Tuesday, March 30, 2010

California Poppies -- March 30, 2010

Our state flower, blooming through a fence on Bryant, near the bridge entrance.

I heard that Jaime Escalante has died. Great man, great teacher.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pulp #10 -- March 28, 2010

Race Williams, created by Carroll John Daly, is considered by many to be the first hard-boiled detective. He was known for shooting first. "My conscience is clear; I never shot anybody that didn't need to die."

The image is from a wonderful site called Cover Browser: http://www.coverbrowser.com/.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Playing Tourist #2 -- March 27, 2010

Today we played tourist. It was a beautiful warm day. We parked at Fifth and Mission and caught Milan car 1818 on the F line. It got to be very full. We got off at Pier 39. There was only a small group of sea lions, and they were all gathered on the farthest floating platform. We had lunch at Boudin, then walked up to Ghiradelli Square. We visited the soda fountain. I had a banana split, my first in many years. It was good. We walked back and caught 1076, painted for DC Transit.

We went to Palm Sunday mass at Good Shepherd. I took the collection. My wife and I were eucharistic ministers. I passed out palms after.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Characteristic View of the San Francisco Water Front -- March 26, 2010

From the 29-November-1896 San Francisco Call. WA Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. This one shows the San Francisco waterfront, centered on the almost-new Ferry Building. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

DVD: Harry Langdon: Lost and Found -- March 24, 2010

I finally finished watching a wonderful DVD set, The Harry Langdon Collection: Lost and Found, from Allday Entertainment and Lobster Films.

The first three disks feature his Sennett films, the surviving shorts and the restored feature His First Flame. I had seen "Saturday Afternoon" many many times, but I had seen only one or two of the others. Extras include the surviving fragment of one of his Sol Lesser shorts and some of his Sennett films which had been butchered for television presentation.

The fourth disk has a couple of his talkies, a special short he did for Roach to introduce him to exhibitors, a soundie, and home movies.

I feel I know Harry Langdon better now.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grauman's Chinese #8 -- March 23, 2010

John Barrymore was a member of a famous American acting family. He was the leading man in countless movies and stage shows. He always had what the Irish call a weakness.

He left hand, foot, and profile prints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese on 05-September-1940. DSCN4142. I took this on 18-July-2009.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Casebolt House -- 22-March-2010

I took a day off today and was running around photographing some buildings in Cow Hollow and Pacific Heights. 2727 Pierce, built in 1865 according to some sources, was the home of Henry Casebolt, who built the Sutter Street cable car line. He died there on 23-September-1892.

I was standing up at the corner taking a photo of another house and two ladies pulled up in a fancy car and the driver said "Excuse me, do you know where Nancy Pelosi's house is?" I said I didn't and they drove away. After I got what we call an "uh-oh" feeling. I wonder if they were going there to protest. Or egg the house.

It was sunny and not particularly warm.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care Passed -- March 21, 2010

Despite the grotesque racism of images like this, despite the McCarthyite cries of socialism and nazism from the Tea Baggers, the House passed the health care reform bill and the reconciliation with the Senate version. It will be interesting to see what happens to the Republican Party. They didn't do well for a long time after they fought against Social Security and Medicare. People keep talking about a government takeover of healthcare, but this bill keeps everything in the private sector.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Transcontinental Railroad -- March 20, 2010

Today I went to Pete's Harbor on Smith Slough in Redwood City to speak to the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Waterfront Restaurant. Last year the Fifth Grade teacher at Good Shepherd School in Pacifica had her students participate in an essay contest sponsored by the DAR. She asked me to come and talk to the class. One of her students won, although I don't think I had anything to do with it, and the DAR honored her at a luncheon. She read her essay, and then I talked about the building of the transcontinental railroads. There was a very good question about why Warren Buffett wanted to buy BNSF. It was fun.

