Sunday, January 8, 2012

San Francisco in 1955

Look at that skyline!
I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1965 and in the actual city itself from 1970 to 1985. I have many impressions of that great metropolis from the years of occuping different apartments in different neighborhoods and working at various jobs, starting as a dishwasher/busboy diagonally across the corner where Moscone Center (a large conference center) stands today.

So, I was excited to discover a more than 21-minute-long full-color movie of touring the city in 1955. So much has changed, but much looks, oddly, the same. Of course the old cars are fun to see in their shiny new condition, but many of the old buildings on the streets out of central downtown are quite similar. Downtown, though--Market Street especially--is almost unrecognizable.

It's a form of time travel to enjoy these preserved images. There's actually another short film shot in San Francisco just before the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Now THAT'S really interesting. With a few tiny exceptions, my S.F. memories start in 1970, which is still a pretty long time ago.

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