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.

Love Tap

Love Tap, San Francisco

I hit you because I love you. Will you be my Valentine?

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Playing With Time and Video

Rainy Time Lapse, San Francisco

Time lapse is all over the place, and it's refreshing to see even small variations on the form. I like the acceptance of the change in light levels in this video, and the play of water on the window. Rough and pretty. A film by KACHO--Little Cinema:

I Got Your Civil Sidewalk Right Here

I Got Your Civil Sidewalk Right Here; photo by Holy Mountain Photography
Photo by Flickr user Holy Mountain Photography

Seriously, though. No on L.

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 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

Your Anti-Pigeon Wires are Wonderful…

Anti-Pigeon at BART, San Francisco

...for me to poop on!

(Spotted@ 16th/Mission BART.)

Sweet Vintage Street Sweeper, circa 1950

Vintage Street Sweeper, San Francisco

This beauty of a machine is shown cleaning the street at Dolores Park, which apparently even back then was regularly trashed by hordes of Missionites. (If anyone knows the origins of this photograph please drop it in the comments so I can properly attribute. I found it here.)

You can buy a vintage ad for the Austin-Western "Model 40" on eBay (and, really, why not?):

Vintage Street Sweeper Ad, 1950

Here's the ad copy:

On any street, there are many things the operator of a sweeper has to watch, and with the model "40" he sees them all. Only with this sweeper does he have unobstructed view of everything around him. There are no "blind" spots for the man behind the wheel of a model "40."

Children don't always watch where they're going. Thanks to front steer and rear-mounted hopper, the model "40" operator can do the watching for them, because he sits in the natural place "up front" where he can see what's going on.

And there's another important angle... Not only can he operate Model "40" safely but efficiently as well, because it's the only sweeper with gutter brooms visible at all times.

Yes, for efficiency's sake as well as safety's sake... GET A MODEL "40."

Let the "hipster-proof" jokes commence...

Feels Like Independence Day

I didn't see any fireworks over the weekend. Boo hoo.

But after watching this latest video by Daniel Jarvis, I feel like I can miss fireworks for the next three years.

Filmed at Dolores Park, 24th and Harrison, The Uptown, The Phone booth, Bernal Heights, and all over the roads of San Francisco.

Song is "Being a Teenager is Free Palestine" by The Downer Party.

Tearing Down El Herradero for MSF’s Commonwealth

Saw this on the way to work this morning. It did occur to me to stop recording and hold the ladder for the guy doing the heavy work in this maneuver, but you know, I didn't want to get in the way or anything.

Charitable restaurateur Anthony Myint and company have gone a couple grand beyond their Kickstarter goal, and are well into renovations, having closed up shop at Mission Street Food.

What I want to know is, are they gonna take down the awesome El Herradero sign? And if so, can I have it?

El Herradero, San Francisco; photo by Burrito Justice
Photo by Burrito Justice

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.

A Surreal Encounter Above Dolores Park (video)

I'm sure weirder things have happened at Dolores Park. But the weirdness combined with being four stories up on a bright, sunny day, really pushes this encounter into the red.

I was at home being all Sundayzee and thought about ignoring Daniel Jarvis' call at first, but then answered...

Jarvis: Dude, crazy dancing chicks on a rooftop! Bring your camera!
Me: I was gonna take a nap.
Jarvis: I said crazy dancing chicks on a rooftop! You're two blocks away! Let's go up there! With the camera!
Me: How do you know they even want us up there?
Jarvis (calling up to rooftop): Hey! Hey, down here! Can we come up and film you? We have a camera! Can we? (to me) They said we can go up there!
Me: Okay, Okay...

I think it was worth it.

UPDATE: The song is "Go Do" by Jonsi. Video shot and edited by Jarvis.

Proof of Fogmonster’s Existence

Fog Time Lapse from Spots Unknown on Vimeo.

On Saturday I tested out my new Opteka remote timer. Watch the fog roll over Twin Peaks and break up on Eureka Heights.

This time lapse footage was taken from Harrison and 18th.


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Valencia East Sidewalks Getting Laid

Valencia East Sidewalks Getting Laid, San Francisco

Glad to see it. (Thanks, Gwen.)

Original Video: Pre-Summer Sunday in Dolores Park

Pre-Summer Sunday in Dolores Park from Spots Unknown on Vimeo.

Unknown? Admittedly, hard to make that case.

I mean, I could weave a clumsy tapestry of ugly logic suggesting that, even in spots that are "familiar," elements of those spots can still reveal themselves - how much is truly "known" of any spot? And when you're at Dolores Park, do you have any clue what's happening a few hundred feet away?

Furthermore, time changes everything. Maybe we're documenting DP for future times, after The Big One, when the park will have long become a memorial to those brave hipsters who tumbled into a fiery chasm while texting or shotgunning beers. "In Your wisdom, Lord, You took them... So say we All..."

But, to be honest, this is red meat and we know it.

Shot last Sunday, May 2nd, this video is the first collaboration between myself and hotshot local video dude, Daniel Jarvis. Daniel was featured around the blogs a while back for his stunning footage of Dia de los Muertos. Give him some love:

Document Document
Welcome to the Stage

We're going to be producing a series of video pieces providing off-angle views onto the spots we cover, so stay tuned here, or follow our Twitter and Vimeo feeds.

The music in this video is "You Hid" by Toro y Moi.

Pet Rats Need Exercise, Too

Morning Walk With Bonita, San Francisco

Marlena Vasquez and her pal, Bonita, on 19th at Mission, 8:45am this morning.

Snow on Mission Street!

Snow on Mission Street, San Francisco!

This stuff fell from the sky just a few minutes ago and I'm calling it snow.

You think I'm wrong, but try walking up the stairs from 16th/Mission BART while water is cascading back down, stepping carefully over a whitened sidewalk, and checking the wonder on kids' faces - and then pay heed to this "distinction":

Hail and snow are formed by different processes and thus look quite
different, although both are composed of ice.

Snowflakes are composed of single or conglomerated ice
crystals, whereas hail is a ball of ice.

Snowflakes form when an ice crystal grows in very cold air
at the expense of surrounding water vapor.
By the way, there are many other shapes of ice crystals
(platelets, columns, etc.) that can form in a similar way,
but under different atmospheric conditions.

Hail usually starts as a frozen drop of water on a soil or
pollutant particle. The frozen drop is repeatedly carried aloft
and dropped by strong updrafts and down-drafts in a thunderstorm.
As the hailstone rises and falls, super-cooled water droplets
freeze to its surface, enlarging it.

Both snowflakes and hail drop from the clouds where they formed
when they become too heavy for the upward atmospheric motions
in the clouds to support them.

Did I mentioned it snowed on Mission Street just now?

Dear MUNI, Maybe Switch Back to the Roman Alphabet Now?

Hey MUNI, Maybe You Can Go Back to the Roman Alphabet?

I appreciate the attempt to prepare us for The Big One when the cell towers go down and the only thing left will be Morse Code. But I failed out of Cub Scouts and I can promise you I will never learn this.

(Spotted @ Mission/18th St.)

Today’s ’06 Lesson: Mission Dolores

Old Photo of the Day: Mission Dolores, San Francisco, found at Flickr stream of Steveningen

Something about the empty space in front of San Francisco's oldest building, pictured above in 1881 according to the caption on Flickr, draws me in. It was made of adobe. The brick-construction Gothic Revival replacement next to it crumbled in the '06 quake:

Mission Dolores Replacement Church Destroyed