Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Sidewalks

Here are a few additions to the cement archives from my morning walk:

What's curious is these letters are much smaller than normal. They are in the old-fashioned typeface, but in a newer ramp at 32nd Ave.

I have walked over this name on 32nd Ave. at least fifty times but never noticed the extra "I" in "Kirkham" until today:

I like how someone was cognizant of the fact that the "nd" "st" should be small letters, and attempted to have them make more sense by superscripting them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Chirstmas

For as long as I can remember, back to the early 1990's, this house has at 34th & Quintara has been elaborately decorated for Christmas.

It's a tradition of mine, no matter where I live in the area to drive by at least one evening to enjoy the lights. But there's a lot see in the daytime, too.

We've been by twice so far after a Christmas events this year. It was raining both times which made for some lovely reflections.

Wisely, the Holy Family is up high, keeping the Baby Jesus safe from naughty tricksters.

I've spoken to the home owners a few times. They have the lights on timers.

Keep your eye on this house. It gets decorated for many other holidays as well.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ocean Beach in the News

There was an article about the Ocean Beach neighborhood (I didn't know there was such a designation) in today's Chronicle. Be sure to read the comments. It was written by Carl Nolte, who's column is called "Native Son".

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunset Palace

On Irving between 26th and 27th I spotted this:

The Sunset Palace was not very palatial, in my opinion.

I don't know anything about it. I will check whenever I make that trip to the Main Library to look through old phone books.

It's funny, there are some blue and white tiles right around the edge of the entry to Nomad Cyclery next door. They don't match well with the beige and green tiles. I don't show you a full picture of Nomad's building, but to me they are not similar. However, they were built the same year. The tile is painted over at the "Palace", maybe it was the same as Nomad's.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

12th & Judah

Sometimes it is just too easy. I went to the Cheese Shop at 12th and Irving and walked up to catch the N. While I was waiting I looked down and saw a two-fer:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Construction Watch

I thought it would be fun to watch and see what goes up here:

I only wish I had taken some pictures earlier when it was gutted. I had no idea the roof and all was coming off.

I like how you can see the pink color that the house on the right used to be painted.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Mural on Veterans Day

Have you ever noticed this house on 46th Avenue?

I like the clever use of the space for the mural, and have wondered what the significance of the Harry Truman quote is.
"The only thing you don't know is the history you haven't read"

It turns out that the artist who painted the pizza murals at the Pizza Place, Nicole Andrijauskas, was commissioned to do these. Go check out her website: She has done a lot of fun things. Here is the page with the explanation for the project, which was commissioned by the family of a WWII aircraft mechanic.

Apologies for the poor photos. It was a beautiful time of day, but I didn't capture the details very well.

Monday, November 10, 2008


This blog has not be shuttered, it's just that a combination of factors has prevented me from getting out much lately to take new photos.

Have you ever wondered how many styles of shutters there are in the Sunset? Well, I have and I'm starting to keep track of them. They seem to fall into three types: plain, cut-out decoration, and applied decoration.

My favorites are the cut-outs. There are simple shapes:

Fancy cut-outs:

Here are some of the shutters with trim applied:

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.