Today is also the first day of Spring.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Saint Joseph's Day #2 -- March 19, 2010

Happy Saint Joseph's Day to my fellow Joes. Joe Venuti was a jazz violinist who was famous for his quirky sense of humor. He sent Wingy Manone, the one-armed trumpet player, a gift of one cufflink. Venuti played with Bix Beiderbecke and the Boswell Sisters, but was most famous for his work with guitarist Eddie Lang.
It was very warm today. I did not put my coat on coming home. That is rare.
I went to the blood bank at lunch time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day #3 -- March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone. We had a nice corned beef for dinner. I took the photo of the back of Saint Patrick's Church on 13-March-2009.
I forgot to mention yesterday that when I got to the Colma BART station, there was a Richmond train sitting there. They announced a 10 minute delay, then 15, then 30. I left and worked from home. It turned out that a train had separated in the bay tube.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Angels Flight Returns -- March 16, 2010

On Monday, 15-March-2010, Angels Flight returned to operation. The original Angels Flight (no apostrophe) opened in 1901. Colonel J W Eddy, an old associate of Abraham Lincoln, built the line to carry passengers up to the splendid homes on Bunker Hill in Los Angeles. The fare was one cent. The two cars carried passengers without a single fatal accident until 1969, when the city redeveloped the area. The city saved the cars and other relics and promised to rebuild the line.

The new line, operated by the Angels Flight Railway Foundation, opened in 1996, about a block away from the original site. Critics charged that the new system left out some of the safety features of the old. A fatal accident in 2001, when one of the cars ran away, proved that the critics were right. The line sat in limbo for almost ten years, but the line has now been restored and the system redesigned to be safer.

I'm happy to see it back and I look forward to riding Angels Flight. Learn more about it on my Cable Car Home Page: http://www.cable-car-guy.com/index.html

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jerry Flamm, RIP -- March 15, 2010

Jerry Flamm, author of two San Francisco memoirs that I enjoyed, passed away recently. Good Life in Hard Times and Hometown San Francisco gave me many great stories about growing up, listening to the radio, and working for newspapers in the 1920s and 1930s. Flamm's father was a policeman who headed the Chinatown Squad. He was well-liked in the Chinese community because he treated them with respect.

It was relatively warm today.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Signs of the Times #31 -- March 14, 2010

I took this on Third Street on 14-January-2010. I wonder what the rest of the sign said.

It was a little warmer today, and very clear. We took a drive up to Broadway and there were lots of sailboats on the bay.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Little Lamb -- March 13, 2010

We visited Ardenwood Farm in Fremont today. A sign by the road invited people to meet the babies. It was nice to have a sunny day, although it was still chilly. We ate our picnic in the car. There were two new lambs, both February 28. I took the photo today.

This is my 600th post.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hark the Herald #5 -- March 12, 2010

I like railroad heralds. This stained glass window depicting the Southern Pacific herald was preserved from the Oakland Pier ferry terminal. I took the photo at the California State Railroad Museum in September, 2007.

It was not as cold this morning. It started raining hard late in the morning.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alley #5 -- March 9, 2010

Looking down Jack London Alley from Bryant towards South Park. Jack London, one of my favorite authors, was born nearby at Third and Bryant. I can't find the original name of the alley. I took the photo on 29-October-2009.

It was 38F when I got in the car this morning. 41F at the BART station.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Abbott and Costello -- March 7, 2010

Yesterday my daughter and I watched Abbott and Costello in Buck Privates. She knew about Abbott and Costello because we have done "Who's on First" together since she was very young, but this may have been the first time she saw an entire A&C movie. I took the photo at the San Francisco Wax Museum on 04-August-2007.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Vander Weyde's "News-Photography." -- March 6, 2010

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. Among his many accomplishments was taking some of the first Daguerreotypes in the United States. PH's son Henry Van Der Weyde served in the Union Army during the Civil War and later emigrated to England, where he became a popular photographer and a pioneer in taking photographs with artificial light.

This article, from the December, 1898 Broadway Magazine, concerns PH's grandson, William Manley Vander Weyde (that's how he spelled the family name), who followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and uncle.



"VANDER WEYDE? Why, who is this chap Vander Weyde, anyhow?"

This question has been asked many times by people in all parts of America who read the up-to-date illustrated daily, weekly, and monthly publications that call New York City their home. One can scarcely pick up two consecutive copies of progressive newspapers like the World and Journal, The Illustrated American, Harper's Weekly or Munsey's Magazine without seeing on one or more of the most absorbing pictures the legend, "Copyright by Vander Weyde."

These words are never found on a "slow" picture. The legend always guarantees that the subject of the picture is one in which the people have a vital interest.

The gentleman in question is William Manley Vander Weyde. No doubt, countless people will say, "That information is no information," for so extreme is the modesty of Mr. Vander Weyde that outside of a limited coterie of working journalists he has never pushed his own personality forward, although in his twelve years of continuous residence in New York City he has ably filled some of its choicest journalistic berths.

Mr. Vander Weyde's department in photography is one of his own invention. When the progressive newspapers began to devote so much attention to illustrating from photographs a year or two ago, Mr. Vander Weyde was pained to see that while the articles were of the mind-absorbing character, the photographs as a rule were of the dull, haphazard style.

Mr. Vander Weyde, being a photographer in an amateur way himself, resigned his position as a writer and struck out for the new field of "News-Photography," and his success, though constantly on the increase, was assured from the very first.

There were other reasons besides his journalistic experience why Mr. Vander Weyde's "News-Photography" should have met with its wide public approbation. From each of three celebrated ancestors he has inherited one distinct talent. His father was John J. Vander Weyde, for many years editor and proprietor of the South American Review, the best known newspaper in the republic of Uruguay. His grandfather was Prof. P. H. Vander Weyde, the eminent scientist, author and inventor, who, with Prof. John W. Draper, made at the University of the City of New York the first photograph ever made anywhere in the United States. Another ancestor is Roger Vander Weyden, the famous Dutch painter, whose works are displayed among the "Old Masters' Collection" at the Metropolitan Museum, in this city. Mr. Vander Weyde is also a nephew of Henry Vander Weyde, whose famous "Light Studio" in London has made his name known throughout all England.

Mr. Vander Weyde was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, twenty-eight years ago, and remained there until his surviving parent died when he was only ten years of age. He lived with relatives in New Orleans up to the time that he entered newspaperdom in this city in 1886. He was founder of Doings, a Brooklyn society magazine, and has since been connected with the editorial departments of the Recorder, Times, Journal, Post and World.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Train Station #20 -- March 5, 2010

The Ocean Shore Railroad has been gone since 1921. The Kelly Avenue Station in Half Moon Bay has travelled more than most buildings. It started out near Kelly Avenue, closer to the coast. Some time after the railroad ceased operations in 1920 or 1921, it was moved to Kelly and Main. Around 1930, it moved again to Johnston and Miramontes Streets, behind the Community Methodist Church. A Bank of America, now serving as City Hall, replaced it at Kelly and Main. The church needed to expand, so the station moved once more in 2000 to its present location, near the Johnston House. My daughter found it amusing that a Jazzercise class was going on when we stopped to take a photo on 08-February-2010.

It was very cold today. I walked down to the Ferry Building at lunch time and took videos of ferries.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Firehouse #29 -- March 3, 2010

San Bruno Fire Department Station 52 is on Earl Avenue near the top of Sneath Lane. I took the photo on 14-December-2009.

It was raining hard when I left the house this morning. The newspaper was far from the door, in the flowerbed out front. I picked it up and tripped on the sprinkler head in the corner. During the day the weather alternated between violent rain and bright sun.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Robert Burns and the Piper -- March 2, 2010

I was on a conference call at work when a bagpiper started playing across the street at the RSI conference in the Moscone Center. He was wearing a kilt. It was raining hard when he started to play. This made me think of the photograph I took just yesterday of the Robert Burns memorial in Golden Gate Park. The statue, sculpted by Melvin Earl Cummings, was dedicated on 23-February-1908.

It was raining violently when I left the house this morning.

Monday, March 1, 2010

British Army Dirigible No 2 - March 1, 2010

This view of the gondola of British Army Dirigible No 2 shows one of the propellors, which could be rotated to move the dirigible forward, up, or down. British Army Dirigible No 1 was called the Nulli Secundus. I guess this one could have been called the Secundus. From the 30-April-1910 issue of Flight. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The image comes from a wonderful resource, all issues of Flight magazine from 1909 to 2005: