Although there’s an abundance of material, I couldn’t seem to come up with any picture taking ideas throughout the week. I can’t call it “writer’s block” because I’m not particularly a good writer so I’ll call it “photographer’s block”, although my skills there are open to debate, as well. Anyway, I decided that a nighttime prowl through the City, like ‘The Shadow’ would open up some possibilities. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?’ I said to myself, like ‘The Shadow’ does, as I moved through San Francisco from twilight to dark, but all I saw were friendly and happy people. San Francisco, like Disneyland, is two different places day and night, although, I suppose you could say that about anywhere! Sometimes when I visit places in San Francisco at night that I’ve been to dozens of times in the day, it’s like seeing them for the first time.
I started out at the Powell and Market Streets cable car turntable at twilight in the rain. Trees block the view past the St. Francis Hotel and up Nob Hill today. The old Powell Theater that went back to the 1920’s is where the Burger King is today. (Vintage picture from Vintage Everyday)
Before catching a cable car up Nob Hill, I headed one block east to 4th and Market Streets across from Stockton Street to get a comparison of this twilight picture from 1954. (SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle)
Fisherman’s Wharf at dusk:
“Oh, this is the night. It’s a beautiful night. And we call it Bella Notte.”
Obviously, anything even remotely Italian reminds me of that scene from ‘Lady and the Tramp’. (Peter Stratmoen)
Looking east of Fisherman’s Wharf at dusk from Alioto’s Restaurant: Funny how the rain stopped so suddenly, huh? Actually, I took in two evenings for my nocturnal knock around, the 16th and the 17th. That mast ship in the background of the vintage picture is the square rigged ‘Balclutha’, built in 1886. In 1988 she was moved from this location to the Hyde Street Pier. (Peter Stratmoen)
Speaking of the Balclutha, here she is docked at Pier 43. Also, here’s something I didn’t know until I researched the Wikipedia entry on her, the Balclutha was filmed in a scene in the 1935 movie ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ with Clark Gable and Charles Laughton!
The Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill, where Tony Bennett introduced the world to ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’, probably, around the time that the vintage picture was taken: (Vintage Everyday)
Grant Avenue at Clay Street, and the never-changing Chinatown with its multicolored manhole covers: (Vintage Everyday)
With the accuracy in continuity of the ‘Bullitt’ car chase scene, we’re back where I ended the night before. This is at Market and Powell Streets at 5:15 PM on December 14th 1945, and Market and Powell Streets at 6:15 PM on November 16th 2017. I took my picture an hour later because it isn’t as dark at 5:15 PM in November as it is in December. The Market Street crosswalk has been relocated since December of 1945 so my picture is a little farther back. The old Emporium Store, now Bloomingdale’s is in the background of both photos. (SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle)