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September 1, 2010

Sigh. Eric Fischer brings us BARTstalgia (or whatever the word is for the transit path not taken):

Northbound BART train in Marin County leaving Sausalito (February, 1961)

BART passengers on platform (September 1960) (aka “Mad Men on a train”)

BART passengers on train (September 1960) (Hey, triplets on a train!)

And can ever forget the view from BART over the GGB?

Just call YUkon 2-9838 to express your support for BART to Marin County:

Insert Nero Joke Here

August 31, 2010

Ancient Rome under Augustus is nearly the same size as Burning Man at Black Rock:

(Dear BBC — subjunctive tense, please.  “If Burning Man WERE staged at…”)

Now before you conservatives get too excited, we’ve got a ways to go before you can make your ancient Rome/SF parallels:

27 BC – 14 AD: Augustus
14 AD – 37 AD: Tiberius
37 AD – 41 AD: Caligula
41 AD – 54 AD: Claudius
54 AD – 68 AD: Nero

And we’ve already had our fires (other than 1906 and 1989):

1849: Dec 24
1850: May 4
1850: Jun 14
1850: Sep 17
1851: May 3
1851: Jun 22

(Note to SF, watch out for May and June.)

Telstar Logisitics has more on how these events relate to our city seal:

(At least there’s no fiddle.)

See also: Burning Man Subverts The Mission

Burning Man Subverts The Mission?

August 30, 2010

Many of you have seen the awesome BBC Dimensions website that lets you overlay all sorts of historical and cultural events and geographic things over any zip/postal code. My favorites are the takeoff distance of a WWII Spitfire, the size of the Great Pyramids at Giza and the size of ancient Rome.

Another tremendously historic and cultural reference they include is Burning Man. Each year, the Mission depopulates and seeks the sun on the playa. Here is the camp’s relative size superimposed over the 94110:

Here’s a 2006 satellite photo of the camp itself that I cropped and masked:

(underlying satellite photo via via

Of course, with everyone out of town, the Mission kind of feels like this:

(via Ulrich Munstermann /Flickr )

or this:

(Bonus points if you figure out the underwater canyon.)

The population shift means lines for these are very short:

(mimosas via Flickr/Joe Shlabotnik)

However, given the recent fire at Boogaloos, I strongly suspect sabotage by those currently at Burning Man in an effort to maintain long brunch lines in the Mission in their absence. (We will retaliate by dramatically lowering water pressure upon your return.)

Anyone more creative than me who wants to superimpose your own dramatic image over the Mission (hmm, subimpose, I suppose?) feel free to use this tranparent PNG in your image editor of choice. If it’s particularly clever we can upload it here.

See also: Insert Nero Joke Here.


August 26, 2010


Bernal Comm Zoom

August 25, 2010
tags: , ,

Top of the Bernal for you.

A flight taking off from Bernal Airport (moonlit 60 second exposure at 11 pm)

Totally blind shot holding my iPhone in front of a telescope.

If I didn’t know any better, I think I caught someone and their dog – two extremely zoomed and grainy shots. See the arms?

(Or maybe it’s a centaur. Or a 25 to 30 foot snake. I can’t quite tell.)

Anyway, other gratuitous Bernal shots from my backyard:

Moon rising through Bernal trees:

Previous Bernal-Moon shots here.

Fols-om Nom Nom Nom

August 21, 2010

This year’s SF Street Food Fest — crowded, yes, but much smoother than last year. The lines were long but they went rather quickly. (Hey guy wearing the AWESOME Mission Reds baseball t-shirt — where the hell did you get that?!?! Jealous as hell.)

And the obligatory 180 panorama (click to zoom):

Hmm, these houses look familiar. Like they are historical or something.

Wait a minute:

Oh, that’s right, it was next to the old Recreation Park baseball grounds from 1880. Looking west from what’s now Treat, between 25th and 26th. I am officially naming these houses “The Folsom Ladies”.

You were eating on the GHOSTS OF BASEBALL PAST! (But that’s cool, given they were eating and drinking on that spot before your great-great grandparents were born.)

If this intrigues you, please do click on this post.

Veo 218 Vara

August 20, 2010

A photography project focusing on
San Francisco neighborhoods
200 yards at a time.

The first installment of 200 Yards — Valencia & 24th — last Wednesday at Heart, was packed.

Behold our 218 vara circle of interest:

The exhibit is up at Heart until September 20th, so go buy some scallops and a jar of red and stare at the wall for a while (or better yet buy something).

In the meantime, look upon my panoramas, ye mighty, and despair!

Click to zoom – Armand‘s are the 4 black & white shots in the center. As for the others, I lost my photo list so I sadly have no idea who took which photos.

I liked the set of street signs, though the standard curved panorama didn’t do them justice:

So I deployed my advanced and ever subtle shift-sideways panorama technique (note my multiple shadows). Once again, click to zoom for 2800 pixel wide madness.

And for some historical perspective:

The US Coast Survey Map near what will be 24th and Valencia in 1859. Racetracks, a small settlement along the road to San Jose just north of Precita Creek and Serpentine Ave (anyone know the story on that one?) The Bernal Racho is just visible at the bottom).

…and 1869, roads in place, previous settlement gone. San Francisco and San Jose RR cuts through the hood.

1889 Sanborn map of the 200 Yard area (quick and dirty paste, not my best work, lots of alignment issues, sorry).

Here’s the block that Heart is on. Heart was an empty field, the gas station was a drug store and two saloons (surprise), there was a candy factory in the middle of the block.  There was a chinese laundry, a butcher and another saloon (surprise) on the corner of 23rd and Valencia.

(Google Earth’s image overlay is really starting to piss me off — how about some upgrades? Drag and drop of images? Better resolution?  Tiling tools?  Grrrr.) Anyway, the unlayered map.

Much more to discuss in the area, but that will have to wait for another time. And thus concludes your history lesson, enjoy the weekend.