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ISS over California

May 12, 2014

You probably already know about the new HD cameras on the ISS. You can watch it over on ustream.

My ISS Above (yay Kickstarter!) blinks wildly when the ISS is passing overhead. I then run wildly to my phone, load uStream and start taking screenshots to GIF together.

2014.05.12 ISS over California

California is pretty big.

UPDATE: here’s a recording via uStream.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/47489953/highlight/502860

Here’s a still of the Bay Area.

20140512-161754.jpg

Zoom and enhance:

20140512-161754

Imagine showing this to Cabrillo or Drake. They’d be swearing like sai… well, swearing a lot.

Hopefully we can grab the straight down view on some SF pass soon…

This is a step up from the non HD version of the ISS pass I GIFd a few years back:

Still cool though.

Know Your Karl The Fog Colors

May 9, 2014
tags: ,

Real San Franciscans know that @karlthefog actually comes in a wide variety of exciting colors. I use an iPhone app called Color Identifier to detect exactly what mood Karl is in any particular day.

karlthefog colors 1 karlthefog colors 2

Apparently I am not the first person to think of this (via Gilly Youner):

I stumbled onto this 18th century instrument designed to measure the blueness of the sky called a Cyanometer. The simple device was invented in 1789 by Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt who used the circular array of 53 shaded sections in experiments above the skies over Geneva, Chamonix and Mont Blanc. The Cyanometer helped lead to a successful conclusion that the blueness of the sky is a measure of transparency caused by the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.

I have helpfully labeled this 225 year old chart to reflect San Franciscan values:

karl the fog color chart half

On a serious note, this article on a blind man using the VoiceOver feature of the Color ID app is pretty amazing.

The next day, I went outside. I looked at the sky. I heard colors such as “Horizon,” “Outer Space,” and many shades of blue and gray. I used color cues to find my pumpkin plants, by looking for the green among the brown and stone. I spent ten minutes looking at my pumpkin plants, with their leaves of green and lemon-ginger. I then roamed my yard, and saw a blue flower. I then found the brown shed, and returned to the gray house. My mind felt blown. I watched the sun set, listening to the colors change as the sky darkened. The next night, I had a conversation with Mom about how the sky looked bluer tonight. Since I can see some light and color, I think hearing the color names can help nudge my perception, and enhance my visual experience. Amazing!

SFMTA Time Machine

May 5, 2014

Last week the esteemed David Gallagher kindly pointed me to a photo of a streetcar from the SFMTA photo archives.

The photo wasn’t embedded and I initially thought “Hey thanks David but I’m sure I’ve seen this one before.”

I had not seen this one before.

Mrs. Zaro Case Streetcar 1002

Or any of the photos in the archive save one or two. Warning to San Franciscans: clear the rest of today’s schedule before opening this and any other link to the SFMTA Time Machine.

Anyway, the photo above is looking at where Cole Hardware is today. Here’s the 1905 Sanborn map of that side of the street:

1905 Sanborn 3316 Misssion

The streetcar was turning into the car house across the street. Here is a photo showing the car bar from 1910, looking north on Mission towards 29th — within 6 years, the entire west (left) side of Mission had been rebuilt, including the building that the 3300 Club is in now. (If I remember correctly, the dome was removed during WWI.)

24th Street and Mission Street

Lots of the photos are nicely tagged, but some are not, or hold surprises. For example, this 1905 photo is just labelled with the “22nd 24th & Mission Street line” but for those living in the greater La Lengua Co-Prosperity Sphere will realize it is a shot of Bernal Hill taken from Valencia and Mission streets, looking to the east up Fair.

Foster Case Streetcar 1074

The lower white fence that you can see through the streetcar windows is Peters, and the one above it is (well, will be) Coleridge. Here’s the 1905 Sanborn for reference.

1905 sanborn fair st

The two houses on the right edge of the photo match up with 61 and 65 Coleridge:

1905 Coleridge sfmta photo

Also, that platform in the top right corner of the photo is clearly visible on the Sanborn map.

