Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Once Upon a Time 1906-1930 -- August 30, 2011

The San Francisco Arts Commission (http://www.sfartscommission.org/) has set up a series of posters by artist Elisheva Biernoff representing important moments in San Francisco history and geographic features that lie beneath the developed city. I took this photo on 19-May-2011, showing a poster that depicts San Francisco after the 18-April-1906 Earthquake and Fire, and a scene from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The lower figures represent a suffragette and John Muir, who opposed the city's Hetch Hetchy water project. The upper vignette, almost hidden in the glare, shows a Hetch Hetchy project dam and two farmworkers in the Delta.
Click on the image to see an enormously large version.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Road Demon -- August 29, 2011

Tom Mix made The Road Demon, a western with racing cars, for Fox Films in 1921. I think this is a rare combination. Note that he is driving on a board track. These were popular for auto racing till the early 1920s. I have seen the memorial near Florence, Arizona where Tom Mix died in a fast car.

Rolin was a company founded by Hal Roach and Dan Linthicum. Harold Lloyd was their first comedy star. By 1921, I think his name would have appeared in the ad.

From the Tulsa World, 17-April-1921.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Benny Bufano #10 -- August 28, 2011

Hillsdale Mall developer David Bohannon commissioned sculptor Benny Bufano to provide sculptures to decorate the new mall in San Mateo. Bufano opened a studio on the mall site in 1955 and created ten of his famous animal sculptures. This sculpture, "Saint Francis on Horseback," also includes Saint Francis of Assisi, one of Bufano's favorite subjects. Francis is rarely depicted on horseback. It doesn't seem very humble.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Japantown -- August 27, 2011

Peace Pagoda
Today our daughter had to go to a training class at the Chancery, so we went to Japantown to have lunch. They were having a J-Pop festival, so lots of people were running around in costumes. We walked our daughter up to the Chancery, then came back to walk around Japantown. I wish they had a store that carried yakyu-related items, like caps and jerseys. I couldn't even find anything in the Kinokuniya Bookstore.

I took the photo of the Peace Pagoda today.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Italian Cruiser Etna -- August 26, 2011


Italian protected cruiser Etna was launched in 1885. She served all over the world and was used as a stationary hulk during World War One. She was sold for scrap in 1921. Here she is visiting Mare Island to get her bottom scraped after time in Asia and the Pacific.

From the 09-November-1898 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #50 -- August 25, 2011


I took the photo on 10-August-2011.

We got a memo that there would be a protest in the plaza by our building at noon. It turned out to be a group trying to save KUSF (http://www.savekusf.org/). They were asking people to write to the FCC, asking for formal hearings about preserving local programming. I listened till someone mentioned that Entercom couldn't hear them from the twelfth floor and maybe they should go up and visit. I went back to the office then.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Comic Book #8 -- August 24, 2011


Bob Kane's The Batman made his debut in Detective Comics number 27, from May, 1939. I've been a fan of Batman since I first saw the television show and read the comic books back in the 1960s. Superman has his powers because he was born on another planet. Spiderman has his because he was bitten by a radioactive spider. Batman is a self-made man.

The image is from the wonderful site CoverBrowser (http://www.coverbrowser.com/)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ladder -- August 23, 2011

It was very warm today. I was returning from a lunchtime walk when I saw Truck One parked on one side of Howard, with its ladder extended to reach the roof of the building across Howard. I took this photo looking up the ladder.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jack Layton, RIP -- August 22, 2011

I was sad to learn that Jack Layton, leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, advocate for the homeless and underprivileged, and good guy, died from cancer.

He left a wonderful letter to the people of Canada. My favorite parts:

"To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer."

"Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done."

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

If at First... -- August 21, 2011

Graffitti spotted yesterday at Columbus Avenue and Broadway: "If at First You Don't Succeed -- Call an Airstrike."

The figure appears to be a little kid with a gas mask.

The Giants beat the Astros in extra innings. The Giants have been having lots of injury problems.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nuova Porziuncola -- August 20, 2011

Today we parked at Fifth and Mission and caught a 30 Stockton to Green. We went to Saint Francis Church, which is now the National Shrine of Saint Francis. The family had not been there since the church was restored. Then we visited the Nuova Porziuncola, the model of the little church rebuilt by Saint Francis. It is beautiful to see. The walls are rough stone with some damaged frescoes, copied from the originals.

