Thanks to this tweet by @DanJackson415…
Burrito: The Musical—
Dan Jackson (@DanJackson415) May 18, 2013
There is tradition:
Carlos and Esmerelda are the proprietors of La Tradición, a small, independent burrito parlor that serves a loyal and grateful clientele. Each burrito is lovingly handcrafted, and they use only the finest ingredients. People come from far and wide for their specialty, the “Burrito Zafiro,” made with a blue tortilla.
Song: “Beans and Rice and Love”
There is drama:
One day, a stranger comes into the store. He introduces himself as E. Conommy Ofscale and tells Carlos and Esmerelda he works for Burrito Bandito. They greet the stranger warmly and offer to prepare him a Supreme with Carne Asada to welcome the new business to town, but he refuses, explaining that he doesn’t really eat burritos. Ofscale tells Carlos and Esmerelda that they had better get ready; Burrito Bandito is coming to town and would crush them like it crushes all its competition – with ultra-cheap mass-produced burritos, an ad campaign targeted at Thought Leaders, and plenty of Tostitos brand salsa. Carlos and Esmerelda look aghast. ”What, you don’t put lettuce in your burritos?,” Ofscale asks. Esmerelda faints to the floor.
Song: “What Have You Done To My Burrito”
There is tragedy:
Burrito Bandito is booming while business at La Tradición has fallen off, largely fueled by the runaway success of Burrito Bandito’s Burrito de Blue Tortilla. Carlos and Esmerelda are sadly contemplating closing the store.
Song: “I Will Water My Cilantro With Tears”
There is intrigue:
The next day, a mysterious young man comes into the store. He peruses the menu and asks for an al pastor with no cheese and extra jalapenos. As Carlos prepares the burrito, he suddenly realizes: “Gaspar! Is that you?” The man smiles and nods, removing the Google Glass and startup sweatshirt he was wearing as a disguise. ”Yes, it is I!,” Gaspar says. He tells them he is here to help them battle the evil corporate chain.
Song: “A Molotov Is the Spiciest Salsa Of All”
Also, I took the liberty of animating TK’s poster.
If someone can draw an exploding burrito, feel free.
The photo belongs to Lauren, who says
“Now, if I can only figure out why it was in the photo album in inherited from ancestors who lived in North Beach and survived the earthquake. The tall guy in the back is circled, if you zoom in, but he doesn’t look like one of my relatives. Maybe a family friend.”
…and figured out that this was taken in taken in La Lengua, looking west at the intersection of San Jose Ave and Army Street (where St. Luke’s currently sits). The Bancroft Library would have been to the left of and a little behind the photographer.
You can see the buildings behind it on the 1905 Sanborn fire insurance map.
Unfortunately, all those houses along San Jose Ave were torn down in the 1960s to build the ever exciting St. Luke’s parking lot.
Open for breakfast, dinner and supper! (7:15 seems a little early to cut off supper though.)
I was able to dig up an article on the restaurant and its founder David Nieto from the San Francisco Call using the all-powerful California Digital Newspaper Archives.
Adjusting for inflation, the meals ran from about $3.75 to $20. I would love to see a menu. (The SFFD Museum has some details on post-quake relief supplies and food distribution — sounds like it was pretty basic, though $20? I’m intrigued.)
But this being in the SF Call, there’s drama to come. Uh oh! It looks like two of his other kitchens (on 19th & Dolores, and 16th & Carolina) got shut down in August 1906 for risk of flies and typhoid.
Nieto is a pretty distinct name, and there are lots of results for him in the SF Call. Seems like red tape got in the way of him getting reimbursed for his soup kitchen work. Soup Kitchen Man Is Angry!
So David Neito’s got to be in the photo, right?
When we have our big earthquake, I suspect food trucks will play an important part of San Francisco’s rapid recovery. At least they will have a track record.
Also visible on the Sanborn map is the Buckingham & Hecht shoe factory, which is still standing today as part of the Salvation Army:
One of many ads for a San Francisco company emphasizing they were still in business.
Fret not, Buckingham & Hecht is on my list of things to write about some day. Anyone been inside?
Much more ship discovery on FoundSF.
By the summer of 1850, over 500 vessels were recorded as being anchored in the vicinity of Yerba Buena Cove. After they had arrived, whole crews abandoned their ships, along with the passengers, to make their way up to the gold fields. Many of the vessels were eventually left to rot, others were eventually used for such purposes as storeships, saloons, hotels, jails, and some were sunk purposefully to secure water lot titles (property that was originally underwater). As wood was scarce at the time, due to the many fires that swept the city and the increasing need for building material, many of the vessels were also broken up for their timber as well as other parts such as the metal plating.
