About that old police station

Reader Britta writes in to let us know about a writeup she did on the old (abandoned?) Mission Police Station on 17th Street near Treat. I’ve always wanted to check out the interior, but never had the chance. Anyone know what’s going on in there now? Last I heard Tracy Chapman was thinking of buying it, and had maybe done some recording in there. Britta suggests that it may currently be owned by an entertainment industry management firm. Sounds spooky.

In 2014


[image via Google Street View]

In 1924


[photograph via UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library]

[article link]

The perennial aesthetic merits of the Muni-only thoroughfare between 21st and Liberty

In my early days living in the city, I liked to walk home from SF State like this: north along the Muni tracks into West Portal, up over Forest Hill and down into the 9th and Irving area (where I’d stop for a slice or a cookie or a loaf of bread at Arizmendi), past Kezar Stadium, down Haight Street to Toronado (where I’d stop for a pint or three) (they were $2.50 back then!), then down Church Street and up to the bench at the crest of Dolores Park (where I’d stop and do some homework), and then along some more Muni tracks to 21st or 22nd Streets (in what’s called “Dolores Heights” or the “Liberty Hill Historic District” depending on your map) where I’d turn left and head down into the Mission.

I had lots of favorite sights along that route, but this weird Muni-only thoroughfare with high walls between Liberty and 21st just really visually struck me every time I saw it. So after a while I started taking a picture of it every time I passed by, and I compiled them into a PowerPoint. (David Byrne popularized the idea of PowerPoint as art about 10 years ago; I was into it too.)

Soon after, I graduated and stopped walking that route, and then I got busy with work (and blogging) and forgot all about it. Some years later, I was visiting my sister at my parents’ house in Sacramento and she proposed we go to (and participate in) a “multimedia open mic night” at the Villanova House performance space in Davis. I dug through some old boxes I’d put into storage in their basement, found some SF State-era thumb drives and my old Minidisc player, and improvised this “multimedia open mic” performance:

Then Primo ‘grammed this photo the other day and got me reminiscing all over again.

(Oh and it was also along those tracks that I took the photo that became the first Mission Mission post ever.)

[Photo by Google Maps]

That time in 1894 when bike messengers had to carry mail from Fresno to ‘San Fransisco’

The fine folks at Mission Bicycle Company were digging around in some public archives and came upon an awesome story. So they made a cool patch to commemorate it:

1894 found the United States in a deep depression. The infamous Pullman Strike crippled rail service west of Detroit all the way to the California coast, isolating San Francisco. No trains meant among other things, no mail.

In response, a bicycle mail route was organized totaling 210 miles, divided into 8 relays, and occupying 18 hours. The route offered to carry a letter via bicycle from one end to the other for $0.25.

This patch is a replica of the original stamp present on each letter carried. We retained the misspelling of San “Fransisco” for authenticity.

At least they didn’t call it Frisco! (Just kidding, that would’ve been fine.)

Check out this map:

Get your patch at the Mission Bicycle shop on Valencia, or online here.

Throwback Thursday: City of Cardboard

Yesterday I went rummaging through my Twitter archives (had to request and download a special .csv file and everything) looking for an ancient tweet about NOFX so I could make fun of Yoshi’s, and I got to thinking it could be fun to revisit some old Mission Mission stuff more regularly. So here we go. This was our third tweet ever:

Cardburg, you ask? Why, it was a miniature cardboard city that existed for a short while, here in the Mission:

Pretty cool, right? See more pics here.

And here’s a video I shot. Videos were long back in ’08, I guess. (Where was Vine when you needed it?) But do stick around to hear the cardboard crab shriek at the end:

Call it Frisco!

I’ve long been against the Don’t call it Frisco thing, mainly because I don’t like rules, and also because I like nicknames and abbreviations.

Today on Thrillist, local treasure Daisy Barringer digs into the history of the issue, and proves we should actually probably all be calling it Frisco all the time. I mean, sorry for the spoiler, but even Herb Caen himself relented, way back in 1977:

It’s okay, you may call it ‘Frisco’ now. The gray-beards, the ones who objected so strenuously and endlessly to the ‘irreverent’ sailor-spawned nickname for San Francsico, are mostly gone now — and so, it must be added is a large part of the city they loved and helped to build, the city that spawned world legends and legions of worshippers.

Suck it, gray-beards!

Read on for a ton of great history and the rest of Daisy’s very compelling argument.

Colonialism and racism and gentrification and waffles

Reader Amy Y. has been following a little spat being played out on the facade of Linea Caffe (which houses the waffle shop Lt. Waffle). It started with a little promotional signage featuring the visage of some Belgian guy from history, which begat an angry flyer:

Here’s the rant up close:

And the response from the Lt. Waffle crew:

Gotta love that Anthony Myint. (And daaaaaaaaamn, those waffles.)

(Thanks, Amy!)

Tartine and Bi-Rite a million years ago

[Photos courtesy of SF History Center / SF Public Library, via Katy Hill]

Back when the most expensive concert ticket in town was Led Zeppelin

And it was $11.50.

Tonight you can see an LCD Soundsystem *cover band* at Verdi Club for $15.

[via Emma]

Double-decker Golden Gate Bridge

I think we’ve probably seen this before, but it’s been making the rounds on Tumblr again lately, and in light of today’s bummer bridge news I thought we could all just take it in once again and think happy thoughts :)

[via Bone Surf]

1974 at Paco’s Tacos

Mission Local made a great new video with archival footage from 1974 and brought some of the people back to continue the interview in present day. More context and discussion on their site.