Bridge to Bridge (For Tyler)

BtoBopenuseSo, I had a thirteen year relative from Texas who’s never seen San Francisco before out for a visit last weekend. He wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, names that are folklore to him. Alcatraz is booked for months in advance, and the idea of visiting the Golden Gate Bridge by land on a summer weekend is a joke! I did the next best thing; I took them on a Red and White Fleet tour boat ‘Bridge to Bridge’ cruise. Most of the photos from the cruise are more of a now and then collection because I took the pictures first and searched for vintage pictures that make a close comparison afterward.

BtoBsceneryuseWe sailed out from Fisherman’s Wharf. Among the things you can see in the top photo are the Bay Bridge, Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, and the World War Two Liberty Ship the Jeremiah O’Brien. The bottom photo is Russian Hill and Hyde Street. The brick building at the bottom of Russian Hill is the old Del Monte Cannery. We’re going to visit there later in this post.

BtoBGGBridgeuseApproaching the Golden Gate Bridge on a Red and White tour in 1968 and on a Red and White tour last weekend: (

BtoBAlcatraz1952The tour sails under the Golden Gate Bridge circles back and heads for Alcatraz Island. The top picture was taken in 1952. There were still a lot of tough prisoners on the “Rock” then. The penitentiary is at the top of the hill. (

BtoBAlcatraz1937useThe top picture was taken in 1937. Al Capone was still out there then. In May of 1946, prisoners rioted and took over Alcatraz in a bloody two day battle. Check out the You Tube link below for a newsreel of the story. (



BtoBBbridgeuseThe tour continued to the Bay Bridge, seen in the top photo from the 1960s, and cruised along the shoreline back to Fisherman’s Wharf. (

BtoBCannery1useBefore we left, we stopped at the Visitors Center in the old Del Monte Cannery. I have been by here dozens of times and I’ve never stopped in to the Visitors Center. It’s fantastic; just loaded with vintage San Francisco waterfront history. The picture on the left is looking up Hyde Street from Jefferson Street in a slide picture I took in 1985. The Cannery is on the left.

CanneryFarralonuseThe Visitors Center winds through a large portion of the Cannery with very interesting films and displays to view, much of which used to be housed at the Maritime Museum down the street.

BtoBBaggageuseI wonder whose baggage they were.

DPCannery1use The last “Dirty Harry” movie, ‘Dead Pool’ made in 1988, had an assassination attempt on Inspector Harry Callahan scene filmed here. Callahan, (Clint Eastwood) steps into the glass elevator with actress Patricia Clarkson. Harry has rubbed the mob the wrong way and they’re out to get him.

dpCannery2use Two bad guys fire hundreds of rounds from automatic weapons as the elevator descends.

DPCannery3useThey do a lot of damage to the elevator, but don’t kill Harry or the girl. Personally, I wouldn’t trust hit men who can fire guns for three minutes through glass at helpless targets and miss!

DPCannerey4useIt didn’t do them any good. Harry comes out shooting and dispatches them.

DPCannery5useAll they did was mess up his tie.

DPCannery6use The glass elevator in the Cannery is gone now. The elevator shaft where Harry and his friend almost got “the shaft” is in the background.


Another walk along Market Street

There’s less than a week to go before San Francisco moves into summer. That’s when the weather really gets chilly here; just ask Mark Twain. Actually, Mark Twain never did say, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” any more than Alfonso Bedoya said “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!” Oh, wait, Alfonso Bedoya did say that! Anyway, on this last Saturday of the spring of 2019, the weather was cool, and cloudy, but comfortable for a walk along Market Street to take comparison pictures of some vintage photos, mostly from the Market Street Railway collection.

MarketBARTuseI started out where I entered the city yesterday, at the BART escalator near the Hyatt Regency, seen here in 1976. It looks pretty busy that day and I’ll bet that most of those BART passengers, if not all of them, paid for their tickets! (

MarketCalifuseWhere the California Street cable car line comes into Market Street in 1960: (

MarketNewMontuseMarket Street at New Montgomery Street next to the Palace Hotel in 1966: (

Market3rduseThis one confused me at first. It was taken at Market Street and 3rd Street, looking toward Kearny, in 1978. At the left is the doorway to the old Mutual Savings Bank Building, at the right is Lotta’s Fountain, but where is the old Chronicle Building, one of the oldest buildings in Downtown San Francisco? I did some checking; in 1962, they covered the Chronicle Building behind a steel façade to modernize it so it would fit in better with the skyscraper boom beginning in Downtown San Francisco around then. And how dumb was that! The Chronicle Building was the American Savings Building in the 1978 picture. (Flickr)

MarketFlooduseNow, I’m at the Flood Building on the corner of Powell and Market Streets.  It looks like they were doing a little road work here in 1948. (

“Hey, Charlie, you know we’re going to have to tear this road up all over again twenty years from now when they build BART!”

