I was walking along Mission Street in the Financial District to get coffee this morning and was struck by how efficiently a big lab was in guiding a blind person through a crowded, chaotic crosswalk. The pair navigated multiple near-collisions plus the curb at the end. It was impressive. More after the jump… Continue reading Downtown Guide Dog
Even folks who think of themselves as open-minded urbanoids who can appreciate a good “mural” – unlike these wankers – will often mutter about tags as being mere marking of territory – simple, unimaginative, unskilled fuck-you-ism.
The above visualization of the motion of tagging, however, seems to challenge this notion. Anyone who’s ever paid attention to the kids on Muni as they swipe their markers and fill the bus with dizzying fumes has had a chance to see this, on some level. And yet most cannot get past the criminality (or the smell).
I spent Christmas this year with my fiance’s family in Southampton, PA. Her dad pulled out a DVD of some footage he took on one of the earliest VHS vidcams (a Hitachi) that chronicled a trip around Japan in 1983 when they lived there. This clip is from the small neighborhood in Tokyo – Hatsudai – where they were living.
The 27-year-old footage of snowman-building kids, lanterns, tight quarters, and a thick collection of snow, really evoke the feeling of Winter and Christmas for me. I also love the ambient sound.
Below is the same street today with images grabbed off Google Streetview:
Why on God’s green earth did anyone dream up this 1938 stunt? To quote the narrator, “Your guess is as good as mine.”
This poor horse chased a handful of sugar and towed a fat, useless human named “Shorty Roberts,” as it swam the Golden Gate just to settle a bet about whether horses can swim:
The swim took 23 minutes and 15 seconds—an hour less than it had taken an Olympic swimmer. When Blackie and Shorty arrived in SF, the SPCA was waiting, but admitted that Shorty looked much worse than the horse and didn’t cite him. Shorty always insisted that the horse loved swimming in the bay.
Be sure to check out this poignant 1942 timeline from the SF Chronicle of the history of the Japanese American community in SF, which ends with the last of 5,280 people being “evacuated” out of the city.
Last night Japanese town was empty. Its stores were vacant, its windows plastered with “To Lease” signs. There were no guests in its hotels, no diners nibbling on sukiyaki or tempura. And last night, too, there were no Japanese with their ever present cameras and sketch books, no Japanese with their newly acquired furtive, frightened looks…
They left San Francisco by the hundreds all through last January and February, seeking new homes and new jobs in the East and Midwest. In March, the Army and the Wartime Civil Control Administration took over with a new humane policy of evacuation to assembly and relocation centers where both the country and the Japanese could be given protection. The first evacuation under the WCCA came during the first week in April, when hundreds of Japanese were taken to the assembly center at Santa Anita. On April 25 and 26, and on May 6 and 7, additional thousands were taken to the Tanforan Center. These three evacuations had cleared half of San Francisco. The rest were cleared yesterday.
I wonder what became of the hopeful, posing folks in the above film clip during this era. (I presume the second, color portion of the clip means they managed to stay together, even if they had to move to Chicago.)
The fantastic footage (with ambient-only sound) and trivia, combined with an infusion of pride for San Francisco’s past and present, make this segment, called simply, “Cable Cars,” a great way to spend 5 minutes of computer time. Along the way, you’ll meet: Ken Lunardi, operator; Norm Feyling, mechanic; and Bob Harris, carpenter.
Produced by Greg Burk for SFGTV‘s award-wining magazine series “City In Focus.”
KevMo over at MissionMission points us to this melancholy yet joyful edit of Dia de los Muertos footage scored with “Hellhole Ratrace” by Girls. He also laments the overwhelming whiteness of the celebration in recent years. I think the video/music mix itself captures that duality.
Hey, clueless Twitter guy who works at the zoo, not only are you a big doofus, but that “third eyelid”? When the penguin winks it, that means he knows you stole the idea from him. Watch your back at feeding time. Payback’s a bitch.
Came across this file randomly while browsing the Prelinger Archive, which I haven’t done in a while. The footage of longshoremen jockeying cargo on and off ships is a swift check on romanticism and a concrete reminder that, even long ago, industry on a mass scale was what drove almost all of our activity.
I logged a few of the bits that really stood out to me:
3:00 – Steam locomotives navigating Market Street, and cruising along the Embarcardero.
5:00 – Cool aerial footage; Ferry Building with street cars on a circular track in front and a heavy rail locomotive waiting (loading?) on the left; Golden Gate Ferries.
6:50 – I believe this is a quick shot of Dolores Street.
7:40 – Funky, animated relief maps of the area and trade routes, points of interest.
8:55 – Aerial footage of downtown, City Hall and Golden Gate Park.
10:45 – Aerial of the western side of the city; Golden Gate Park, including the bandshell area.