By 1851, the wharves had extended out into the cove and numerous buildings had been erected on piles near them. Over the next two decades, under various waterfront extension bills, Yerba Buena Cove was filled with sand from the downtown area. According to Bancroft, a local historian, “As late as Jan ’57 old hulks still obstructed the harbor while others had been overtaken by the bayward march of the city front and formed basements or cellars to tenements built on their decks. Even now  remains of the vessels are found under the filled foundations of houses.” The cove was eventually enclosed by a seawall which was built from 1867 to 1869, and which followed roughly along the same path as The Embarcadero.
There’s even a list of ships that were abandoned, some with great details:
Almandralina — lay near Pacific Wharf; “…on the corner of Pacific and Front, was owned at the time by M. R. Roberts…Venard’s brick building to-day covers the site where she was cut out.”  “The vessels lying at the corner of Pacific and Front streets are the remains of the ship Almandrilina — signifying almond grove — and the brig Ricardo. These vessels were owned by Captain M. R. Roberts, and were brought around the Horn early in ’49, with full cargoes for the gold fields. The captain’s young wife followed him in 1850, by way of the Isthmus, and Captain Roberts fitted-up the Almandrilina for her reception, until he completed the building of his handsome residence—at that time the finest in town—corner of Washington and Stockton streets, where they have resided every since, and where their children were born. The vessels were then converted into warehouses, and finally into boarding and lodging houses until the city front was filled in and buildings erected on top of the hulls as they lay covered up.” [FM] “Venard, G., manufacturer…625-627 Front”
For reference, here’s the 1859 Coast Survey map, with wharf names:
And you can see a sketch of the Greenwich and Lombard wharfs at the Year of the Bay exhibit at the California Historical Society.
Created by Noah Veltman, aka @veltman, it even lets you filter by categories!
I have a sneaking suspicion we will soon have a “renamed” category.
I’m not sure what is more interesting, *what* things are named after, or *why* they were named for things. If I may quote myself:
I guess the trick to getting something named after you is to live there before anyone else (or make the map yourself…)
There are many reasons to like the California Historical Society on Mission between Third & Annie. They have an awesome building that is painted International Orange.
Also, part of it once housed a saloon in 1887:
As for now, it’s full of historical records. It’s currently focused on the Year of the Bay, a project that aims to collect photos, videos, and stories from everyone to tell a better story of the history of the Bay Area.
The exhibit is perfect for your lunch hour or a weekend stop.
Lots of maps, naturally:
Some detail from the 1927 Coast Survey map (no bridges):
The absolutely insane Reber Plan to dam the Golden Gate:
Lots of historical photos of, including Hunters Point and Islais Creek in the mid to late 1800s:
I was most surprised by the sketches and paintings. The crosshatching in this aerial view of SF is amazing:
Incredible detail in this drawing of the Lombard, North Point and Greenwich docks:
Not entirely sure what this guy is doing. Probably a grow-op.
You can see the Greenwich and Lombard docks at the foot of Telegraph Hill in the 1859 Coast Survey map:
Then come things that take you to another time and place. This painting of Hunters Point in 1859 is a little surreal, showing a very different world:
Animals as symbols are curious things. Too often they are grossly misrepresented (have you actually heard the underwhelming cry of a bald eagle?)
…ironically extinct (the story of the last grizzly bears in California is pretty depressing)
(There’s much, much more in the Bancroft Museum grizzly exhibit…)
…or just don’t make sense. Lions? England? Huh? Though the Swedish Gripsholm lion is pretty awesome.
This brings us to the de facto animal mascot for Canada, the beaver. Beaver pelts were the business case that made Canada. This is a potentially hilarious animal in many respects, and ironic in others since the beaver was almost driven to extinction by the mid-1800s. But let’s face it, these industrious semi-aquatic rodents have remarkably good PR (and seem to be saving us from our diesel spills).
Anyway, in 1964, Canadians got tired of not having a real flag. (The Red Ensign, a Union-Jack-in-the-corner flag you see so often in former British colonies, had been used since the 1860s.) The Great Flag Debate erupted over which symbols to use. Various maple leaf designs were proposed by the government in power, while the Union Jack was favored by those still in love with the British Empire.
About 5900 designs were submitted by Canadians for the flag committee’s inspection, and beavers put in a pretty good showing. The top four design elements:
- maple leaves: 2136
- union jacks: 408
- beavers: 389
- Fleur-de-lys: 359
The University of Saskatchewan has an archive of many of the submissions, and they are as awesome as you might expect. While I am rather pleased with the current Canadian flag, this beaver jack flag is pretty striking.
Not all flags were plant, animal or empirically themed. Here we see a design with
hockey sticks Canadian ceremonial swords:
Some designs were reflective of the era:
Anyway, I have taken the liberty of collecting the various beaver-themed flags for your inspection:
Now before you go mocking Canada for nearly putting a beaver on its flag, I present you with some fairly terrifying evidence of beaver superiority:
Between beavers and hockey, I think Canada is pretty well defended.