The Maritime Museum on opening day in 1939: This steamship looking building was originally a casino. The inside of the Maritime Museum, a Works Progress Administration project, under construction: My crazy mother on the left and her cousin Frances swimming in the Bay behind Maritime Museum on a trip to SF from North Dakota when she was seventeen. That water is always cold! On the right are the two antique wall phone booths with the phone stands still inside. They may have called my mom’s aunt to come get them when they were through swimming at one of these booths seeing as how iPhones were only about seventy years in the future!
The Fountain of the Turtles, installed in 1955 at Huntington Park on Nob Hill: In the background is the Mark Hopkins Hotel; the top windows are where the Top of the Mark looks out. On the right, the Fountain of the Turtles seen from the Top of the Mark.
Spent the day in Fisherman’s Wharf, as good a place as any to enjoy a birthday. The World War Two submarine USS Pampanito, a direct creation because of Pearl Harbor, is decked in bunting to honor the anniversary. It, kind of, got to me. As much as the island invasions and the atomic bombs, these “Pig Boats’ helped to end World War Two. They were fast, lethal, and unlike the statue of Venus de Milo, well armed! (Oh, I’m in a weird mood today!) Everybody’s taken the Alcatraz Cruise, the Red and White, and Blue and Gold cruises, but like me, you may be ignoring the little boat cruises in the lagoon. They’re only fifteen bucks, and a lot of fun! Some of the scenery, left to right as you head toward the Golden Gate Bridge: Coit Tower, the Pyramid Building, Hyde Pier with the Balclutha, Russian Hill, Ghirardelli Square, and the Maritime Museum. You hit some good swells as you approach the Golden Gate Bridge, which makes the little boat buck like a horse sometimes, and adds to the fun! “The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed! If not for the courage of the fearless crew, ‘Lovely Martha’ would be lost!” Just kidding, these rides are safe, and the crew knows what they’re doing. They even throw in a few trivia questions to add to the enjoyment! “What was Otis Redding doing on that “dock of the Bay?” (wasting time.) I got that one, but it wasn’t an accomplishment, it just meant I was the oldest one on the boat! They do a loop around under the Golden Gate Bridge for as fine of a look at the bridge as you’re going go get. Watch that spitting up there, buddy! When you double back from the Golden Gate Bridge, you head for “The Rock”. The north eastern side of Alcatraz that you can’t see from San Francisco: On June 11th 1962, Frank Morris and two other inmates snuck out of their cells, and were never seen again. Thought to have drowned for years, credible evidence surfaced in 2015 that suggests that they made it to Brazil, and may still be alive, but this hasn’t been substantiated yet. The three prisoners slipped into their raft down below the building covered with the white tarp just to the left of the old Power Plant Building with the tall chimney Hell, I couldn’t even swim to the boat from there! Heading in and to the Buena Vista Café on a perfect Irish Coffee day.
Washington Street looking down from Taylor in the 1950’s: The tall chimney on the left is part of the Cable Car Barn and Museum. For the two nice fellows I met in the Cable Car Museum Gift Shop today.
The Whittier Mansion at Laguna and Jackson in Pacific Heights rumored to be haunted, naturally: This place has at least two interesting historic pasts. It was sold to Hitler’s Third Reich in 1941, and was the German Consulate when Pearl Harbor was attacked. When government agents broke in after the attack, they found evidence of burnt documents, a short wave radio, and a telescope for watching shipping movements in the Bay. In 1958, “Dancer” (Eli Wallach) commits his second murder in the film ‘The Lineup’ in this house by shooting a butler in an attempt to recover smuggled heroin. One of my all-time favorite San Francisco movies!
Where’s Elliot Ness? This isn’t Chicago, but it was the scene of the gangland “whacking” of Luigi Malvese at 720 Columbus Ave. on May 18th 1932 during Prohibition. The bootlegger was gunned down in front of the barber shop, which is the building with the curved entrance on the right.
Broadway, near Columbus: Mike endorses the Johnson and Humphrey ticket!
I wonder what became of this little guy at Vallejo and Kearny, whoever he was. By now, he’d be well into senior citizenship, if he’s still around at all!
A street car in front of the old Emporium Building in 1968 and today: The N Judah line doesn’t run on the top of Market anymore, but is part of the Muni Metro System under Market Street now, and doesn’t come up to breath until it’s well out of the downtown area.
The cable car turntable at Powell and Market in 1964: “The cable car picture you are about to see is true. The clothes have been changed to protect the innocent.”
Faces of the doomed: Three of the prisoners, involved in the 1946 “Battle of Alcatraz”, (See the March 8th, 2015 entry) left to right, Clarence Carnes, Sam Shockley, Miran Thompson, are escorted to court. Shockley and Thompson were executed at San Quentin Prison on December 3rd, 1948. The old guard tower on Alcatraz still watches over the prison.
On the edge of Dolores Park at 20th and Church is “the little fire hydrant that could.” The water mains to most of the hydrants were broken by the 1906 Earthquake, and there was no way to stop the fires from destroying the entire city. This little guy was working, however, and is credited with stopping the flames from destroying all of the Mission District and beyond. Every April 18th, on the anniversary of the earthquake and fire, the hydrant is painted gold.
Some of the scenes for the movie ‘Sister Act’ with Whoopi Goldberg were filmed at St. Paul’s Catholic Church at Valley and Church Streets in Noe Valley; as beautiful of a church you’ll find in San Francisco.
When I heard that they had restored the Doggie Doggie Dachshund head on Sloat Blvd. near the zoo, naturally, I went to investigate. He was a pretty elusive little puppy, I couldn’t find him!
A mural on a building at 15th and Church Streets shows Market Street traffic changing though the years, and into the future as you look from left to right Washington at Jones in 1952 from the Cushman Collection: The lady with the package in the 1952 picture doesn’t look like she wants to climb on at this side. I don’t blame her; those passengers on the seat facing her look like a thumbs-down jury! Danny looks like he’s gazing back into time, and thinking, “What odd looking kids!” This last Monday was the first time I’ve gone back to Ocean Beach since I lost my little Sand Crab Pointer! Santa trades in his sleigh for a cable car in at Powell and Market Street in the 1940’s: This kind of Christmas pageantry isn’t likely to occur in San Francisco any more. Inside the old Emporium Building at Christmas: This was what a department store was supposed to look like during the Holidays. Extensively remodeled, and new walls, it’s still pretty impressive. A Shorpy’s Collection photo of the Transparent Pontiac of the General Motors Exhibit, June 11th, 1940, on display at the Treasure Island International Exposition: It’s a good thing this didn’t catch on or a lot of children wouldn’t have been born. She looks like Ginger Rogers!
There’s nothing like Ocean Beach at sunset! I don’t know who this family from the 1940’s was, but I know the spot, the waterfall at Lloyd Lake. They would have been posing on the rock at the bottom of my picture. This place needs no introduction! “The Cliff House or bust!” Where the old skating rink at Playland-at-the-Beach was: A Leon Borensztein photograph from Ocean Beach in 1982: A “Boom Box”! I remember those!