clay with the gate visible at the far right.  Empblog5use Madame Chaing, in the center, visits Beniamino Bufano’s statue of Sun Yat-sen in St. Mary’s Square.  Empblog6use The crowd gathers around Old St. Mary’s Church at California and Grant.

Night and Day

CastleredoCastle Street in North Beach:

ChinatownredoA long gone pagoda telephone booth at Old St. Mary’s in Chinatown, and where the phone booth once was:

CaenredoFred Lyon’s picture of “Mr. San Francisco” Herb Caen on a cable car at Powell and Market Streets:

PalaceredoDay and night: The old Palace of Fine Arts in the 1950’s and today: It’s a pretty thing to see at night.

PacificonePacific2Three views of Pacific Street on the old Barbary Coast: Fred Lyon’s image at night in the heyday of the International Settlement, the San Francisco History Center’s picture of when the area began to get run down toward the end of the 1950’s, and where Spider Kelly’s and the Barbary Coast were today.

Missing Orange October

jaimecoitBe sure to buy one of the miniature illuminated orange Coit Towers they sell every Halloween in San Francisco. Aw, you guys are too smart for me! This was the night the Giants won the game that sent them to the 2014 World Series last year, and landmarks showed their appreciation by lighting up orange. The Playoffs are in full swing and the Giants aren’t in it this year, but, oh, the memories!

2010useThe end of the game that started it all, the final  winning game of the 2010 Season that sent the Giants to the Playoffs, and on their way to three, (and counting) World Series wins.

Trophies I was happy with two, but three’s even better; although, that A’s fan on my left might need talking to!

christieferry An exciting night in October of 2014 as the Giants got their 3rd win in the Pennant race.

Orangeferry1 Nothing more beautiful than an orange Ferry Building at Halloween time.

The USS Hornet

openeruseIn honor of Fleet Week, a visit aboard the USS Hornet: Two USS Hornets saw service during World War Two; CV-8, that the Doolittle Raiders took off from, (They left from right here in Alameda, by the way.) and CV-12, commissioned in November, 1943 after CV-8 was sunk in October of 1942. These photos are all of CV-12, the museum docked at Alameda today. This was also the carrier that picked up the Apollo 11 astronauts in July of 1969 after their historic trip to the moon.

Aftredo Fighters on the stern of the Hornet during World War Two, and the stern of the Hornet today:

CrashredoA plane from Torpedo Squadron Two crash lands near the superstructure in 1944 during the battle for Saipan. The plane came down right where those people were shading themselves on this visit.

bowredoThis damage to the bow here was not caused by enemy action, but by a typhoon that the Hornet sailed through in 1944.

HotdogredoA fighter lands on the flight deck of the Hornet after a raid on Saipan in June of 1944. We’d have lost World War Two before this hot dog figured out how to get into his plane!

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe superstructure and flight deck looking toward San Francisco on a beautiful day! Those vapor streaks at right center are from the Blue Angels performing one of their Fleet Week shows. The superstructure of a carrier is always on the starboard side.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA“I’m going below to see what the men want.”

“Susan, I know what the men want!”