Back when Amoeba was a bowling alley

[via Amoeba]

I remember Valencha

In a post called “I Remember Valencha,” local blog Ticklefight takes a look back at a Valencia Street of the not-so-distant past:

KFC used to own this stretch and they knew it. For blocks and blocks you could smell it, sometimes all the way up to the other KFC on 14th or the Taco Bell near Saint Luke’s.

The 26 would get you all over, that is if it ever showed up. Plenty of seats and hardly any riff-raff.

The Gardens on 15th were a jungle and you stayed away if you could because you knew better.

Read on for the scoop on $2 slices and some pondering about the future of La Rondalla.

Also, let’s all be sure to read former Mission Mission editor Kat Malinowska’s stirring remembrance of the 26-Valencia (sample excerpt: “Riding the 26 always made me feel like I was taking public transit in Santa Barbara”).

Bars on Mission Street at the turn of last century harbored even more mustaches than bars of today

As Patti Dillion explains to the Bernal Heights History Project:

This is a photo of the interior of Dolan’s Bar which was at 3311 Mission St from about 1897 to 1919.  The Dolan Bros were:

  • William T
  • John E – her great grandfather and member of the SFPD
  • Michael H – also of the SFPD
  • Lawrence J – plumber by trade and elected to the CA State Assembly & Sheriff of San Francisco, appointed Sealer of Weights and Measures (second from the left in the photo)

Says Patti: “I’m wondering if someone has a photo of the exterior of the building from about the same time. I would love to see what it looked like back then.”

Can anyone help her out?

Market Street in the late ’90s

Local historian David Enos just unearthed this blurry but evocative photograph of the scene on Market Street in the late ’90s. Don’t you wanna just dive in and swim around in it?

Grand boulevards and ornate gardens slicing through the Mission

That strip of parkland between Mission Street and South Van Ness was gonna be called “Mission Arcade.” And the one running east-west was “Mission Parkway.” And how helpful would those diagonals be when biking from Dear Mom to El Rio??

Bernalwood dug this up; here’s the story:

A few weeks ago, I took Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter to visit the new Exploratorium. While we were there, we wandered down a long hallway and into the Bay Observatory Gallery at the northeast corner of the museum. And in the Bay Observatory Gallery, we found a very cool collection of maps [...]

[T]he Cub Reporter was fascinated with a map visualization created by the amazing Eric Fischer (which quite speaks well of her).

Simultaneously, your Bernalwood editor was intrigued by a map of an ambitious redevelopment plan that envisioned San Francisco as a kind of Paris by the Bay, with grand boulevards and ornate gardens slicing through our familiar street grid.

Read on for a bunch more maps and history.

Now let’s rock out:

Cool old picture of the Roxie

[via The Roxie on Tumblr]

Vintage tamale-in-a-can ad

Looks delectable!

[via Lucky Peach]

Cool photo of the old Doggie Diner at Mission and Army

Bernalwood reports:

Doggie Diner was a chain of fast food restaurants scattered around the Bay Area. The franchise enjoyed its heyday during a mid-1960s expansion, during which it installed rotating doggie-head mascots above each of its 30 or so restaurants. The doggie-heads became iconic in San Francisco, even after the Doggie Diner chain shut down for good in 1986.

Read on for more history and more photos.

A journey into the Mission’s past, via ancient restaurant menus

Mission Local dug through the SF Public Library’s archives and found a handful of ancient menus from long-gone eras here in the Mission. Imagine a time when Bruno’s was an actual Italian restaurant!

Read on for all the rest.

San Francisco 10 or 12 years ago

Local thirtysomething David Enos recalls a bygone era:

It’s been jarring to notice that nearly all of the local landmarks of my 20’s have disappeared.  They weren’t meant to last into this new era; even back then their appeal was in how surprising it was to find them.  Action Camera, CALA foods, The Video Cafe, the upstairs room at the Edinburgh Castle, Musee Mecanique at the Cliff House, Johnny Appleseed’s, Nap’s, Petra Cafe, Irving 5 & 10, the 100 Van Ness building, Koko’s Cocktails, Video Zone, Into Video, Salvation Army on Sutter, Indian copy and printing place on 16th and Guerrero, mysterious corner store run by lone elderly woman on Guerrero and 17th, Adobe Books, Stacy’s Books, Kayo Books, Borders, Tower Records, the Gold Dust, Ace Cafe, the Red Vic, Lumiere, Alexandria, Coronet and Bridge theaters. [link]

Yeah dude I’ll always miss those amazing bloody marys at Nap’s, and I was way bummed when they shuttered that Borders to make room for Zeitgeist.

But at least we’ve got that great short film about the Ace Cafe, and the 100 Van Ness TV series (and zine).

[Image © 2010 Microcosm Publishing]