Thursday, October 23, 2008

Name this Restaurant

In which restaurant on the western side of the city will you find this lovely floor?

Hint - it has great views

Hint #2 - it has been in business since 1937

Hint #3 - one of the few places you can get a chocolate malt and actually taste the malt

It's Louis', right above Sutro Baths and the Cliff House.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Union Builders

I came across a couple more new (to me) marks in the sidewalk last week. I didn't take notes but they are in the 1400 block of either 22nd, 23rd, or 24th Aves.

Here's the first, a contractor's name I haven't seen before and couldn't read.

A little further down the block MJ Lynch turned up again, this time up against the competition, D.C. McCabe and Sons.

The block had quite a few McCabe marks.

Across the street I found this Union marking. There was no contractor's name marked along with it.

I can't quite make it all out. It looks like:

S - 70 - F
LOCAL [3 or N]01 REG

First, I'm quite sure the "70" is not a year. The houses it was in front of didn't appear to built or remodeled in 1970. And I can't imagine them making a new iron every year. I'm not really up on union names and numbers so I searched the web a bit. Today there is a cement mason's union 300 in San Francisco, and the Teamster's local in Oakland is #70.

One of these days I'm going to look through old phone books at the Main Library and search for contractors, builders, and unions.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Land's End

Above the Cliff House is a wonderful place for a hike: Land's End. There is something for everyone: views of the Golden Gate, nature, shipwrecks, and an old rail bed. I didn't spend time up there as a child, but I got to know it well when I worked at the Veteran's Affairs Hospital.

A week or two ago I went up to see the progress on the new Cliff House visitor center. The parking lot is finished, as are the new, flat trails connecting it to Land's End. I prefer to park up at Land's End. First stop is the U.S.S. San Francisco Memorial which honors those who died at Guadalcanal.

You can find photos of the monument being built and dedicated here.

If you are interested in the military, than head up hill and explore the bunkers of Fort Miley.

I'm going to intersperse some old postcard images from my collection. Take a look through the photos labeled "Land's End" in the S.F.P.L. collection, too.

My other goal was to take photos of the old restroom ruins. I think they are right below this foundation which is directly below the lovely new seating area on the recently upgraded trail.

I used to duck down under a certain tree a little further down the path and then cut back. However, I discovered that a lot of trees and brush have been cleared and native plant restoration is in process, leaving no "legal" access down the slope. So I continued east, and headed down the hill to see if I could find a lower place to cross over. It was really green in spots.

And brown in others, with wildflowers here and there.

The coolest thing I ever saw at Land's End was a red fox. I think that will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Mile Rock Lighthouse wasn't always an orange and white stump. Read more about it here.

Many ships have wrecked off the waters of Land's End (not to mention at Sutro Baths and along Ocean Beach). Notably two sister ships, the Frank S. Buck and Lyman Stewart, built side by side are buried side-by-side. Here is the engine block of the Stewart. That reminds me of a great local book: Shipwrecks at the Golden Gate, which I pulled out last time the King Philip was visible on Ocean Beach.

You can see these remains and others from the main trail. What is now a trail used to be a road "El Camino Del Mar", and before that it was a rail bed. In fact tourists came out not only to visit the beach and Sutro Gardens, but to see shipwrecks.

A subject for a whole 'nother post is the Ferries and Cliffhouse Railway which carried San Franciscans from downtown to the wilds of the Outsidelands. There is a fantastic movie filmed 1902 by Thomas Edison from the front of the train. If you watch it here there is a bit of history, as well as a frame by frame description. Note the tunnels. It is also available on YouTube:

The steam was later converted to streetcars.

You can continue the hike all the way to Eagle's Point, on the edge of the Lincoln Park Golf Course. Did you know that the Legion of Honor Museum and the golf course sit on a former cemetery? There are still some memorial stones on the golf course.

If you haven't spent anytime at Land's End I encourage you to do so. You will see and learn something new every time you visit. If you don't want to hike out and back you can catch the 18-46th Avenue bus at the Legion of Honor back down to the Cliff House.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Stroll

I walked down Lincoln today and found that some of my favorite misspellings have, indeed, been eradicated. Here's a photo I took a couple weeks ago at 32nd Ave.

Did I ever post LIN"G"OLN?

Well, it's gone now, with this in it's place.

At my destination, 22nd and Irving, I spotted this addition to the named apartments:

Not sure where the "plaza" is, but here's the building, circa 1965.

Friday, October 10, 2008

26th and Moraga

Remember when I said that it was rare to see the same misspelled street name on all four corners of an intersection? Well, I was at the corner of "Z6" and Moraga toady and guess what?

This last one is really weird. It looks like the "Z" was initially left off, giving the opportunity to put in a "2". Instead, yet another Z was scratched in.

I also said that Moorish arches are rare in the Sunset. Not so much it seems. Here they are mixed with faux half-timbers.

Here's the reason I was at 26th and Moraga.

Another curlicue (more here and here):

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Guess Where - Reader Tip

Can you guess where this building is?

And what it is?

Inside the lobby there are more painted arches like this and at least one mural:

It's an apartment building on 8th and Irving, right between Pasquale's pizza and the "Sunset Apartments".

It's been on my list to photograph. I don't know what kind of arches these are but there aren't seen too much in the Sunset. (edited to add: I've been calling this the "Moorish" building, and the horse shoe arches are also called Moorish)

A reader recommended checking it out.

I found much more of interest than just the arches. The entry is full of wonderful details.

According to the City, it was built in 1927.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Out and About

Just a couple things I saw today.
A really bright house:

I don't know if you can see, but the shingles are kind of orange.

I hadn't seen this imprint before. It's on Irving at 11th.

Speaking of contractors, be on the lookout for "EJB". A reader's grandfather was a contractor, and she is lucky enough to still have the imprint iron. I haven't seen that particular mark yet.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Update Day

Today will be a day of updates and links.

First, welcome to recent readers, who are coming from the Western Neighborhoods Project. Thanks for reading, and I value your collective history and experiences.


I just discovered the photographer Jim Vecchi. He has done a Sunset Triology, including a look down at painted sidewalks.


Unless you were under a rock or something, like me, you probably know the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival is this weekend in Golden Gate Park. I've gone twice and it is a lot of fun, discovering new bands.


It was confirmed by a reader that the Lincoln Way overpass did have lights. Still hoping to find photos.


I went to The Pizza Place last night, here are the photos I posted last week of the mural. This time I actually went in and got dinner, which was great. Sweet potato fries and hot wing sauce, genius! There's a bar with six beers on tap, and a nice wine selection. Thin crust pizza, FYI. The Greek was excellent. A neighborhood feel, people seemed to know each other.

I didn't realize it, but the pizza car has wheels that rotate. Fun.

I learned that yes, the big mural on 46th Ave was there when they opened a year-and-a-half ago, and they worked around it. There is also a mural across the front, here's part of it.

Naturally my battery died before I got the rest, and naturally it wasn't until I was leaving that I learned that the woman who did the painting actually works there.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Geek Corner

First, check out the Sunset Greening event, Dig It, I posted about yesterday. Lunch & prizes, plus t-shirts and a ticket to see a concert featuring Stone Gossard for the first 400 volunteers.

Onto my geekdom...

At this intersection you will find Kirkham misspelled (full disclosre: I just misspelled misspelled).




Four times!

Fairly unusual to have all four wrong. And yes, I do check when I find one. And yes, that woman wandering around outside your house either staring at the sidewalk, risking life & limb to take a photo from the middle of the street, peering at houses up and down the block, going in circles, or cursing the sun for shining too brightly to take photos may have been me.