The photo shows the old gym, which contains the Nuova Porziuncola.

From there we went to the Cafe Sport, which my wife and I had not visited for almost 30 years. We had pasta with pesto and fried calamari. All good. The restaurant was not very busy.

Then we went to Molinari's and bought some olive oil and some other items. It doesn't smell the way that Gloria Delicatessen used to smell. Then we went to Victoria Pastry and bought some cookies.

We walked out Columbus to Kearny and Kearny to Post. We went over to Union Square and visited Macys, then went home.

Father Jess said 5 0'clock mass.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Marx #1 -- August 19, 2011


One hundred years ago today the Three Marx Brothers appeared at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma. "Fun in High School" (sometimes spelled "Fun in Hi Skule") was probably their earliest on-purpose comedy act in vaudeville.

From the 19-August-1911 Tacoma Times.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bay Bridge -- August 18, 2011


A Stanley A Piltz postcard shows the fairly new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The part between Yerba Buena Island and Oakland is being replaced.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pulp #27 -- August 17. 2011


This issue of Fight Stories tells the story of the famous heavyweight fight in Benicia, California between Gentleman Jim Corbett and Chrysanthemum Joe Choynski. Their most famous bout took place on a barge because prizefighting was illegal in California. On 05-June-1889, they fought wearing light gloves. Corbett won by a knockout in the 27th round. Corbett went on to win the heavyweight championship from John L Sullivan and Choynski went on to fight many famous heavyweights.

The image is from the wonderful site CoverBrowser: http://www.coverbrowser.com/

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mutoscope #5 -- August 16, 2011


The blue clamshell Mutoscope at Disneyland. This year I did not get to watch any movies on the Mutoscopes. I saw another Mutoscope in Virginia City and did not get to watch that one, either.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Slapstick #12 -- August 15, 2011


This ad, from the 17-March-1915 Washington Times, promotes Universal's movies, particularly Billie Ritchie's comedies. "Kick a cripple and get a laugh" is such a wonderful opening line. Note how they spelled "subtle."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Door #13 -- August 14, 2011


The main entrance to Harrah's Reno, where we stayed during our visit last month.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nickname #5 -- August 13, 2011


Reno has long called itself "The Biggest Little City in the World." Here is the famous sign on South Virginia Street. I took the photo during our visit last month.

Today we went to the Stanford Shopping Center and had lunch at Gourmet Frank. I had a chicken apple hot dog. Very good.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cantinflas 100 - August 12, 2011


I first saw Cantinflas as Passepartout in Mike Todd's Around the World in 80 Days. I thought he was wonderful, but I found it difficult to see his other movies. Sometimes I would dial by a Spanish-language station, the Spanish-language station at time, and see him. Even though he made movies until 1982, I never saw one in a theater. People who know say his use of language was wonderful. Today is his 100th birthday. Feliz cumpleaños, Cantinflas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alley #22 - August 11, 2011

Douglas Alley, shown here from South Virginia Street, was the site of many of Reno's earliest clubs when Nevada legalized gambling in 1931. I took the photo during our visit in July.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Harry Faulkner Van der Weyden -- August 10, 2011



American born painter Harry Faulkner Van der Weyden was the son of photographer Henry Van Der Weyde, who was a son of Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde, who wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. This article from The Studio, Volume XXXI, 1904 presents images of two of his paintings and talks about his work.

I'm sorry the images of the two paintings, "Landscape" and "L'arbreuvoir", are not in color. I cannot figure out how to translate the latter title into English. I'd appreciate any advice.

When World War One broke out, Van der Weyden, who had adopted the older form of the family name, moved his family to Britain and joined the British army. He remained in Britain after the war, and died there in 1952.

PARIS. — Harry van der Weyden is an American artist settled in France for some years now, yet rarely seen in the Salons. He lives a rather retired life in the little town of Montreuil-sur-Mer, where he produces freely, in direct and ceaseless communion with nature. He has just opened an exhibition of work done during recent years, at the Galerie des Artistes Modernes. The recollections one carries away therefrom are extremely pleasing, and the spectator receives the impression that Van der Weyden is one of the most personal of the American artists living on the Continent.

Although the greater part of these landscapes— a few views of Holland apart—were painted in the same country, there is no sense of monotony about them, so varied are the artist's effects. Certainly he is free from the reproach of being the painter of a single hour or of a single aspect. On the contrary, Van der Weyden shows us in turn morning effects on the sand-hills of the Pas de Calais or on the picturesque ramparts of Montreuil; or village streets seen under the gentle light of a summer night, or the snow-bound city; or, again, beautiful autumnal impressions or riverside scenes or seapieces. Moreover, his figures are full of character; his Berger, his Paysanne avec son Enfant, and his Laveuses are things to study—and remember.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Train Station #37 -- August 9, 2011


Los Angeles Union Station, which opened in 1939, was one of the last union stations built in the United States. We visited it in July on our way to Angels Flight. We got off the Gold Line on an open platform. We saw heavy-rail commuter trains on other tracks. The lower levels reminded me of a cleaner East Bay Terminal. The head house was beautiful, as seen in this hall, which was blocked off from the public.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Firehouse #46 -- August 8, 2011

After we visited Angels Flight (http://cablecarguy.blogspot.com/2011/07/angels-flight-july-26-2011.html) we walked back to the Old Plaza and Olvera Street. We walked by the Old Plaza Firehouse. The home of Engine Company 1 was built in 1884, but was used as a firehouse only until 1892, because of a property dispute.

See my cable car site for more photos and videos from our visit to Angels Flight:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Powell Street Promenade #2 -- August 7, 2011


The Powell Street Promenade is part of the city's program of introducing neighborhood parklets. On street corners along Powell from Ellis to Geary, there are aluminum platforms with planters and railings. Yesterday I stood on the one on the west side of Powell near Geary with my new camera and took some photos. It was a good spot. Here we see car 25, built in 1890 and recently rebuilt, inbound on the Powell/Hyde line. It wears the red pre-1906 Powell Street paint scheme.

Before that, we had lunch at Lefty O'Doul's. I had corned beef on a sourdough roll. Very good.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lucille Ball 100 - August 6, 2011

Today is Lucille Ball's 100th birthday. She had a combination of beauty and comic talent that is seen only rarely, in other actresses such as Mabel Normand, Thelma Todd and Carole Lombard. I grew up watching reruns of I Love Lucy. Later on I learned that she had started appearing in movies in the 1930s.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Okito Family -- August 5, 2011

This 1907 bill at San Francisco's Orpheum featured "A Wonderful Bill." It included Zélie de Lussan, an American opera singer, actress Edna Aug and the Okito Family "Chinese Magical Act." Dutch Theo Bamberg, member of an old family of magicians, created the Japanese character Okito. He later switched the character from Japanese to Chinese, but kept the name. Theo was an excellent magician and the creator of many illusions.

Theo's son David grew up and created a character called Fu Manchu.

Two years after this show, Theo sold the Okito act and character to a plumber who wanted to go into magic.

From the 08-December-1907 San Francisco Call.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

To the Parkmobile... -- August 4, 2011

Along with the Powell Street Promenade (http://cablecarguy.blogspot.com/2011/08/powell-street-promenade-august-3-2011.html) and the parklets, the city has rolled out the parkmobile, a low container with vegetation and a bench. This one was parked on Minna between New Montgomery and Third today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Powell Street Promenade -- August 3, 2011

The Powell Street Promenade is part of the city's program of introducing neighborhood parklets. On street corners along Powell from Ellis to Geary, there are aluminum platforms with planters and railings. They may provide good spots for photographing cable cars. Here is the one on the east side of Powell at Geary.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sellers Quadruplane -- August 2, 2011

Matthew B Sellers built and flew gliders in Kentucky in 1903. By 1908, he had developed a powered quadruplane. In 1911, he moved to Georgia after an assistant was injured by an accident. Sellers continued to experiment with aviation until the late 1920s. He died in 1932.

The image is from Aeronautics, January, 1912.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Goodbye, Father Piers -- August 1, 2011

Yesterday at a special 11am mass, we said goodbye to Father Piers Lahey, who has been pastor at Good Shepherd for 13 years. There was an excellent turnout. Father Jess Labor, our new pastor, concelebrated. All the deacons were there, and a big choir. Father Piers gave a nice homily, meditating on four words, which I wish I had written them down. I think they were mystery, community (?), something and church. We're going to miss him. Here Father gives the blessing before lunch in the gym.