Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter Sunday

San Francisco, Sunday April 4: What if you threw an Easter party and nobody showed up? That's essentially what happened in San Francisco last weekend. Some people showed up, and while those people are somebodies to somebody else, there were more people working the vendor booths than general public on the street.

It wasn't raining when I left San Jose, and only sprinkling lightly as I drove up the 101. I was hoping the rain would end and I'd see a rainbow or a bright blue sky reflected on wet pavement. Didn't get all that, but I did get some good photos.

I parked at the North Beach Garage and walked along the length of Union Street, up and down Russian Hill till I got to Gough Street where the street was closed off to traffic for the festival. 

Oh, to own a San Francisco townhouse. Some of the sidewalks, like this one at Jones and Union are so steep, a staircase has been embedded into the concrete.

Across the street, everything is downhill from this point! I love these old houses. Notice the curved window? My guidebook tells me that they stopped making them that way around the time of the 1906 earthquake: this house survived the earthquake.

Union Street looking west. Oh, oh, that party looks like it was over before it really got started. The view to the east is likely more familiar to you. That's Coit Tower in the background. The top looks like the end of a fire hose as it was a salute to the firefighters who stopped the massive fires that followed the 1906 earthquake.

The rain scared everyone away. I wonder if that was the parade going down the middle of the street.

I just love this old theater, the Alhambra, on Polk Street at Union. Now a fitness center, look at the detail that went into the facade and the minarets. Opened in 1926, it was designed by the same architect who designed the Castro theater, Timothy L. Pflueger.

Hard to imagine anyone building a theater with this attention to detail today. Reminds me of the time I saw the ruin of a crusader's castle in Israel. They built their castle to last even though they were only in the Holy Land for about 50 years. That seems funny now, but the crusaders seriously thought they were making a permanent change. 

80 years ago, who would have thought that one day, people would stop going out to movie theaters. In recent years, most of these old theaters have been torn down or left as ruins, like crusader castles. And, if you think about the time between the golden age of movie theaters (1920s) and the proliferation of televisions in people's homes by the late 1950s, that time period is just as brief as the time spent by the crusaders in their castle before the local armies drove them back to Europe.

The Alhambra has been given a fresh coat of paint and, although I've never been inside, word has it that the stage and interior woodwork has been restored as well.

Many people had gone to a lot of trouble to make this a special day for children. While others refused to accept that their day had been spoiled.

I'm not sure whether to title this photo, "Hope Springs Audaciously," or "Second Date." There was supposed to be a parade at 2:00. If it happened, it was over by the time I got there. 

Maybe they were having a pleasant conversation and didn't want to move. Then again, looking at their faces, maybe not...

A little rain didn't dampen the sprits of these cheerleaders from Cheer San Francisco. Actually, they were the highlight of my day.

No way you'd get me up there. Several from this team did tumbling routines that ended with front flips... on the wet pavement. Cheer San Francisco donates their time to raise money for local charities. Of course, I gave them a donation.

There wasn't much business for the vendors: most were packing up by the time I got there.

I like the contrast of the colorful pinwheels against the brick and concrete background.

All this rain left some folks all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Copyright © 2010 David G. Kelly

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