30 June, 2009

Fort Miley for Beginners

Ft. Miley at Land's End is one of those places that even locals might miss. It's located very near one of the "must see" spots in The City; the Cliff House and Sutro Bath Ruins. You can take a short stroll up from the parking lot at Point Lobos to the top of the hill. You'll find incredible views, old military batteries and an old signal house. There's a bench here, pretty secluded, that features an incredible view. You're very likely to have the whole place to yourself.

29 June, 2009

Mission Jacaranda

The Mission District is San Francisco's "Banana Belt". With the warmest climate in The City, it's home to many beautiful tropical plants and trees. Here's a Jacaranda tree, one of many in the neighborhood. It's native to the tropical and sub-tropical regions of South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. It blooms somewhat late in San Francisco, but it's a spectacular sight and a welcome bit of color.

27 June, 2009

Sign of the Week

This little gem was on the window of one of the MANY dollar (or in this case 99c) stores on Mission Street. It's rather brilliant in its own way and I especially like the drawing of the key (it must be one of the copy's (sic)).

18 June, 2009

Phone Booth(s)

I came across this marvellously maintained phone booth the other day (top). Admittedly, it was far out of town (in the Sierra, actually). It's pretty rare to find a booth so well-tended WITH a door AND a phone book! This brought to mind a question I had for the City of San Francisco; what happened to the old phone booths in Chinatown (bottom)?
I've got to get on this with someone (poor person). There were at least three booths near Grant Avenue that featured a pseudo-Chinese motif (as most of Chinatown does). It would be a shame to lose another little piece of the fabric that makes this such a wonderful place. Before we know it, phone booths will have gone the way of spats (or some such thing).

Aladdin's Radio

One of my favorite places in the Inner Sunset on Irving Street has always been Aladdin Radio Repair.
Sadly, it now seems to have closed. It's a small miracle that it remained in business as long as it did. After all, when was the last time YOU took a radio to the shop for repair? This wonderful store was run by Mr. John Wentzel since at least 1949 (one source mentions 1946). He still answers the shop's phone number and does the occasional repair AND the store is still totally intact. I peeked in the window the other day and took this snap. Walking into the shop always seemed like time travel (I DID have a couple of radios repaired there). The shelves were (are) lined with beautiful sets for sale. Aladdin is a small window to a now lost era of big wooden radios (with tubes) and the people who repaired them. Every Main Street must have had its own Aladdin-like store. Are there any places like this elsewhere today? It's certainly the last of its kind in San Francisco.

09 June, 2009

Little Houses

Here's a wonderful little house on the north slope of Bernal Heights. I wonder what it would be like to live in a house that's not even as wide as a car is long. This neighborhood has a wonderful, eclectic variety of houses. Too bad about the very unfortunate remodel of the house to the left of the tiny one. I don't think they were attempting to make it look like a dentist's office, but that's the result. Unintentional vandalism is always fascinating and a bit sad.

04 June, 2009

A (Pseudo) Nature Break

Like most of Golden Gate Park, Huntington Falls at Stow Lake is as natural as anything at Disneyland. It's a very convincing fabrication... from a distance, but as you get closer, you'll notice those oddly formed boulders. They would look more at home on the set of the original Star Trek series. They even have places for plants!
I wouldn't swim anywhere near this waterfall, but it's a nice place to row a boat and do a bit of bird and turtle watching.