Tom’s Garden

Growing by the Bay

Month: May 2008

Photo Wednesday

child and leaves near moscone center

This charming photo, taken near Moscone center, is from roger jones’ photostream.

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A San Francisco yodeler

toshio hirano performing music of jimmie rodgers

He’s Toshio Hirano, originally from Japan. He teaches in San Mateo by day. But at night another dimension emerges, as he plays his guitar and sings in south of Market clubs — and what he most often sings are the songs of Jimmie Rodgers.

He became fascinated with Rogers as a college student. After graduation, he toured Appalachia. A few years later, he worked at a restaurant in Nashville, where he met some country stars. He has lived in San Francisco since 1986.

For the full story, see the SF Chronicle article by Joel Selvin. Or visit the singer’s website. Just be sure to listen to this clip of his rendition of peach picking time in Georgia.

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Friday Roundup

Virtual NoCal

FV incoming links

Mayor Newsom’s press conference on California Supreme Court marriage ruling

I went over to City Hall over my lunch hour today and caught the press conference and celebration over the Supreme Court’s ruling that marriage does not depend on sexual orientation. I recorded some parts with my cell phone’s video — the quality is not the best but some of the spirit of the event might come through.

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The city as it was

cable car postcard from 1960s

David Newman administs a Flickr pool called San FranGone: The City as It Was. Here you can find photos, postcards (such as the mid-a960s cable car above), and maps ranging from the nineteenth century to fairly recently. Newsom says:

Please post your image in this group if:

You can’t go there anymore (i.e. Playland-at-the-Beach)

If the person, place or thing has changed significantly since the image was made (i.e. SF Bay with ferries, before the bridges were built)

This sheet music cover dates from 1917.

frisco china town sheet music

Hanging out on Haight and Masonic during the Summer of Drugs Love:

summer of love fashions

My publishing company used to occupy the entire first floor of the tower portion of the Call Building, the tallest building, I think, to survive the earthquake.

historic call bldg, san francisco

The pool has some limitations. A few posters somewhat overwhelm the rest, and there are quite a few more pictures of someone named Leo than I really need. While the pool is fun to browse, it is very difficult to find anything in particular. I think the pool should be subdivided by decade, subject, or neighborhood.

For more click on the screenshot below.

san fran gone: historic sf

Photo Wednesday: Filbert steps mosaic

This photo of the Filbert Steps from EricGjerde’s photostream

is actually a composite of many photos, as this detail shows:

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Exporatorium Roof Cam

The Exploratorium has a pretty cool roof cam. It is set to shift its view every fifteen minutes, or you can select from several presets.

If several people are visiting the site at the same time they queue up to take turns controlling the camera. When you are in control of the camera you have the ability to scroll right/left and up/down. You can also zoom out or in, between 1x wide angle and 25x telephoto).

The presets include:

Golden Gate Bridge

Wind Surfing Area

Alcatraz

Golden Gate Bridge Approach

Palace of Fine Arts Lagoon

Weeping Women at Palace of Fine Arts

The Exploratorium’s Weather Station

Another Bridge View (this is the one shown above)

And the Wave Organ (an Exploratorium project with artist-in-residence Peter Richards)

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Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’.

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’.

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’ is a kind of mullein native to the mountains of Greece, but it makes quite a spectacle of itself in Bay Area gardens.

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’.

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’.

Perhaps the most attractive feature of the place is its large, wooly, silvery leaves, which grow in an attractive succulent-like (although the plant tolerates regular water) basal rosette pattern.

But the plant also gets obscene-looking fuzzy white stems that eventually become covered with yellow flowers, which are attractive to butterflies and bees.

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’.

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’.

It’s possible to pinch out the flowering shoots in order to extend the life of the plant and keep the focus on the leaves. This is a short-lived plant, and if you let it flower it might only last a couple of years. I’ve let mine go, however, because I wanted to see how the flowers develop.

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’.

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’.

Friday Roundup

Noted about the bay.

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Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green NOT coming to San Francisco

tavern on the green

Okay, it will be called Tavern on the Green (I guess). Okay, it will be a branch of the pretentious New York restaurant (more frequented by tourists than locals). But there’s just no way the Metreon is by any stretch of the imagination green. It’s not remotely comparable to Central Park. The New York restaurant might be known for its ostentatious decor, but chandeliers and mirrors alone would not draw the out-of-towners — it’s the location that has made it a destination since the 1930s.

So now the restaurant is bringing its Eisenhower-era menu with its petrodollar prices to fill the top floor of the Metreon, maybe the phoniest, most soulless and artificial retail complex in the city. The Metreon experience is the equivalent of taking all the annoying cell phones and IPods that bother you on BART and packing them into one monstrous box intruding on what was formerly a pleasant part of the city.

I suppose in some cynical sort of profiteering way that’s perfect. But they should call it Tavern for the Greenback.

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Photo Wednesday

coit tower at night

This dramatic (presumably Photoshop enhanced) photo of Coit Tower at night is from Thomas Hawk’s photostream. I don’t know what the red lighted area is.

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Frisco or dust

Here’s an amusing animation depicting Mark Twain drolly calling for respect for San Francisco’s dignity. It’s pretty funny, and nicely done. Is this a real Twain quote? I’d like to know where it’s from.

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via Eye on Blogs

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Bay Area canoe and kayak put-in locations

For a handy map of canoe and kayak put-in locations around the Bay Area, check out gotoes.org. Happy paddling!

map of bay area canoe and kayak put-ins

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Friday Roundup

Virtual NoCal

FV incoming links

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A Jitney Elopement

Just yesterday I was talking about films shot in San Francisco and noting that the San Francisco Chronicle‘s list seemed a little slim. And today Sparkletack posts on a Chaplin film shot in Golden Gate Park, called A Jitney Elopment (more info on the film at Sparkletack).

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