Protests, progress, and pomp

I took these pictures throughout the first week of autumn from September 21st through September 29th. The weekend of the 21st and 22nd was as pretty as any summer weekend we had this year. On the 25th when I took the pictures around Market Street and Civic Center, the temperature in San Francisco was in the mid 90’s. On the weekend of the 28th and 29th when I finished the set, the temperature had dropped a bit and a wind picked up, but it was still summertime weather. Also, it was great to see so many people wearing SF Giants t-shirts and jerseys around town while they were celebrating the closing of the Giants manager Bruce Bochy’s baseball career out at Giants Stadium; I was wearing mine too.

FallPier45 A protest at Pier 45 in Fisherman’s Wharf by the Chinese community in 1937: The protesters were calling for an end to the United States importing materials to Japan after the Japanese Empire invaded China. (

FallCHalluseIn my September 9th 2019 post about ‘SOMA’ I mentioned a group of Telegraph Hill dwellers who forced City Hall to stop skyscrapers from being built in San Francisco any further north than they are today. These people here on the Polk Street side of City Hall in 1959 were no less heroic in their effort to stop San Francisco from building any more freeways like the Embarcadero and Central Freeways. (Collector’s Weekly)

FallEllisuseI’m old enough to remember when there were a number of gas stations in and around the Downtown and North Beach area of San Francisco. (Not this one though) There was one right in the middle of Fisherman’s Wharf across Taylor Street from Alioto’s Restaurant, one on Bay Street at the Embarcadero, one on Pacific Ave. at Columbus, one on the west side of the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building, one on Washington Street at Columbus, all gone now. One of the last holdouts was the 76 Station at 1st and Harrison Streets that was still there in 2018, but recently demolished. The one in this photo was on the northeast corner of Ellis and Taylor Streets. The enormous Hilton Hotel is there now. I’ll bet the owner of the station held out for a lot of money. Well, if eliminating all of the convenient gas stations in Downtown San Francisco is your cup of progress, then it’s a good thing. (Vintage Everyday)

FallMacCoveuseThey don’t sail ships like that into McCovey Cove these days! Sometimes progress gets it right. McCovey Cove, named after the baseball slugger Willie McCovey, was originally called China Basin when this three mast ship in the vintage picture was docked there in 1922. Near the end of the Twentieth Century this spot was basically an area of run down docks. All that changed when the new baseball park for the San Francisco Giants opened in 2000. The docks behind the old ship were where the ballpark is today. My picture was taken on the last day of the 2019 regular season as fans begin to pour into the ballpark to honor the end of the Bruce Bochy Dynasty era. The Giants skipper who led the Giants to the 2010, 2012, and 2014 championship retired on this day. (

FallSTPatuseThe St. Patrick’s Day Parade passes Powell Street along Market on March 17th 1954: This shows a sign of changing times; leprechauns, shamrocks, and pretending to be Irish when you’re not is okay on St. Patrick’s Day. However, although the day and festivities are named in his honor, St. Patrick himself is seldom invited to participate anymore. I suppose he’s considered as politically incorrect as using the word Christmas is nowadays. (SF Chronicle)

FallNixonuseOn July 23rd 1969 the United States President and First Lady Richard and Patricia Nixon were in San Francisco to greet the returning astronauts of Apollo 11 that landed the first humans on the moon. They stayed at the St. Francis Hotel at Union Square. (SF Chronicle)

FallMacysuseA mainly friendly crowd gathered at Union Square across Powell Street from the St. Francis Hotel. (SF Chronicle)

FallprotesteruseThey weren’t all supportive of President Nixon. (SF Chronicle)

FallStFrancisuseMr. and Mrs. Nixon leaving the main entrance of the St. Francis Hotel: (SF Chronicle)

FallPowellcrossuseThe President and First Lady crossed Powell Street about here to great supporters. (SF Chronicle)

FallsignsuseNot everybody was on the same side but they got along, and that’s not a bad example. (SF Chronicle)

FallccaruseFallupPowelluseThe Nixons climbed on a cable car and headed up Powell Street to start their tour of San Francisco before flying out to the aircraft carrier USS Hornet vie Air Force One and the Marine One helicopter to greet the returning astronauts. (SF Chronicle)













One thought on “Protests, progress, and pomp

  • Saint Patrick’s day in Los Gatos is merely an excuse for C. B. Hannegan’s to block the mall for a party in the street, where those who indulge get overly sloshed and eventually vomit into the planter boxes . . . and everywhere else. I doubt Saint Patrick would be flattered.

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