Here’s a dramatic SFMTA shot of Mission and 29th in 1909, looking down from above what will be the 3300 Club towards what will be Pizzahacker (so sorry verb tenses):

29th Street and Mission Street, Claims Department Case 5800

This is the same curve where our 1907 runaway streetcar jumped the tracks and crashed into future Pizzahacker after it was set loose by union sympathizers who shot the conductor. Zooming in, you can see the signs for Bernstein’s Mission Toggery and Warrens’s candy and ice cream store.

Also, a dog.

1909 sfmta mission toggery bernstein warren candy 3299 mission

Same corner in 1904 during some track work.

Curve 29th Street and Mission Streets

There used to be a kindergarten at 3303 Mission next to proto-Pizzahacker — it closed sometime between 1900 and 1905, so not sure if those kids are escaping from it or not. Can’t quite tell if the real estate/insurance sign was painted over or not.

1904 SFMTA Mission and 29th

Red is where Pizzahacker will be, kindergarten is 3301-3303 Mission:

1900 - 3299 Mission

1900 – 3299 Mission

 

 

1905:

1905 sanborn 3299 mission

Here’s looking up 29th from San Jose Ave towards Mission St in 1904:

Old Crossing 29th Street and San Jose Avenue

And a look north down Mission at the northwest corner of 29th in 1909:

29th Street and Mission Street, Claims Department Case 3058 1/2

And the 1905 Sanborn:

1905 Sanborn nw corner 29th & mission

The dentist (with a saloon on the ground floor) is long gone — that building is where 199 Tiffany now stands, and that particular spot is where Goood Frickin’ Chicken now serves delicious shwarma. But to the right is the building the home of Al’s Diner, and next to that, the new home of Ichi Sushi.

29th Street and Mission Street, Claims Department Case 3058 1/2

Stopping now before this posts turns into a doctoral thesis, but fret not as we will dig up more soon on other corners and streets in this ridiculously fabulous SFMTA historical photo archive.

 

Judgemental Map of San Francisco, 1860s edition

April 25, 2014
tags: ,

I’m sure you’ve all seen the Judgemental Maps of San Francisco by now.

SF judgemental map

It’s OK, though not particularly original and a little trite. TK made a ur-version that covers most of it:

(Hey TK, how about Pitchfork-style reviews of maps of San Francisco?)

Anyway, here’s my attempt, but it’s based of the 1861 Langley map of San Francisco (click to zoom).

1861 SF judgemental map yellow text

Zoom and enhance:

1861 SF judgemental map yellow text crop

Thanks to @mizmay, @DnomadB and @bradvertising for helping judge the 1860s.

At some point other that now, I will go through and link to all these references.

Please phrase all comments as if you were posting from the 1860s.

Cistern GIF

April 24, 2014

The cistern bricks on Guerrero and Cumberland (by 19th) really pop with the new pavement.

IMG_8175

Panorama from the median (click to embiggen):

20140424-132753.jpg

And here’s a brick GIF.

sf cistern

And remember, they are much bigger that you’d expect:

inside SFFD water cistern

 

Gentrifying the Markov Chain

April 23, 2014

Over at 40goingon28, TK critiques Debra Saunders’ latest piece in gentrification and housing, which is surprisingly incoherent. He notes:

“It’s fine to have problems with current SF housing policy, but for fuck’s sake, if you’re going to go public with them, write some coherent arguments down instead of a bunch of disconnected phrases that floated through your head.”

I decided to run Debra’s article through a Markov Chain generator to see if it made any more sense. I think it’s considerably improved! (Here’s a friendly description of Markov Chains for those of you who are not Software-Americans.)


In many ways, San Francisco Fountain is no right to be the East Bay ever since. And if City Hall won’t let retailers give away paper bags. Groups only can, and I walked from out of people on their way to affordability.

The same activists who wear Google glasses – sparse square footage, lots of life is happening now. In the city has been in the fact that for people who killed 8 Washington, voters passed a couple of life is perched, the Board of tech giant had a Union Square store where they are drawn to live in this City Hall can tell you can and fun little stores, but with a condo in the fog belt.

Otherwise, about affordable housing? In many ways, San Francisco has been more livable for people on waterfront development. That leaves the oddly shaped high-rises you know there’d be pricey. But I love the cost of people on the fact that suggests, as headquarters of town. Bring on the construction of Techcrunch wrote a flat in a duplex when it will eventually ruin our neighborhoods, our cities, and demographic changes have to kill the Yuppies whom anarchists hate pay top dollar to send this town thinks Twitter is threatened.

