In a letter to the editor in the morning paper that I subscribe to, the East Bay Times, a reader wrote something to the effect, “On Thanksgiving we give thanks to God for the things in life we have, and the next day, on “Black Friday”, we kill anybody who gets in our way of a bargain!” Now there’s a writer who needs to be heard from! Anyway, I headed over to San Francisco today to be a part of it. “Black Friday” isn’t a bad day to try to get into the Christmas spirit, just as long as you’re not shopping!
This is Market Street looking east from Stockton Street circa 1900. Three buildings can still be seen today. First and foremost, the crowned Call Building on the right, remodeled in the late 1930’s. On the left is the Gothic looking Mutual Savings Bank Building with its green and red roof. Just behind that is the brownish-red Chronicle Building. The clock at the top of the building was destroyed in 1905, the year before the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.
Stockton Street at O’Farrell looking north in 1951: Neiman Marcus and Macy’s Men’s Store are now where the City of Paris Department Store was. This area of Stockton Street from Market Street to Geary Blvd., under construction because of the MUNI Metro extension to Chinatown, is closed off and carpeted for shoppers during the Holiday Season. (San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate)
The southwest corner of Union Square in 1974: (Vintage photo from Viewoftheblue.com)
The east side of Union Square looking toward Maiden Lane in 1974: The Suntory Whisky billboard has been replaced by Sennheiser and Sonos billboards. Viewoftheblue.com)
Elegant Maiden Lane at Christmastime in 1949: You don’t see a lot of crowds in this famous alley anymore. That was an interesting lady having a quiet smoke in front of me. I was worried that she might be a little “out there” (she was probably worrying the same thing about me), but when I said hello to her, she was quite elegant herself, a hang on from the old days. (Moulin Studio)
A Macy’s Department Store display window for Christmas in 1979 and 2017:
Santa Clause arrives at the Emporium Store on Market Street by stagecoach in 1949: Boy, that ain’t the way I heard that he gets around! (San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate)
The dome inside the Emporium Department Store in 1898, and the dome in Emporium, now Bloomingdale’s on Black Friday, 2017:
The cable car turntable at Powell and Market Streets, no Santa and no pretty girl dressed like an elf anymore:
“Come on, Santa, get your mind back on the kids!”
In 1953 on the northwest corner of O’Farrell and Stockton Streets they staged a demonstration to point out the dangers of jaywalking. Our Junior G-man at the same corner was going to make sure that didn’t happen on Black Friday, 2017. (San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate)