9/5/10

The Valencia Street corridor

All the cars on Valencia Street make it hard to take decent pictures. But every once in awhile you see a car actually worth taking a picture of.

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The thought immediately enters one's mind that if it was some other decade you wouldn't feel bad about taking pictures with cars in them because the cars would be cool. The next thought is, how many decades would you have to go back to make that a true statement? Then you realize you have to go back pretty far because pretty much no cars in the 80s, 90s, or 00s would qualify. You're pushing it with the 1970s, but at least Pintos, Pacers, and Gremlins have a sense of humor about them now.

We've been to Valencia Street together before, but I don't think I've ever given it a full exposition. Turns out that's because it's hard to take good pictures on Valencia Street...because of all the cars. You also feel a little bit like a douchebag weirdo walking around with your camera taking pictures of shit stuff. But everyone else is doing it, and they don't seem so bad, so you don't feel so bad either.

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This neighborhood has hugely gentrified since I moved to San Francisco (for the first time) in 1989. Back then, you wouldn't have much reason to come here. It was a little sketchy. But the rents were cheap and the sunny weather in this part of a town was a draw. By the mid/late-1990s this was the place to be, and I guess it still is (of course, I vastly prefer my beloved Bernal Heights). I'm here today to cat sit for a friend who cat sits for us.

We can sidestep the car issue by taking pictures of street corners, where the cars can't park. The older buildings like this

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and this

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While the newer buildings look like this

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and this

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Sidewalk dining is big here.

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People wait an hour on the weekends for a table at Boogaloos. I would never do that--anywhere.

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I've also never bought anything from someone on the sidewalk, although I am not opposed to that.

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When I'm not here to cat sit, I like this neighborhood for dinner and drinks (although I've never been to this bar, or any of the bars that were in that spot before it became Delirium, whose names I can't remember)

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Allow me decode this flier for you: Tuesdays is queer night at Delirium.

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Valencia is all about fliers and posters

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You can find all kinds of things to do.

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People-watching seems to be the extent of my cultural interests these days.

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Now, as for horticultural interests, I do have one thing to show you. I saw it first here, on Far Out Flora--it's a woollypocket (tm) garden hanging over the Candystore Collective storefront on 16th Street.

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I think it's kind of excellent.

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Ha. I remember being slightly depressed at one point in 2006 when Helichrysum petiolare was the best performing plant in my garden. It was like, is this all I can grow?

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Note that this is a north-facing wall.

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As far as I know, the only other plant life of note here is found in murals.

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I mean, that is some crazy Caladium.

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Other murals are even wackier.

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8 comments:

Jenn's Cooking Garden! said...

Thanks for this tour! People are fascinating! Great art work!

Nicole said...

That's a fun tour!

petuniapotpie said...

I am in love with that mural with the calladium!! Also, the wooly pocket garden is fabulous. My friend Michelle is involved somehow with that store. So cool to see it!

petuniapotpie said...

oops, woolly pocket

Les said...

It perplexes me that one part of town can be sunnier than another. Gardeners may have to have a whole different palette to work with. As usual I have been enjoying your trips around town.

Denise said...

I've wondered the same thing about helichrysum. Maybe all gardeners have at one time or another. What a camera-worthy city SF is. (I've waited in a line for Mama's but feel so foolish for doing so.)

Matti said...

As always...sweet detailed post. love the lots o photos...makes me feel like I was there with you. Matti

Jenn said...

Nice use of the wholly pockets!

Sweet.