If you can remember the 1980s…..

If you can remember the 1980s, then you’ve recovered from the 1960s as well as can be expected. Of course, that’s just a play on words from the famous expression, “If you can remember the 1960s, then you weren’t really there.” coined by Paul Kantner, Robin Williams, Richard Nixon or whoever it was. These are slide pictures of mine taken from 1984 to 1987.

80'sembarcaderouseThe Embarcadero at Mission Street in 1987: That’s the infamous Embarcadero Freeway at left center.

80'sthirduseMarket Street at Kearny and Third Streets in 1984: I wonder if “Big Brother” was watching me. The Palace Hotel was still the Sheraton Palace Hotel, and Barclay’s Bank is now a T Mobile Store.

80sBofAredo Post Street at Montgomery: “Excuse me, is there a Bank of America near here?” There’s still a Bank of America in the building across Market Street, but they’re not the biggest bank in the world anymore, like they were in 1984, and they don’t advertise as boldly as they did back then.

80'spinepowellusePowell at Pine Streets in June of 1987: Those three little girls combined have increased the population of the world by five now, and the mommy is past having any more kids, I hope.

80's8thuseMarket Street at Eighth in 1985: They began running old time streetcars on the F Line on Market around then. That’s the Orpheum Theater on the left.

80'scentralfreeuse Upper Market Street near the U. S. Mint in 1985: That’s the old Highway 101 Central Freeway that crossed Market Street in the background of the 80’s picture. Deemed unsafe after the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, it was demolished in the 1990’s. The Mint Lounge is on the left in both photos.

I gotta get out more often!

VisitCarrieuseDuring a four day visit from two of my nieces from Texas last Thursday I had a chance to visit some places in California that I haven’t seen for many years; some not at all. Of course, I would have been content to spend all four days in San Francisco, but they wouldn’t go for it. So, these are photos from a four day Odyssey from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay, and Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, and the Napa Valley. Leave it to some crazy nieces to bring out the teenager in me.

VisitCtownuse The entrance gate to Chinatown on Grant Avenue: (Vintage picture from timeline.com)

Beckett The once notorious Beckett Alley in Chinatown: In 1913 this street had 29 brothels on both sides of the street according to the National Trust Guide to San Francisco. Numbers 8 and 10 here were just two of them. However, passing gentlemen no longer experience encounters with “ladies of the evening” in the alley today.

visitGGBridgeuseHappy memories are made by visiting relatives who embarrass the heck out of you with their clowning.

visitmissionuseThis one is for the two nice ladies in the Mission Dolores Gift Shop. At the top is a picture of Alfred Hitchcock in front of the mission during the filming of his 1958 film ‘Vertigo’. Several scenes from the movie were filmed here, and being the oldest building in San Francisco, it’s a very historic place to visit.

VisitalamosquseAlamo Square is back open again for fans of ‘Full House’, which I never, particularly, was.

visitFPointuse At the top of Fort Point in June of 1987: The little girl in the center of the 1987 picture is the girl on the right in last Friday’s photo.

VisitHalfmoonuseTwo moons at Half Moon Bay: Another place I seldom visit, although it’s such a scenic ocean town, Half Moon Bay also has its world famous Pumpkin Festival every Halloween.

visitmarilynuseMarilyn Monroe and Keith Andes at Cannery Row, Monterey in the 1952 movie ‘Clash by Night’, also starring Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas and Robert Ryan.

VisitcanneryuseCannery Row, Monterey, named for the old sardine canneries located here is an historic and fun place to visit thanks to John Steinbeck and the Monterey Aquarium.

VisitcypressuseThe 250 year old Lone Cypress Tree in Pebble Beach in painting and in person:

visitlighthouseuseThe old Pigeon Point Lighthouse, now closed, is another one of those places in “my own back yard” that I’ve never visited.

CaliforniagirlsfromTexas “I wish they all could be California girls!” (that come from Texas)

visitnaparedo Some of the most beautiful scenery in California is in the Napa Valley wine country.

“Uncle Tim, it says Private Vineyard-Keep Out.”


Three along the “Hyde Street Grip”

HydeFranciscouseA cable car climbs Hyde Street at Francisco Street in 1973 celebrating the Centennial of the cable cars invented in 1873:

HydeLombarduse Don’t believe everything you read, unless you read it here! When I found this old picture it read that it was a cable car crossing Lombard Street at Hyde in 1936. I didn’t buy it when I read it, and I confirmed it when I got there. Still, I climbed up a stone wall on the corner of Hyde and Lombard to get a comparison picture anyway. I’m a dedicated blogger, especially when the stone wall is only four feet high. The vintage picture was actually taken one block south at Greenwich Street. However, Lombard Street is a lot more alluring, so this is a then and now picture taken at Lombard Street and Hyde of a cable car crossing Greenwich Street and Hyde.

HydebergenuseA Cable car starting the Hyde Street climb at Bergen Alley in the 1970’s: What it is! What it is! Dig those far out 1970’s colors! Are they in your face or what? That sounds like ‘That 70’s Show’!


San Francisco film noir then and nows; the way they should look

newnoirborntouse‘Born to Kill’ (1947) Elisha Cook Jr. (Wilmer in the ‘Maltese Falcon’) arrives at the Ferry Building on a mission to kill:

newnoirsnipereuse‘The Sniper’ (1952) Arthur Franz runs into his house on Filbert Street after shooting another woman to death: The police will capture him here.

newnoirimpactuse‘Impact’ (1949) A car chase scene at Grant Avenue and Washington Street in Chinatown with Ella Raines chasing Anna May Wong in one of the coolest chase scenes in a San Francisco movie:

newnoirlineupuse‘The Lineup’ (1958) Police close in on Eli Wallach at the Cliff House who has kidnapped a woman and child:

newnoirfilbertuse‘The Sniper’ (1952) Police close off Filbert Street on Telegraph Hill in pursuit of Arthur Franz:

newnoirwomanrunuse‘Woman on the Run’ (1950) Ann Sheridan searches through San Francisco for her husband who is hiding from the mob: Here she is at the Fisherman’s Wharf boat lagoon with a “friend” who she doesn’t know is trying to kill her. A little fishermen’s chapel is now where the building on the right was. (Movie image, reelsf.com)

newnoirggparkuse‘The Lineup’ (1958) A sharp eyed cop spots hit man Eli Wallach in Golden Gate Park near the De Young Museum. The De Young has been rebuilt now, but the two lions in front are still there.

newnoirstouchbloguse‘Mr. Soft Touch’ (1949) Glenn Ford stashes money that he stole from the mob in a trash can in Varennes Alley in North Beach:

newnoirthilluse‘The House on Telegraph Hill’ (1951) Valentine Cortese heads up Montgomery Street on Telegraph Hill not realizing that her brakes have been tampered with and that she’ll lose her stopping power when she gets to the top:

newnoirdpassagebest‘Dark Passage’ (1947) A bandaged Humphrey Bogart after plastic surgery climbs the Filbert Steps on Telegraph Hill to get to his hideout at Lauren Bacall’s apartment. I couldn’t resist!

newnoirexpterroruse‘Experiment in Terror’ (1962) Lee Remick parks at Fisherman’s Wharf to await a telephone call on where to deliver ransom money to free her sister Stefanie Powers: Probably the last film noir movie set in San Francisco.

