Looking down California Street between Powell and Mason Streets in the 1970s; no stoplights back then, and they don’t advertise Jim Beam Whiskey on cable cars anymore. The parking sign was where the old Crest Garage, then called the Rolls Garage, was located. It was demolished in February, 2018. (Vintage pictures from the photo researchers of Minerva S.A., 1977)
Powell and California Streets: I had a nice line up on this one, I wish it had been a clearer day.
Ah, the entrance to the mystic world of Chinatown! You know that you’re in an exotic location when the signs read ‘Country Burger’ and ‘Coca Cola’ at the entrance.
“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign”: There are still a lot of signs in Chinatown today, but they’re not “breakin’ my mind” like in that old 70’s song, and the red lanterns of nowadays are an added improvement.
The old Crocker Bank on the corner of Montgomery and Post Streets: This was the bank where Lee Remick’s character Kelly Sherwood worked in the 1962 film, ‘Experiment in Terror’. Crocker Bank is defunct now and the top floors of the building were removed at the end of the 1970’s for a rooftop park.
It was a lot prettier of a day in San Francisco today when I finished this set than it was a few days ago. In fact, it was about the nicest spring day I’ve had in town so far. I was trying to figure out why Alcatraz Island seems to tilt so much in the older picture looking down Hyde Street after you pass Chestnut Street. Of course, it’s partly due to the photographer, but it actually does seem to slant as you move further down from Chestnut. Probably because Hyde doesn’t run directly toward Alcatraz. Or maybe Alcatraz does tilt occasionally and no one has ever been able to figure out why.
They used to call this peaceful portion of Aquatic Park on Beach Street Victorian Park, but I don’t know if anybody calls it that anymore.
The Ben Jonson Restaurant in the old Del Monte Cannery Building near Fisherman’s Wharf was very popular in the 1970s. They served mostly recipes from England, but I’ll bet they didn’t serve Yorkshire pudding!
If I have critics, and nobody’s worth much if they don’t, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you”, they’ll probably say, “He’s always posting pictures of the same spots.” There’s truth in this, but I always feel that the website isn’t about my pictures; they’re, at best, pleasant snapshots. However, the vintage pictures are what it’s all about. I’ve probably posted dozens of pictures at the Powell and Market Streets cable car turnaround, but I keep discovering new pictures from the past of this location and these are what make a then and now comparison fun to look at. In short, sometimes when I post these pictures, “this I do for me.” The long cable car lines of today hadn’t really started forming yet back then and, surprisingly, the line a couple of days ago when I took the current picture was smaller than they were in the 1970’s!