Union Square, Christmas Eve, 2021

Union Square, Christmas Eve, 2021: Perfect weather and a perfect place to develop a touch of Christmas spirit instead of Omicron. (Thumbnail images)


The southeast corner of Geary Blvd, and Stockton Street in the 1950s: The Salvation Army playing Christmas songs was just the right touch. (San Francisco Pictures Blog)


The opposite corner of the previous picture, looking toward the City of Paris Department Store in another 1950s picture: That angry looking girl in the dark hoodie doesn’t look like she likes having her picture taken! Or maybe she’s mad at the guy she’s with. “But, honey, we can’t afford it!” (opensfhistory.org)


A crowd in the 1940s on the west side of Union Square and the same spot yesterday: The camera in the old photo is looking toward the old Macy’s Store. (SF Chronicle)


The northwest corner of Union Square, looking toward the old City of Paris Department Store in the 1930s, and on Christmas Eve, 2021: (opensfhistory.org)

Nash Bridges visits Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf

In May of 2021 they filmed scenes for the USA Network revival film of Nash Bridges, starring Don Johnson and Cheech Marin, which premiered on November 21, 2021. If you’re a fan of the show, you probably enjoyed it. Major scenes were filmed on Pier 45 and the World War Two Liberty Ship, the Jeremiah O’Brien. (Thumbnail images)


In the first image, Nash Bridges and Joe Dominguez are searching for a suspect onboard a Ukrainian cargo ship; standing in for the foreign vessel is the Jeremiah O’Brien. I have no idea how to pronounce what they changed the name of the ship to.

As they approach the ship, you get a good look at the portion of Pier 45 destroyed in the devastating fire in May of 2020.

Nash and Joe, and a rookie cop played by Joe Dinicol stop at the ship. My brother, Kevin, was working on the ship while they were filming and sent me this picture he took from aboard the ship. You don’t see all the technicians involved when you watch the movie.


Guns drawn, they charge up the gangplank.


Nash storms into the Captain’s Mess, (“Well, if it’s the captains mess, let him clean it up.”) encountering two innocent ship mates.


Nash and Don finally take down the suspect aboard the ship.


Earlier in the film, there’s an extensive scene filmed in the Muse Mechanique Arcade. Here, a sleek and mysterious lady exits a limo and enters the arcade.


She confronts a fellow playing a pinball machine in the empty arcade. The Muse Mechanique had not reopened yet.

When she takes her coat off, I was thinking that they were about to have more fun than I ever had in the Muse Mechanique, but it turns out they’re going to have a duel to the death with exotic weapons. The fight is being filmed by a camera for off-location spectators betting on who will die. That scene alone is worth watching the movie. You can see Laffin’ Sal in the background.










‘Black Friday’, 2021

Last Friday was a far cry from last year’s ‘Bleak Friday’, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020. If shoppers were discouraged on this traditional first shopping day of the Christmas Season by the recent smash-and-grab robbery pandemic, they didn’t show it. They showed up packing loaded wallets, daring any trouble. Coupled with the unseasonably warm November weather in San Francisco lately, once again there was a touch of magic around Union Square for the beginning of the Holiday Season. (Thumbnail images)

Geary Blvd. and Stockton Street looking toward the old City of Paris Department Store in 1974: Neiman Marcus occupies the corner now. (viewoftheblue.com)

The northeast corner of Union Square in 1974: Due to the remodeling of Union Square in 2002, a perfect line up with the old photo isn’t possible anymore. (viewoftheblue.com)

Shoppers looking into the Macy’s store window in 1979 and 2021: (SF Chronicle, SF Gate)


The cable cars are back running again, but Santa ain’t riding them anymore. (SF Chronicle, SF Gate)


Something was going on at the Stockton Street side of the City of Paris Department Store at Christmastime, 1974. The Macy’s Store is on the right. (viewoftheblue.com)

Whatever was happening in the previous vintage picture from 1974 extended all the way to O’Farrell Street. The view is looking along O’Farrell toward Market Street. (viewoftheblue.com)


Looking along Geary Blvd. toward Stockton Street from Union Square in 1947: The building under construction is the I Magnin Store, now a part of the Macy’s Store. (opensfhistory.org)

The Fairmont Hotel Lobby in a scene from the 1964 film ‘Good Neighbor Sam’ and decorated for the 2021 Christmas Season:

The Union Square Christmas tree in 1929 and 2021: The building on the left in the old photo is still there, the building on the right was remodeled in 1947 for the I Magnin Store.  The Dewey Monument is behind the tree in the old photo. Notice how the Christmas tree in the vintage picture is warped, like a Christmas tree should be, rather than the perfect but still beautiful cone shape of the current tree. (emporernortontrust.org)


Well, after a long day of watching people buy gifts that weren’t for me, (“Doesn’t this guy have anything better to do?”) I headed for the Hallidie Plaza and a BART Train home. The older picture is from 1974. (viewoftheblue.com)