“The coldest winter”

If Mark Twain did say, (which he never did) “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” he wasn’t talking about a summer day like yesterday in San Francisco. It was overcast, but it wasn’t cold, it was warm and gentle.

summerstarwarsuse‘Star Wars’ at the Coronet Theater on Geary Blvd. near Arguello in 1977: There’s still a gas station on the corner here, but the Coronet Theater is gone and gas isn’t 60 cents a gallon anymore.

summerpalaceuseThe Palace of Fine Arts: The vintage picture looks like something from a gangster movie. Why is she smiling when she’s being “taken for a ride” by the mob?  (SF Chronicle)

summervertigouseMovie buffs will recognize this scene at Fort Point from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 movie ‘Vertigo’ where Kim Novak jumps into the Bay and is rescued by James Stewart.

summermurphyuseThe old Murphy Windmill in Golden Gate Park in 1948 and the restored Murphy Windmill today: It’s supposed to be the largest windmill in the western hemisphere, but I don’t know if that’s fair, there probably aren’t a lot of windmills in the western hemisphere.

summerchouseuseSeal Rocks from behind the Cliff House in the 1950’s: Since the Musee Mecanique and History Room were removed during the 2000 remodeling, there isn’t a lot of traffic behind the Cliff House anymore. (SF Chronicle)

summertramuseAnother view of the Sky Tram that ran behind the Cliff House from 1955 to 1965: This view is looking from the Cliff House toward Point Lobos.  (SF Chronicle)

summertraminsideuseA bird’s eye view of Seal Rocks from inside the tram:  (SF Chronicle)

summerpooluse An old postcard of Fleishhacker’s Pool, now entombed beneath the San Francisco Zoo parking lot: The pool house was behind where the double B signs are in the center photo. The only thing left of the pool house since it burned down in 2012 is the entrance to the building in the bottom picture.

Waiting for the 4th

In spite of its being considered by some as just slightly Left of the Chicago Seven as a city, San Francisco is full of patriotic pride. “Old Glory” still flies around the town and San Francisco hasn’t seceded from the Union yet. I did a little exploring around Downtown San Francisco over the 4th of July weekend, and tomorrow night Left and Right will be down by the waterfront watching the fireworks show. I have seen the pageantry on the Bay many times, but nowadays, like tomorrow night, I usually do my flag waving at home on the 4th  watching the 1972 film ‘1776’.

4theighthStuseSpeaking of 1776, although England and the United States have had long ago differences, (Well, the British did capture Washington DC once, and President Trump hasn’t done that yet) our two countries are as united as any two countries in history, and hopefully that will always be. In the early 1950’s a cross country tour by three of England’s double-decker buses to promote tourism to Great Britain arrived in San Francisco. Here, the buses are traveling east on Market Street at 8th Street. Notice the driver’s on the right side of the bus. Behind the streetcar on the right is the magnificent movie palace the Fox Theater demolished in 1963. (Vintage picture from SF Chronicle)

4thjonesuseThe buses continue on Market past Jones Street. (SF Chronicle)

4thon4thuse The double-decker buses turn right off Market Street onto 4th St.

4thsandbagsoneuseNow we’re over on Grant Avenue during World War Two just after Pearl Harbor. This building, the Telephone Exchange Building at the time, was considered so vital that sandbags were stacked in front of it to protect the structure if the Japanese ever bombed San Francisco, although, I’ve never been able to understand what good those bags would do in the event of a direct hit. (SF Chronicle)

4thsandbagstwouseA view of the Telephone Exchange Building during this period looking south toward Market Street:

4thbersteinsuseI’m still waiting for my ship to come out! Grooooan! Berstein’s Fish Grotto on Powell Street, famous for its ships bow entrance, was a popular restaurant from 1912 until closing in 1981. A Walgreens Pharmacy now occupies the spot.

4thEarthquakeredouse Market Street west of Grant Avenue after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire: The Mutual Bank Building is the Gothic looking building tucked between other buildings in the center of my picture. The dark building just to the right of the Mutual Building and not labeled in the postcard is the old Chronicle Building, the copper colored building in the center of my picture. The old and modernized Call Building is on the right. The Phelan Building, (they spelled it Philan) destroyed in the earthquake and rebuilt in 1908, is on the far left. Well, I hope that George A. Hyde got a date with Miss Hazel!