Skip to content

Sutro Via Diablo

July 27, 2009

Flicker user craigiest has some nice shots of the city from Mt. Diablo.

I took the liberty of merging them into a panorama (which is of course completely illegible thanks to the WordPress 450 pixel width limit. Do click to enlarge — especially nice if you have an 8000 pixel wide monitor).

Mount Diablo towards San Francisco Panorama

Fuzzy Highlights (keep in mind Mt. Diablo is 31 miles away from here…)

sf from sutro

I use the angle between the Transamerica Pyramid and the Bank of America building to get perspective when I’m looking at SF from a weird position. Still, I was getting seriously confused trying to figure out what I was looking at here.  This view encompasses the Mission.

sf hills from sutro

(Ok, so there’s Sutro Tower, and,um there’s Twin Peaks, I think… No, wait. What the hell is that big thing over to the left? Where’s Bernal? Potrero? Hey, I think I see Japan in the background. I need a drink.)

In today’s edition of Know Your Hills, we learn that Mount Sutro is the one to the right/north of Sutro Tower (it’s on a subhill of Sutro, Clarendon Heights, tricky!) and that Mt Davidson (the one with the cross) is actually the tallest hill in the city at 925 feet. To its right is the surprisingly high Forest Hill at 778 feet. (Hills in the rest of the city are insignificantly low. Pacific Heights?  I laugh at your 370 feet.  Russian Hill?  Come back when you break 300.)

But where is my favorite hill, Bernal Heights?

Google Maps to the rescue.  We draw lines from Mt. Diablo to the hills we can see, et voila, vectors. (Click to get a zoomable Google Map.)

diablo vectors

diablo to sf angles

Using the power of line/arrow color coordination, we can tell that Bernal is the green patch to the left of Mt. Davidson, which is certainly not what I was expecting.

Click to enlarge:

diablo sutro

The angles get really weird, but just remember that Mt. Diablo is east by northeast rather than the straight shot east as I tend to think (which is the excuse I am using if any of this is wrong).

I’d love to get a photo from Mt. Diablo using a ridiculously powerful zoom lens showing the fog curling around these hills protecting the Mission while the rest of the city is socked in. (Hint hint, Plug1.)

Anyway, the guy that started this whole damn post also has some dramatic shots of Sutro standing sentry over the city at sunset:


Even when really foggy, Sutro Tower promises not to attack the Golden Gate Bridge.  (The Bay Bridge is another matter entirely.)

Wall of Fog

July 25, 2009

Here we see our very own Fog-Mauer hovering over 280, protecting us from any sunny interlopers that might sneak up from the peninsula.

wall of fog

And get ready for more — the warmer it gets in the rest of the bay, the foggier it will get in San Francisco.

New Bowling Alley in the Mission?

July 21, 2009

So Eater SF rumors. Even if it is only half as awesome as their rendering, I’m in:


The Mission: Keep in mind that this is some good ol’ fashioned unconfirmed rumormongering at its very finest, but it would appear that a new bowling alley could be en route for the Mission. It would be on the small side (only six lanes or so) and a group is currently trying to get all the paperwork together. The biggest obstacle to be overcome is the ABC and the maze that is liquor licensing, which is tricky for places like bowling alleys. Add in the current ABC crackdown surrounding clubs and the requirements for food sales, and things get even more dicey.

Hey, maybe they can provide safe haven for oppressed food carts.

Per historical precedent, we had a bowling alley in La Lengua in 1915 per this Sanborn map — it was near the current location of the Mission Safeway (behind what is now the Alteña taqueria). So we get one again by default, no?


(That’s 29th st on top and 30th at the bottom. Safeway replaced the Lyceum Theater in the 1950s.)

Sunday Streets – Mission Edition, Part II.V

July 19, 2009

Continued from Part II this morning and Part I last month.

Hello, my beautiful little pork sliders. Pal’s, doing an excellent job as always — their sandwiches taste even better while standing in the middle of the street surrounded by bicycles and strollers.

pal's pork sliders

Paper horse:

sunday streets horse

Bike crossing:

sunday streets 24th and mission right of way

Roller soccer.  (Hey, anyone up for street hockey next year?)

roller soccer

Down low:

yellow line

Lots of music:



The Ferocious Few were quite good.

the ferocious few

Anyway, a great afternoon. I hope it turns into a monthly event.

But please, Please, PLEASE keep this going until 4pm next time around.

Sunday Streets – Mission Edition, Part II

July 19, 2009

10 AM Valencia St Foosball League.

valencia foosball

(Too bad it was a motorcycle cop and not a bike cop, but who’s to complain.)

valencia foosball zoom

(The post-BART couple with the luggage are discovering a carless Valencia St is easier on rollerbags than the sidewalk.)

Been a while since we have done a 360 panorama – click to ZOOOM 23rd and Valencia in all of its autoless glory (including several ghost bikes…)

valencia and 23rd panorama

Pretty weird just standing in the middle of the intersection.

Hopefully will get a Pal’s Takeaway Pork Slider Panorama in a few hours.

San Jose Guerrero Plaza

July 17, 2009

Gillian ROCKS.  Great article at SF.Streetsblog on how the plan came about.


