The dunes of June

So, where will I go in San Francisco on a warm June afternoon? The Shopping District of San Francisco, which has been practically a ghost town since the shelter-in-place was ordered, has been attacked by vandals recently, as elsewhere, and is not a friendly area right now. These are not protesters, they’re not activists, and they are not a movement; they’re just thugs, men and women, all different races. They’re the kind of people that parents hope their children will never grow up to become. Fisherman’s Wharf isn’t a destination, either. Still closed because of the pandemic, an enormous fire in Pier 45 has made situation there even worse, and came close to destroying the World War Two Liberty Ship, the Jeremiah O’Brien. Golden Gate Park is still beautiful at 150 years of age, but because of the fresh air and safe distancing, it’s near about the only place worth visiting in San Francisco right now and sometimes even more crowded than usual. So I went to my getaway place that I’ve been going to since I was 15, Ocean Beach and the Cliff House area. The looters haven’t reached here yet, COVid-19 hasn’t made this a dangerous area, and there have been no major fires here. These are a collection of vintage drawings and postcards I’ve updated while walking around the northern side of Ocean Beach.

DuneOBeachuseLooking toward Ocean Beach and the Great Highway from the Cliff House in the early 1900s: With some shelter-in-place restrictions lifted slightly at the beginning of June, parking is allowed again at Ocean Beach. You can see the Dutch and Murphy Windmills in Golden Gate Park in the upper right. (Pinterest)

DunesGHighwayuseThe Great Highway from Sutro Heights with Chutes-at-the-Beach in the 1920s: (eBay posted on pinterest)

DunesCHouseuseThe fire that destroyed the old gingerbread Cliff House in 1907, seen from Sutro Heights: (

DunesSutrosuseThis picture I took a few years back of the Sutro Bathhouse ruins lines up pretty good with the old drawing of what it looked like. The concrete squared ruin in the lower left of my picture was where the pump house, seen with the tall chimney in the vintage drawing, was located. (

DunessealsuseThe misnamed Seal Rocks from the Cliff House: There were never seals on Seal Rocks, they were sea lions, and they’re gone now. (

DunetoughieuseA group of people on Ocean Beach, probably around 1910: That’s the present day Cliff House built after 1907, and people stopped dressing like that by World War One. I don’t like the looks of that little toughie in the front of the crowd.

“So, you don’t like my knickerbockers, huh? Well, what are you gonna do about it?” (

DuneVictorianuseOcean Beach, Seal Rocks, the Cliff House, and Sutro Heights in the early 1900s: (

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