Sometimes I walked from City Hall can tell you know there’d be the Mission is an economic downturn. Kim-Mai Cutler of town. It stank, the project. The grounds could be called squalor. Those Yuppies whom anarchists hate pay top dollar to what the background. And guess what, it’s not Siberia. You still find good coffee, ample parklands, tony eateries and cannot imagine the Board of 30,000 new shelter for San Francisco. Advocates argue that for the background.

And the cost of people who killed 8 Washington, voters passed a museum. It’s a neighbor wants to send this City Hall can and their way to kill the Special City. I don’t think any enlightened policies are outraged, and difficult for owners to rent will eventually ruin our way to make San Francisco serves as I walked from City Hall somehow did approve the Star Trek movies, San Franciscans to live in a neighborhood where residents spruce up or build a neighborhood where residents spruce up or build out. If backers win passage of Supervisors and eliminated, because of would-be San Francisco.

People pay top dollar to make this town thinks Twitter is a city benefits when nurses, teachers, police had a city can make it will eventually ruin our planet. They ignore the construction of tech giant had a condo in 1992, we rented a duplex when nurses, teachers, police had a provocative piece, “How Burrowing Owls Lead to be called squalor.”

Those Yuppies rarely complain until a couple of noise, living in part because if City Hall down Market Street at least by 2020, Mayor Ed Lee dares not oppose Proposition B, it a condo in the left unchecked, it is happening now in a museum. It’s a condo in this loser message: “The Yuppie Eradication Project stage protests to keep the chump who buys a height limit on Treasure Island last year.”

Google barges Problem: There are going to do with fewer panhandlers on waterfront development. That leaves the influx of would-be San Francisco, or build our neighborhoods, our neighborhoods, our way to rent will block high-rise development. Despite his vow to live here, so rent to live in the Board of Starfleet Academy or the construction of tech giant had a museum.

It’s also supports proposals to make this loser message: “The Yuppie dot-com lifestyle must be fought and I don’t think it would hurt for people in the middle class since the affluent than homeowners, do that?” Homeowners.

Let me up or at 8 Washington, voters passed a ballot measure to evict paying tenants. There’s a couple of Supervisors and they’d be endless: No photon torpedoes. Too many techies already.

What about the bay itself to buy, we rented a condo in which I moved to do with your own homes in mind that the East Bay ever since. And that’s OK, because while I walked from all over the fog belt. Otherwise, about the Gold Rush, and keep it more expensive and our neighborhoods, our planet. They ignore the mood was downright eerie. Yet the fog belt.

Otherwise, about affordable housing to live in 1992, we rented a flat in which I moved here in this town. It stank, the Mission Yuppie dot-com lifestyle must be called squalor. Those Yuppies rarely complain until a new homes by 2020, Mayor Ed Lee dares not Siberia.

You still find good coffee, ample parklands, tony eateries and they’d be called squalor. Those Yuppies whom anarchists hate pay $700,000 for a Union Square store where residents spruce up buildings and therefore they have pinched Ess Eff’s housing stock. Cutler also supports proposals to out-of-towners through Airbnb. Then suddenly they have to keep the fog belt.

Otherwise, about the influx of town. Bring on the Board of town. Bring on their way to make it will be some ballot measure to live near what the streets clean. Who is an economic downturn. Kim-Mai Cutler of people who killed 8 Washington are going to live near what the construction of tech giant had a museum.

It’s a Union Square store where residents spruce up or build out. If backers win passage of Starfleet Academy or at dusk with a provocative piece, “How Burrowing Owls Lead to San Francisco,” or build out.

If backers win passage of Supervisors and more market-minded approach to what the cost of Supervisors and Planning Commission approved condominiums at 8 Washington are going to evict paying tenants. There’s a museum. When Apple announced plans to build a duplex when it more affordable housing?

In the Mission is a condo in the chump who are pushing a friend from all over the construction of Proposition B, it would hurt for San Francisco newbies. The same activists who wear Google glasses.

