Saturday, June 23

My daily routine is becoming clear, coffee, email and webwork, Library for uploading and on from there. This day took me through some areas I had not wandered for a while: the Tenderloin and SoMa.


Click on these photos for a higher
resolution. Will be slow with dial-up connection.

Finally getting the hand of a few bus routes. I used to know many more of them when I liver here in the '60.

The beginning of my post Library jaunt took me through the plaza adjacent to City Hall and the Civic Center.

The latest happening at the Civic Auditorium.

This "Green" house was on display for people to wander through. The building in the background is the original State building and the addition is behind it.

Not much bird life here. So far I have seen a Hummingbird, Mockingbird, Mourning Doves, Crows and this Blackbird of unknown species.

This two diameter bronze state seal was next to the front door of the original entrance.

The name of the these plants has come and gone from my brain. I am sure my neighbor and good buddy Deanna has these as house plants.

Golden Gate Theater, the Tenderloin, built in 1922. The Golden Gate was a movie theater for over 50 years until it closed in the 1970's. By the time it was shuttered, the Golden Gate had already been converted into a two screen theater in the 1960s, but suffered little permanent damage as it was restored to a single auditorium by the Shorenstein Hayes Nederlander group.

As entertainment evolved, the grand theater with its magnificent stage and enviable acoustics was altered beyond recognition.

Photo above from SHN

Then, ten tons of steel, including an escalator, four tons of plaster, sheet rock, studs and insulation, plus four thousand square feet of plywood was painstakingly removed.

When it was finally renovated and reopened in 1979 into a performing arts center, the original detail and look of the theater was restored as well. Although the neighborhood has remained a little seedy, the theater is still very grand, with a marvelous Art Deco vertical sign that is nearly 4 stories high. Today, the Golden Gate is still a premier venue for travelling broadway shows and a visual journey into San Francisco's gilded past.

What a cool architectural detail.

These must be some of the folks who contributed to the nearly overwhelming stench of bodily waste in every doorway which assaulted me as I walked down the street. When Bruce and I drove through here on Thursday he commented that "Some of them never get out of here".

"The Tenderloin is an historic place full of preserved hotels from the early 20th century, some of which have been renovated into boutique tourist hotels and others into supportive housing. Squalid conditions, homelessness, crime, drug sales, prostitution, liquor stores (over 60), and strip clubs give the area a seedy reputation. However, these conditions have also kept rents in this area more affordable to low-income and working-class families in a city that is among the priciest in the country. The Tenderloin has one of the city's highest concentrations of children."

Source: WikiPedia

Just around the corner from the squalor of the Tenderloin is bustling Market Street.

This street vendor had the most colorful collection of junk I had ever seen. "Ja man!"

At the Cable Car turn around this copper colored cowboy statue would suddenly spring into herky-jerky motion.

He would then make these weird pseudo mechanical sounds like a whining motor as if he were being controlled like a robot. Few people were even paying attention to him.

When I hopped up on the granite wall with this guy he looked at me in a dazed sorta way, then hung his head back down and did not move or look my way again.

"Forever 21" - what a concept.

Who knows what might be in that weighty bag of her.

This is for Linda.

After making my way through the teaming hordes I found my way to my dinner destination: Duca di Beppo. I ended up there because Bruce gave me a $10 gift card he no interest in using. The women sitting on the left had a plastic cup and was begging.

The wait was gonna be a long one on this busy Saturday, so I sat in the bar and had placed my order in 10 minutes.

My first look at the menu left me thinking: "What an overpriced tourist trap!" A small serving was 12.99. But as you can see, a "small" was big enough to serve 3 people. And indeed, this serving of Penne Arrabbiata ("Spicy sausage, crushed red pepper, zest marinara") was a full dinner and then two lunches, so it was actually reasonably priced.

As you can see from the above photo these hand held, low light exposures are giving me fits, but a flash makes them look even worse.

I do not think I have been on one block in any neighborhood and not seen the remains of a car window on the sidewalk. After looking at the crime stats this would seem to be the most common criminal activity in the City. While I was taking this some guy leaning against a building said: "Hey, take a picture of the one across the street, someone just broke into it."

I wonder who left this vehicle here in this lonely neighborhood and expected it would be left alone?

Continue on down Howard Street I noticed this building with furniture stuck all over the outside of it. The small sign on the lower right states it is for sale.

I turned down 7th street which would get me to Mississippi. This nice old brick building somehow has survived all the quakes.

A coupla friendly locals who wanted to check out my "gadget". Hard to believe they had not seen a digital camera before.

No, this is not a gay bar.

These two were trudging down the street with their groceries. Homeless? Working poor? Living in the city with no car and no bus fare must be a trying existence.

One of the old Jitney buses. Now, probably someone's home.

The last time I was here in the SoMa this section was one big homeless encampment set up in shadow of the freeway overpass.

The CalTRAN bus runs under the freeway at this point. I hear this train night and day as I am staying just a few blocks from here.

When I got back to the 'hood I immediately detected something tasty in the air and when I entered the apartment I soon found the source. The neighbors, three guys who co purchased the house, were having a cook-out and part. I came damn close to inviting myself in spite of still being stuffed from dinner.

They were noisy, but not intolerably so. But i sure as hell could have done with out the RapCrap/HipHop vomiting out of the portable CD player they had set up on the deck.

Day 4 - FINIS