24 March, 2010

A Fine Combination

Tea, being the newest shortcut to beauty and eternal life, has been showing up in the strangest places. This was, for years, a typical corner liquor store. Now the owner has introduced TEA. Health and prosperity are now just a short stroll from home. Oh, I forgot to mention that you can pick up a pack of cigarettes while you're there, as well.

11 March, 2010

Other Ghosts of Mission Street

The last time I wandered aimlessly along Mission Street, I was on about old Movie Palaces. I never really tire of exploring this fascinating street and its history. I'm a bit farther up the road this time, in the Excelsior District. This is the old Granada Theatre at 4631 Mission, opened in the early 1920s as the Excelsior. It was in operation until November of 1982 and now is home to a rather dull Goodwill Store (yes, there are exciting Goodwill Stores) and a Walgreens. Across the street and down a block I came across this F.W. Woolworth store, now an exceptionally uninteresting furniture store. Of note is the interior as it is a relatively intact example of an old Woolworth and features some enormous streamlined ceiling ventilation fixtures (I know, contain your enthusiasm). Don't forget to stop in at the Chick N Coop for lunch before you head out.

09 March, 2010

On the Trail of the Maltese Falcon

An author of some note, I can't quite recall who it was, said that there were three great "story" cities in America: New York, New Orleans and San Francisco (I'm not sure why he didn't see fit to include Chicago in this small group, I'd have to squeeze it in there). As for The City, there really is something very romantic about strolling about San Francisco on a foggy night, walking in the steps of so many memorable literary characters. Among the most well-known of characters would have to be those created by Dashiell Hammett. Here, off of Bush Street, is an alley called Burritt. Not very interesting in and of itself, but it is the spot where Sam Spade's partner, Miles Archer met his end at the end of a gun held by the beautiful and very dangerous Brigid O'Shaughnessy in Hammett's Maltese Falcon. It's hard to visualize Miss O'Shaughnessy as looking like anyone other than the great Mary Astor. And just try to get Humphrey Bogart out of you mind when you think of Sam Spade. They all blur together in the fog, on the dark, wet streets of San Francisco.

04 March, 2010

Bad Day for Butterflies

I hope the rest of this little (or giant) butterfly made it home OK. I guess he/she got caught in the rain and found it necessary to abandon his/her beautiful wings. I trust it wasn't a case of reversion to caterpillar form. That wouldn't be a nice surprise for mom or dad.