Still on the job after all these years…
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Fat Tire Planet wants to drive you around town in their open-top fire truck from the 1960’s. Fair enough.
Will the ride up Anza Hill (did I date an Anza Hill in college? Something close to that.) on bloody Masonic Avenue in the western Western Addition / NOPA area inspire you to stand up and raise your arms in the air like you just don’t care? Possibly.
Yes, this 1968 Howe Defender 90 just might feel like a roller coaster on the hilly streets of San Francisco. As seen near Mervyn’s Heights:
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But Hannah Kenney of Corte Madera (Marin County), CA has a beef with this four-decade old piece of rolling Maker Faire. Actually, she’s developed a lot of beefs driving around by herself when she ventures south of her wealthy suburban enclave way up in the North Bay. Her concerns:
— The flood of bicycle tourists into Sausalito who tend to create traffic concerns all over the city and Marin.
— Those little motorized yellow two-seatersthat are difficult to spot in your rearview and side-view mirrors are louder than cars, aggravating to pedestrians and are often driven by people who don’t seem to understand the rules of the road here. How are those even legal?
— I recently had the displeasure of being stuck on Divisadero next to a lumbering yellow fire enginethat had been repurposed as a tour bus – not the quaint older type, but a modern truck: FatTirePlanet.comIn an eco-friendly town such as San Francisco, how is it possible that we [sic] can provide permits of operation to such an unnecessary mode of transport that certainly damages the environment?
See? All you tourists are warned – stay off of bicycles, two-seaters, and “modern” fire trucks when you visit the area.
But if you must ride on a firetruck tour, please, by all means, keep it quaint.
That is all.
Engine #1 is a 1968 Howe Defender 90, used by the Contra Costa County Fire Department until her pump seized in the mid 1990s. Fat Tire Planet owner Cyrus Forootan bought her at auction in 2000, and spent 4 years working with local artists
Ready for a magic carpet ride?
Hop on board Engine #1, the Biggest Hot-Rod Convertible in California – Bright yellow, surrounded by red flames, she embodies the creative eccentricity of San Francisco!
Engine #1 breaks the mold of traditional touring – passengers can take in the sounds, smells and spectacular views of the city from her open-air seating deck. No other tour vehicle can come close to bringing the most beautiful city in the United States to LIFE!
All year long, weather permitting, the fire truck is available for private parties and charters. We have blankets, you BYOB. Minimum 15 passengers @ $30/ person for 3 hours for charters.
During the summer season (May-October), we specialize in San Francisco city tours on a customized yellow open air fire truck with an awesome sound systemand an amazing flame job. We can accommodate up to 25 people.
The first two days of ChihulyPalooza in Golden Gate Park were well attended, despite the admonishment of New Republic Art Critic Jed Perl:
Everybody rushes to the Museum of Modern Art and the De Young, two overblown buildings with sporadically important collections, while the most beautiful museum in the city–the Legion of Honor, in which masterpieces by Watteau, Le Nain, and Seurat have been given a thrillingly elegant installation- -is hardly ever mentioned.
Well, consider the Legion mentioned, Mr. Perl. Now on with the show:
Director John Buchanan speaking with Dale Chihuly earlier at the preview. Click to expand:
Let’s head outside to see the spectacle in front of the museum. A man controlling his metallic fire animals obscured by propane gas:
The thrill of sending a plume of fire skyward the first time:
A bed of nails with a fretful ballerina on top:
And inside the museum, cherubs everywhere:
See you there!