Gillett and the coalition have applied for and received numerous grants to aid their work, including a $75,000 Transportation for Livable Cities (TLC) grant through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) for a community plan. In early 2005, the community got its first road diet when the MTA narrowed Guerrero from three lanes in each direction to two and added a bicycle lane. As a result of this and other traffic calming measures, dedicated pedestrian enforcement stings from the SFPD, and new traffic signals, Gillett explained, the collision rate for the 11 blocks on Guerrero between Cesar Chavez and Randall St. has been reduced by 53 percent since 2004.

A rough sketch of the proposal to add a plaza to the intersection of San Jose and Guerrero. One lane at the eastern edge of the plaza (bottom of picture) will receive the same pavement treatment as the plaza, but remain open to local traffic so the seven driveways belonging to residents along the street can be accessed.

Gillett and other members of the community have long had their eye on the roughly 9,000 square feet of marginally used asphalt on the east side of the awkward intersection of San Jose, Guerrero, and 28th Street. Using the TLC grant from 2005, they hired Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in New York City to help them envision a more humane treatment for the intersection and better use of the public realm.


However, we still seem a little fuzzy on the name.  Suggestions? Guerrero Plaza? SJC Place? Sangrero Triangle?

Good Day Moon

July 17, 2009
tags: ,

NASA just released pictures of the Apollo landing sites from the new Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter (LRO). Below, you can see the Apollo 14 lander, its shadow and the trails left by the astronauts.

Apollo 14

Higher resolution photos (2-3x) will be coming as the LRO’s orbit stabilizes over the next few months. Other lander photos on NASA’s website. Maybe they’ll get a shot of where Japan’s Kayuga orbiter impacted.

Also, NASA is twittering the Apollo 11 audio transcript between ground control and the spacecraft – @ap11_capcom @ap11_spacecraft @ap11_eagle. (Thanks, Laughing Squid!)

As far as low-resolution photos go, here is a tragically missed opportunity of a daytime moon setting beside Sutro Tower on Tuesday. (Sorry for the dramatic color — I had the damn exposure inadvertently sent to 1/60th and had to commit unnatural iPhoto acts to bring out our neighbor.)

moon beside sutro

Chicharrones Burger and Bacon Fog

July 17, 2009

Oh man, I am seriously bummed I missed this epic burger/dessert:

ryan farr burger and bacon peanut butter brownie


I think I may have an “Important Business Meeting” at the Ferry Building every Thursday. If BART is on strike I will be livid.

bacon brownies

Dear god, those lines look like some sort of bacon weather map.


900 PM PDT THU JUL 16 2009


PZZ500-171030-900 PM PDT THU JUL 16 2009


Shitty Kitty 肉管 (Meat Pipe), George Orwell & Morocco

July 15, 2009

Comrades! Our glorious meatpipe revolution starts NOW!  A burrito in every pot!

meat pipe

So said (and drew) our Shitty Kitty friends at Telephone and Soup last night at the Shotwell Bastille Day festivities. More revolutionary pictures there, including general laughter at the fate of being guillotined by a foam board blade, and the horror of an innocent burrito becoming bifurcated.

Anyway, this Saturday you can catch some foam board action at the studio before T&S leave for Morocco.

p.s.  Speaking of Morocco, check out the George Orwell Diaries.  The Orwell Prize is blogging his diary entries from 70 years ago to the day. He spent ‘last winter’ in Morocco recovering from a lung haemmorage — some amazing entries (if you don’t mind wading through notes on his garden and how many eggs his chickens laid).

The ‘current’ entries focus on the fascinating and horrifying buildup to WWII.

  • Poland states that Danzig will be occupied if Danzig Senate declares for the Reich.
  • Conscription of all persons 18-55 ordered in Hong Kong, but evidently so phrased as to apply chiefly to Chinese & allow exemption to most of the whites.
  • More reports of fighting on the Manchukuo border, sufficient to indicate that fighting (prob. inconclusive) has actually taken place.
  • Explusion of foreigners from Italian Tyrol does not include Americans. Rumours that purpose is to cover movements of German troops into Italy.
  • Public Information Leaflet No. 2 (masking windows etc.) issued today. German visitors state gas masks have not been distributed in Germany.

The Orwell Prize people have linked to many of the original articles that Orwell references. Should make for some interesting summer reading — only two months until Germany invades Poland.

ゴジラ vs Shitty Kitty

July 12, 2009

Shitty Kitty has been having a rough month.  She’s been on graffiti patrol, has been stolen (not once but TWICE) and her creators are moving to Morocco.

Her latest challenge? ゴジラ, aka GODZILLA!  The bastard child of nuclear testing of the 50s has attacked Orange Alley and our saviour is none other than the esteemed Shitty Kitty.

As illustrated by Steven, there are three possible outcomes.


Brain vs Brawn (Shitty Kitty 1, Gozilla 0)


Shitty Kitty eats shit (Gozilla 1, Shitty Kitty 0)


POW! BAM! Shitty Kitty is a WINNER. (Shitty Kitty 1, Gozilla 0)


Shitty Kitty’s future is in your hands, however.  Please vote below:

And check out the other new fine art on Orange Alley. Sasquatch and friends cruising?


And many more. Anyway, a great crowd on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. Thanks to Receiver for hosting. Viva La Mision!

orange alley

And don’t forget the Shitty Kitty Bastille Day Meetup at Shotwell’s this Tuesday!