A labor of love for the Labor Day Weekend

It’s not always as easy as it looks, but it’s not always as hard as it looks either. (Thumbnail images)

825 Clay Street at Waverly Place in the 1950s: I don’t know if that little guy on the left was imitating a cop or Marlon Brando in ‘The Wild One’. (Phil Palmer)


They have bronze maps of the alleys of Chinatown in many of the alleys, and I spent some of the time exploring most of them. Just follow the bronze footprints. The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in Ross Alley was business as usual.

A couple of old clunkers on Market Street where Sutter Street comes into it: Well, three old clunkers if you count me. The old picture is from the 1970s. (San Francisco Municipal Railway)


Looking toward what is now the Nordstrom portion of Westfield Centre in the 1960s: There used to be collection of popular stores here long ago. I wonder what Record Ecords was like? (Pinterest)


Anson Place and Powell Street in the 1940s:  I had to wait for a cable car, try do get it at about the same spot as the old one, and I got a lucky break with the girl in the Giants jacket walking by when I took my picture. The Giants and Dodgers were locked in a showdown at Giants Stadium over the weekend. The Giants came out on top. (Max Yavno)


Looking toward the old Emporium Department Store in the 1960s:  I really enjoy seeing the old F Line Streetcars up and running along Market Street again, and it makes for a better comparison picture. (Vintage Everyday)

3 thoughts on “A labor of love for the Labor Day Weekend

  • Again, the fifth pair of pictures demonstrates how effective pollarding can be with sycamores. I see this technique more in San Francisco than anywhere else. I am impressed that there are still arborists who know how to do it properly, and are willing to do it. It is such a stigmatized technique.

      • The branch structure and precision of the location suggest that they are. That is an advantage of pollarding, and why it is more common in crowded conditions in San Francisco than in areas that can accommodate larger trees. The trees are never able to get very large, and their limbs and trunks do not need to get very bulky to support their limited weight. Nowadays, we would just plant trees that stay small, such as crape myrtle (which I am none too keen on, and which does not do so well in San Francisco). A long time ago, horticulturists were willing to put the extra effort into pollarding, in order to get more stately and distinguished trees. From the street, the trunks and limbs look like those of a normal sycamore (London plane), but their canopies to not get very big. Every winter, they get cut back to start the process over. Unfortunately, the technique is stigmatized among arborists here. It really should not be, since it is so effective. As you can see, those trees have been there for decades, and are still proportionate to the site.

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