In my last update I wrote about crowds and traffic from yesterday’s San Francisco. Today’s post will take you to a few places in San Francisco where you can still “get away from it all”.
Ah, here’s someone in Card Alley in North Beach in 1936 that was able to find a little peace and quiet “far from the madding crowd”. (Shorpy.com)
In Layette Park near Pacific Heights you can still sit in a quiet area to enjoy quality thinking time, such as, “Why can’t I live in a house like the Adolph Spreckel’s Mansion there?”
Strawberry Hill at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park is a peaceful place to meditate while walking through the woods; unless you’re Andre Moreau, played by Stewart Granger, being chased by the horsemen of Marquis de Maynes, played by Mel Ferrer in the movie ‘Scaramouche’ from 1952.
The soldiers chase Moreau along Stow Lake to the Rustic Bridge.
Moreau hides under the Rustic Bridge as de Maynes’ riders pass over.
Also in Golden Gate Park is the Pool of Enchantment, originally located in front of the old de Young Museum. This picture is more a then and then. The top photo is an OpenSFHistory.org picture of the pool in the 1920’s. In the lower left is my 17 year old mom on the right standing with her cousin Frances at the pool in 1939. She looks older than 17 here, I wonder how often she was carded! In 1984 I wanted to find the spot where they were standing and took the picture at the lower right. The old museum was closed and demolished after the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 and the Pool of Enchantment has been moved to the side of the new de Young Museum.
The Pool of Enchantment today:
The Palace of Fine Arts is as peaceful and pretty of a place to relax or pose today as it was in the top photo from 1963. (The Cushman Collection)
The top picture may not be as casual as it looks. These are army soldiers with tanks at the old Pier 44 brought out to put down the violent dock workers strike in 1934. Pier 44 was at the southern end of the Embarcadero and was demolished in the 1980’s. The South Beach Marina next to AT&T Park is there now. It’s a quiet place to sit and dream about that yacht you’re going to own someday, except when the Giants are playing next door. The lower photo from the San Francisco History Center is Pier 44 in the late 1930’s.
The old Presidio Army Hospital in 1860 in the top photo and when it was converted to a military museum in the lower picture, both from the Golden Gate National Recreation Association:
The museum closed in the 1990’s and the building is now empty.
Just behind the empty army hospital building are two earthquake shacks built for homeless or displaced San Franciscans after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Most of these homes were established for refugees right here in the Presidio. My two pictures are of the front and back of the houses. The top photo is from Foundsf.com.