MarketPowelluseRight here is the Powell Street cable car turnaround, seen here in 1949: (

MarketHalesuseThey were working across Market Street from Powell in 1948 as well, at the long gone Hale Brothers Department Store next to the Emporium. (

Market7thuseI turned around at 7th and Market Streets at the Odd Fellows Building. From here on, Market Street is more of a “no man’s land” until you get to Van Ness. Anyway, it seemed to me that this ten block walk was a lot easier when I was sixteen! The vintage picture was taken in 1984, around the time they came up with the idea of running vintage streetcars along Market Street. This developed into today’s Muni F and E Lines. (Dave Glass)

Vallejo Street – East (For Samantha)

VallejoopenuseI first became interested in this portion of Vallejo Street in the mid 1980s after watching a movie called ‘Hell on Frisco Bay’, made in 1955 and starring Alan Ladd and Edward G. Robinson. (IMDb)

VallejoviewuseThe east view along Vallejo Street on the steps between Montgomery and Kearny Streets from a slide picture I took in 1985 and now: The view from here is spectacular! The pier at the end of Vallejo Street is Pier 9.

ThillvallejouseAnother slide picture I took on the Vallejo Steps just above Montgomery Street in 1985. If it wasn’t for the cars you could hardly tell the difference.

VallejoBaxter1useVallejo BaxtertwouseIn a 1957 episode entitled ‘The Witness’ from the television show ‘Harbor Command’ Inspector Ralph Baxter tracks down a witness to a murder who’s hiding in a house on the Vallejo Steps.  He goes down the steps to the house where the man is hiding to convince him to turn himself in.

VallejostHCommandstairsuseBaxter goes down the steps to the house with the dark painted door on the left. The house has been remodeled and the door is painted white today.

VallejodoorwayuseInspector Baxter notices a suspicious man in the doorway of a house across the street from the where the witness is hiding. Sure enough, the man turns out to be one of the gang trying to locate the witness to kill him. The bottom picture is the doorway where the bad guy was watching from.

VallejostepsnorthuseThe opposite side of the Vallejo steps from where Baxter walked down seen in the episode.

Vallejo1985UseVallejo Street between Montgomery and Sansome Streets in a slide I took from 1985. Trees block some of the view today. A house has been built now in the empty lot to the left of the van in the 1985 picture.

VallejoEmbarcadero1useVallejoEmbarcadero2useIn a ‘Harbor Command’ episode from 1957 entitled ‘Gold Smugglers’ two dental assistants have been forging the dentist’s name to order gold that they’ve been stockpiling. They murder the doctor when he finds out what they’ve been doing. They attempt to smuggle the gold out of San Francisco. Naturally, Inspector Ralph Baxter will spoil their plans before they get too far. Here, they try to make their escape in a taxi on the Embarcadero at the foot of Vallejo Street. You can see construction work on the soon to be finished Embarcadero Freeway in the right background of the show scenes.

“Mr. and Mrs. Nobody; you’ve just murdered a dentist, smuggled stolen gold, and stashed the car used in your crimes. What are you going to do now?”

“We’re going to Disneyland!”

VallejoLadd1useVallejoLadd2useNow, back to Alan Ladd: In ‘Hell on Frisco Bay’, Ladd plays an ex police officer wrongly convicted of manslaughter who’s just been released from prison. He comes back from San Francisco to try to find out who framed him.  Sometime around 1985 I recorded the film on a VHS video recorder, and was interested in the location of this scene. Ladd is shadowing a mob moll to locate a witness to the murder he was framed for. The movie is finally available on DVD, and I watched it again last night, probably the first time since 1985, to get my captures.

VallejoLadd3useAlthough the location wasn’t identified in the Alan Ladd and Eddie G. movie, it was easy from the scene to track it down to Vallejo Street and Hodges Alley, between Montgomery and Sansome Streets, where I took the 1985 slide in the top picture.












6/2 in 1962 (For Cindy)

No, that’s not a song by the band Chicago, that was ‘25 or 6 to 4’. I have a friend who was born in 1962 on June 2nd. Of course, a lot of people were born on June 2nd 1962, but Cindy’s the only one that I know. These are vintage pictures from 1962.

1962JonesuseJones Street looking down toward Union Street and beyond to the Bay: (flickr)

1962FWharfuseJefferson and Taylor at Fisherman’s Wharf: (flickr)

1962PowellCCaruseThe cable car turnaround at Powell and Market Streets looking in the opposite direction from where most pictures are taken at this location: Eddy Street where the building with the ‘Christopher for Lieutenant Governor’ sign is used to cut through to Market Street before it was cut off in the early 1970’s by Hallidie Plaza and the Powell Street BART Station. George Christopher, who was Mayor of San Francisco in 1962, lost his bid for lieutenant Governor in that election. (Chronicle)

1962MarketStuseLooking across Market Street to the cable car turnaround on Powell Street: (

1962CTownuseGrant Avenue and California Street in Chinatown on a sunny day in 1962, and a foggy day in 2019: (

1962ChampsuseCity Hall honors the San Francisco Giants 1962 Pennant win, and the 2013 Oracle Team, USA 2013 America’s Cup yacht racing victory. (Vintage image source unknown)

1962MonorailuseCindy’s crazy about Disneyland too. These are pictures from Disneyland taken in 1962. The Monorail passing the Disneyland entrance: That looks like the Disneyland Hotel being constructed in the far back of the vintage picture. (

1962FLanduseDumbo the Flying Elephant Ride and the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship in Fantasyland with the Matterhorn in the background: This was as close as I could come to this spot now. (flickr)

1962MansionuseThe Haunted Mansion: The unfinished Haunted Mansion sat on a hill between Frontierland and the Indian Village from 1962 until it opened in August of 1969, with different reasons for the delayed opening including the death of Walt Disney in 1966. (Disney Parks Blog)

1962submarineuseThe Submarine Lagoon and Monorail Station with the old Skyway in Tomorrowland: (