The Bad Characters of Bernal Heights

April 21, 2014

Some question the necessity of La Lengua demanding autonomy from Bernal Heights. This article from the 1884 Daily Alta California should prove the need of our independence (if only because of the keg):

1884 daily alta bernal bad characters

Perhaps young Alfred Lewis was on his way to buy some Bernal-brewed moonshine. Let the 1888 experience of Bernal Heights Ranger Jeremiah Buckley prove a sober warning for such a trap:

1888 daily alta bernal moonshine

 

All La Lenguan residents should consider this fair warning when traversing Precitaville, as Consular services may not be available.

As to the location of J.T. Graham’s saloon, we suspect a Bernalian disinformation campaign that spreads even to the 1888 city directory level since 27th and Alabama did not intersect in the 1880s.

1888 graham liquors bernal 27th alabama

Here’s an 1880s era map showing 25th, 26th, Serpentine, Precita…

1884 SF Gray Map Bernal

Nor did 27th cross over to Bernal back in 1869.

1869 SF Goddard map Bernal

Or 1859 for that matter:

precitaville

 

And the 1886 Sanborn maps don’t make any reference to 27th on the other side of San Jose/Valencia/Mission either:

1886 Sanborn Precita

Could this address deception could be a ploy on the part of Bernalian Hegemony to hide the discovery of gold atop the hill? Or perhaps something more benign, like people just not wanting to call it Precita Avenue? (What we now call Precita Park was called “Bernal Park” when it was carved out of “Precita Place” in 1894.)

As such, we can assume J.T. Graham’s saloon was probably near the location of today’s Precita Park Cafe. Alabama seems to have stopped at Precita Place — unfortunately the 1886 Sanborn maps do not extend east of Alabama or Columbia (which no longer exists…)

Despite the garrulous nature of Bernal residents, it seems that Thomas Graham ran his grocery at the corner of Precita and Alabama for quite some time.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood in 1890 and need a piano, John Graham’s your man:

1890 SF Call Grahams Grocery piano

John was trying to rent out a house in 1891:

SF Call 1891 Grahams Groceries house to rent

Note that “cars” were running down Folsom as early as 1878

1878 SF streetcar maps

…though the Precita streetcar franchise wasn’t granted until 1898. (Thanks @enf.) This 1905 map shows the Precita route.

1905 SF streetcars Bernal Mission

Jumping back, a four-room house rented for $12 a month in 1892:

1892 SF Call Graham house rent

It looks like he owned a fair amount of property in the area, though in this 1898 ad, it is interesting he chose to live on the other end of Alabama St (278 is near 16th…)

1898 SF Call precita, cortland property

(Note the ad for a wonderful investment opportunity in La Lengua at Cortland and Mission.)

In 1905 he was renting out a 5 room cottage for $20 ($510 today, adjusting for inflation). By this time references to 27th were dropped for Precita Ave.

1905 SF Call cottage precita Graham groceries

In 1906, their dog Noodles got lost.

1906 SF Call John Graham lost dog noodles

The reward was about $125 adjusted for inflation (or one-quarter the rent of the 5-room cottage…) Poor Noodles.

That same year, John was looking for help with his stable.

1906 SF Call John Graham

We still see references to Graham’s Grocery in 1910:

1910 SF Call Grahams grocery

The first specific address, 431 Precita, shows up in the city directory in 1900. We can see the building in the 1899/1905 Sanborn Maps — Precita is on the left, Alabama is on the right.

1905 Sanborn 431 Precita

His son. John E. Graham, starts showing up in the 1900 city directory as a clerk.  But by 1915, his father John T. is no longer listed. The long-standing John T Graham company changes hands, and by 1917 it looks like John E. Graham has a different job.

John T Graham John E Graham SF directory

By 1920 there’s a John E Graham at a different address, and in 1921 he’s selling cigars (maybe changing jobs with the coming of Prohibition?) And maybe there’s something happening with the John T Graham Brothers, though I am not sure how that connects to F & W Graham taking things over in 1916…

It turns out Bernalwood inadvertently covered a bit of the history of 431 Precita a few years back.

1928 precita and alabama

But today, 431 Precita is Bernal Bark, something Noodles the dog would have appreciated.

2014 431 Precita

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