Mayhem on the Streets of San Francisco

I know squonk about video games, but apparently there are expectations that the new San Francisco edition of this languishing franchise will revive its cred:

Driver: San Francisco takes the long-running yet languishing Driver series back to its purest, most French Connection-y roots, and introduces several new game mechanics, hundreds of licensed vehicles and plenty of graphical improvements to bring the game up to speed with other next-gen racing titles.

It sure looks beautiful. I dig the Seventiesploitation soundtrack and, naturally, the locations (don’t you miss the old Muni shelters?):

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…


"24th Street Intersection" by Wayne Thiebaud

The artist Wayne Thiebaud is known for his paintings of “cakes, pastries…and toilets,” but this 1977 interpretation of a mythical intersection at 24th Street and Mariposa, submitted by friend o’ the blog Jacki, is our favorite – for obvious reasons.

Thiebaud once said:

“I was playing around with the abstract notions of edge – I was fascinated, living in San Francisco, by the way different streets just came in and then just vanished. So I sat out on a street corner and began to paint them.” It was the “sense of edges appearing, things swooping around their own edges that I loved,” he recounted (Wayne Thiebaud: A Paintings Retrospective, exh. cat., Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2000, p. 58).

(via Goldenfiddlr)