Following in my own footsteps (Part two)

These are updates of slide pictures around San Francisco that I took in May of 1983. Except for the cars, clothes and a few additional ugly skyscrapers, most of the views haven’t changed much. Keep in mind that all of the older photos were taken during the 1982 – 1984 cable car shut down. (Thumbnail images)

California Street looking west toward Front Street and Nob Hill beyond: Bookmania, boy I loved that store! I still have quite a number of books in my library that I bought there.

Looking south toward the intersection of Sacramento and Front Streets from the Embarcadero Center. The tall building on the left, barely visible from here today, is 101 California Street. My earlier photo was taken ten years before a lunatic caused the second deadliest mass murder shooting in Bay Area History in 101 California Street. The little corner Home Savings didn’t survive, and I used to make good use of the Round Table Pizza spot next to Shroeder’s Restaurant. Shroeder’s is still there though; I watched the Giants make it into their first of three San Francisco World Series victories in October of 2010.

California Street, just down from Powell: I’d sure like to have that orange truck in the older photo. You can see the 1983 repair work on the California cable car line down at the bottom of California Street. Cable cars, empty of passengers, were rattling past me all day while I did these updates last weekend; they’re getting ready for their return in August.

I headed down California Street toward Chinatown, as I did 38 years ago. “Slug bug”; notice the two Volkswagens turning onto California Street in the older picture. I don’t know why that seems so nostalgic to me, but it does.

We’ll cross to the south side of California Street to get a look at Old St. Mary’s Church.


I don’t remember the route I followed in 1983, but it’s probably the same one I took last Saturday. This is Pine Street looking down from Stockton Street toward the Bank of America Building.


We’re in ‘Maltese Falcon’ territory now. {Where Bush Street roofed Stockton before slipping downhill into Chinatown, Spade paid his fare and left the taxicab.} Samuel Spade crossed Bush Street here, looked over the edge of the Stockton Tunnel, and walked up to Burritt Alley where his partner Miles Archer had been shot earlier in the evening.

From Bush Street I doubled back down Kearny to get this comparison picture looking up Commercial Street as it climbs into Chinatown. Last Saturday’s redo stroll might have been a lot easier for me in 1983.

The Coit Tower parking lot with the Columbus Statue: Although this slide is dated May of 1983 as well, it’s unlikely it was taken the same day as the previous slides. If that little orange three wheel Go Car would have driven past me in 1983, I probably would have thought it was from outer space!

3 thoughts on “Following in my own footsteps (Part two)

  • I wish I had more time to look at these, just for the cars. Right behind the orange pickup is a 1979 or older Seville! That Cutlass in the last picture is RAD!
    Did it seem to you that the VTA Shooting in San Jose two months ago was rather mundane news, as if this sort of thing happens all the time nowadays?

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