Spots Unknown

This is #cappstreet on Instagram

Capp Street, San Francisco, on Instagram

Coming to Instagram as late as I have, I was shocked to find that there was zero Capp Street coverage. No longer!

There are reasons for healthy fear of Capp, but there is also beauty if you bother to look. So come on, have a look. And post pics. I'll repost nice ones @SpotsUnknown.

The Road to Mongolia

Here are a few shots I've kept from the trip so far.

We have a Spot GPS strictly for tracking our progress and gathering data about our trip, but we navigating the old fashioned way - with bad maps and lots of u-turns.

You can follow us at the blog, or on Facebook.

For access to all of my photos and videos, friend me. (I'm posting primarily to FB for now to save on redundant uploading.)

Things will only get weirder from here.

Happy Quake Day: The Mint

Is that guy in the bowler hat checking his iPhone?

Image courtesy US Library of Congress.

Happy ’06 Earthquake Day: Stanford

This statue on the Stanford University campus just couldn't take it any more.

Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library.

Coit & Columbus

Columbus & Coit, San Francisco

I managed to find my way to the 34th floor of the Transamerica Building on Saturday. This was my first time inside. I was doubly lucky because of how nice of a day it was. Click to expand.

In a Van Down By Ocean Beach

Vans Down By Ocean Beach: San Francisco

Pole aerial shot of Volkswagen van owners' gathering. Photo by Flickr user KAP Cris.

Nice Try, Teddy

Nice Try, Teddy; San Francisco

I think we've all been tempted to go over the wall at some point by the apparent harmlessness of barbed wire. Learn from this Teddy Bear's mistakes and save yourself some grief. (Then again, at least he died yearning for freedom.)

(Spotted on Capp Street near 17th.)

“The City is My Sweetheart”

The city is my Sweetheart Tattoo, San Francisco
Image by Jonathan Moore

From the Spots Unknown Flickr pool.

Moustache Magic

Magic of the Moustache, San Francisco

Mr. Magic performs on the street in Fisherman's Wharf. To be honest, even though he's pretty good with the metal rings in his hands, the rings around his eyes and on his upper lip had me more mezmerized.

Name That Spot

Name That Spot, San Francisco

Where are these two be-Stetsoned gentlemen located? In the comments.

The Answer to Betty White Fatigue

The Answer to Betty White Fatigue - Phyllis Diller as Fast Pass Spokesperson! - San Francisco

While we were at a pawn shop on Mission Street, Steve spotted this. (What's with the two jumping fishes?)

MUNI should totally bring back Phyllis Diller for the Fast Pass! At 93, she's got 5 years on Betty White. I even did their graphic design work for them:

Phyllis Diller on the Clipper Card, San Francisco

Photos of San Francisco in 1939

San Francisco 1939 by Seymour Snaer, cover image

1939 was a big year for San Francisco, during which it attempted to convince the world that it had fully recovered from the catastrophes of 1906 and was once again a city to be reckoned with. Completion of the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge was punctuated with the International Exhibition on Treasure Island.

For one photographer/photojournalist, that year left a lasting impression.

The photographer's name is Seymour Snaer, and the images were published in 1980 in a book titled, San Francisco 1939: An Intimate Photographic Portrait. Snaer had over 100 rolls of film from that one year, so publisher Bill Owens reprinted select shots from negatives, rescuing them from the bad cropping done by newspapers like the Examiner, who Snaer had worked for.

I've Googled around and not found much mention of the man, nor have I seen any of his images. The (used) book is listed on some sites, but none even have the cover image (above).

I'm including just some of the photos (in low-res format taken with my camera), and the captions that go with them. Additionally, I've excerpted some text from the body of the book. The writing has a raw feel to it; you can tell it was written by someone who doesn't write, but really has something to say.

Follow SU on Twitter.

Some of the highlights: Real fishermen using nets in the Bay; Belt and Southern Pacific trains; view from Twin Peaks; Sally Rand's Nude Ranch (NSFW); ski jumping on Treasure Island; auto polo.

Tip of the hat to Jonathan at Viracocha for gifting the book to me (that was a very kind way to get me to stop bugging you about your fantastic shop).

The above image is from the cover, portraying still and movie photographers capturing President Franklin Roosevelt's motorcade who came to see the Expo before it opened, in '38. Snaer writes:

Two of the guys in the bunch were very famous newsreel cameramen in the '30s, Joe Rucker and Frank Vail. They used hand-crank cameras ... I had big bulbs and all of a sudden - a bulb exploded! Secret Servicemen ran all over the place. It really embarrassed me. [p. 24]

The following images and text are all directly from the book. (Keep in mind that when he says "today," Snaer means 1980.)

Note: I'm pretty sure the copyright, originally reserved by Snaer himself, isn't being actively enforced, but in case it is, I'm only posting low-res images, and will gladly remove them if a rights-holder contacts me. Check out the photos/text after the jump...

Your Anti-Pigeon Wires are Wonderful…

Anti-Pigeon at BART, San Francisco

...for me to poop on!

(Spotted@ 16th/Mission BART.)

Fire Boat

Fire Boat, San Francisco

Parked at the SF Fire Department Museum, Pier 22 1/2. See it in higher-res at the Spots Unknown Flickr Pool.

Tilted and Shifted

Tilted and Shifted, San Francisco

I'm still a big sucker for this effect, when it's well-done. These shots of Union Square were created to promote an iPhone app.

American Apparel – What’s That Smell?

American Apparel - What's That Smell? San Francisco

That’s Not an Ashtray, That’s My Eye

That's Not an Ashtray, That's My Eye

Sun Strider

Sun Strider, San Francisco

From the Spots Unknown Flickr pool.

BART Ad Oozing

BART Ad Oozing, San Francisco

Mmmm...

Can You Tell Me What’s Going on Here?

Art Car Hatred? San Francisco

I Hate Art Cars, San Francisco

I've seen a lot of art cars in my time, but someone please explain this to me.