Remembering The Fell Street Off-Ramp

It’s been five years since the city knocked down the Fell Street Off-Ramp. The Octavia corridor is all vibrant and everything, and Market Street is prettier or whatever. But I still recall when, as a teenager in Sacramento, the only thing to do on the weekend was head to SF for 1.) an Amoeba run, and, often 2.) show at Bottom of the Hill. This translated to a fair amount of time on the Fell Street Off-Ramp. As soon as it broke from the freeway proper, it began snaking past buildings, tearing around corners, flying high over Market, thru the treetops, within *inches* of the First Baptist Church’s big dome. And then it set you down gently, kitty corner from Il Borgo. It made a Volvo station wagon feel like the Batwing.

Anyway, it was on one such trip that we really discovered the Mission for the first time. After Amoeba, we cruised up Stanyan to 17th Street, came down that great big hill into the Castro, and cruised through the Mission en route to a Fucking Champs show I think. Looking out the window up and down Dolores and then Valencia and then Mission was like finding a hidden prehistoric valley. We found an apartment here as soon as we could.

Driving My Volvo To Its Demise

Here’s our beloved sedan’s last ride. The trip starts in the Mission, and the video features music by local artist and Mission District proponent Jonathan Richman. For more Jonathan, peep this imeem post for a gem of a Hedwig cover.