Posts Tagged ‘white’

How People Got Around Frisco BEFORE Lyft and UBER: The Secret Phone Numbers of Veteran’s Cab in SoMA

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Here it is: Gritty HARRISON 1500 –>, lovely COSTCO #144, and of course, the Italianate red/white/green of VETERAN’S CAB 502-1300 all down at 11th and Harrison in SoMA:

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I don’t know how things work now but back in the day if you were a regular / reliable customer, cab companies / drivers would give you secret phone numbers that would get you to Dispatch quicker than the public “sucker” lines that you’d see: in the phone book (yes, an actual book); painted on the sides of cars; or, in the case of Veteran’s, lit up in neon for tout le monde to see.

I can’t recall anything at all about 415 502-1300. I suppose it was ahead of my time. (Maybe it connects you to UCSF these days.) But I DO recall 415 552-1300 from the pre-UBER/Lyft era. At that time, if you gave that line a jingle ’cause you needed a taxi at, let’s say 7:00 PM on a Saturday night, you’d most likely get a busy signal, oh well.

Why? Well it’s ’cause there were <1000 taxi medallions in Frisco for the longest time. This shortage meant that cabbies could make bank, especially considering how cheap rents were Back Then compared with now. It was such a sweet job that former Mayor Willie Brown drove a taxi to pay his way through UC Hastings Law School back in the 1950’s. And in the 1980’s, Frisco was gaining a national reputation as a place where it was hard to find a cab. Read THE MAYOR, THE CABBIES and the 84 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION – Historical Essay by Rua Graffis, United Taxicab Workers, 1996 for the reason why.

Anywho, just think about what phone number cabbies would use to call in for a tow truck if a taxi broke down – they sure as Heck wouldn’t use the sucker line, right? They’d call a number where somebody would actually pick up. That’s the kind of number that you’d want to use.

What’s that, you lived out at 25th and Irving way out there in the Sunset? Well in that case, you might have had to wait / give up on getting a taxi, but at least an effort would be made. Or maybe a taxi driver heading in that general direction would drop off and then swing on by in 20 minutes or so.

I’m not saying that that was great, but all this attention paid by the taxi industry to those who knew how to get through meant there was less attention paid to some tourist / newcomer who didn’t know anything.

Of course, our Chamber of Commerce and our tourist industry HATED this situation, but then, in part due to the difficulty certain ballers (like Travis K) had finding a taxi in Frisco ’round about a decade ago, ALONG CAME UBER AND LYFT.

Now, any rube can get a ride, but traffic is much worse, and getting worser, so who knows which era you’d prefer.

Ah, mem’ries…

In Lieu of Speed Limit Signs for Bicycles in the GGP Panhandle, We Now Have, “SLOW DOWN! – ENJOY the PANHANDLE”

Friday, August 11th, 2017

See? Note the care that this tagger used to not block the new “wayfinding” feature.

I saw one of these notices near Baker. This is near Ashbury:

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I’m guessing an Area Pedestrian thinks some go too fast on their bikes.

And actually, you don’t even need to pedal when coming inbound – starting at 0 MPH at Stanyan, you can coast all the way to the DMV and end up going 16.3 MPH, on knobby tires no less, just saying…

Rec and Park’s Anti-Vandalism Effort at the McKinley Statue in the Panhandle Gets Hit with … Vandalism

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Here’s your background and here’s how this site looks today:

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Suffice to say that this statue was going to need some work done anyway, and if the Arts Commish / RPD got a permanent fence put up (the way some people want) any sort of tagging wouldn’t look this bad, and it’s probably going to be a lot more difficult to get your painted message to the streets to stick (literally stick) around – suffice to say all that, but nevertheless Rec and Park’s Anti-Vandalism Effort at the McKinley Statue in the Panhandle Gets Hit with … Vandalism.

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Frisco’s Highest Elevator Car

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Here it is:

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I don’t think it ever gets level, so you’re standing on a sloping floor the whole time:

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And then you go up up up to the highest horizontal point of Sutro Tower:

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I haven’t seen it in action lately, but here’s a shot from aught-four:

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And more recently:

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Or you can take the stairs I guess…

Shakedown 1998: How the Neighbors of Sutro Tower Held Digital TV Hostage for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Friday, July 21st, 2017

[Feel free to boot up (Shakedown) 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins while you read – that’s the reference.]

Here it is, noble Sutro Tower, beloved symbol of Frisco. The vertical part in the middle is an add-on – it brought / brings digital TV to the Bay Area.

Well, two decades ago it caused consternation to certain (and certainly now) millionaire homeowners of Midtown Terrace, Forrest Knolls and basically the whole Twin Peaks area what’s located in the “fall zone.” (Uh, that’s in quotes due to the fact that this phrase was made up by some area attorney homeowner back in the day. But it’s center of gravity is like 16 underground, so as long as it stays together as a rigid body (and, you know, it probably will – I’m not promising you anything though), I don’t think it can fall down.

Anyway, noble Sutro. I think this is as close as I’ve ever been to it at an altitude higher than the base, if that makes sense:

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So, just as area attorneys (and USF law students) banded together back in the 1970’s to deprive us of our landmark, area attorneys banded together in the 1990’s to fight the relatively minor addition of a 100-foot long metal “auxiliary antenna” for digital TV broadcast.

All this digital antenna fooforall was ably covered by INTERESTED PARTY the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998. And look:

“The 977-foot Sutro Tower is owned by four television stations: KRON, KTVU, KGO and KPIX. KRON is owned by Chronicle Publishing Co., which also controls The Chronicle.” 

Hello! (The writer properly put fall zone in quote marks. Good.)

Obviously the fretful homeowner lawyers were threatening to sue, but also obviously we now have this auxiliary antenna, so how did that happen? Well, Sutro Tower Inc. (STI) had to fork over some cold hard cash:

“STI agrees to contribute:

a. $3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year

b. $4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.”

The big winner? Well it’s gotta be the MTHOA, which gets three grand every year from here to eternity, paid for by Channels 2, 4,* 5, und 7.** All that’s gotta add up to a couple hundred thou eventually.

Read the rest of the agreement if you want. (You don’t hear so much about the RF concerns anymore – I guess people have other things to worry about these days. And what else, a few people were complaining about red and white lead paint chips falling down and landing in the soil a while back. I haven’t heard about that issue lately either.)

On the up side, the people who live there have benefited from some nice middle class welfare over the years such as mortgage interest deductibility, Prop 13, and massive massive home price appreciation since the 1970s / 1990’s, the times when the yammering was going full tilt.

It’s pretty much a happy ending. Play us out, Wiki:

Despite the initial revulsion of some residents, Sutro Tower is now recognized by many as a Bay Area icon, it appears in local art, television shows, and movies as one of the architectural symbols of the city. The tower is featured in video games, business logos, on clothing, as furniture and even tattoos. The U.S. band Information Society used it on the cover of their album Don’t Be Afraid. A local entertainment guide, SF Station, uses it as a logo, as does the collaborative art game SFZero and the Expose SF art competition.”

And Don’t Be Afraid, Midtown. Your tower is 100% Pure Energy. It brings us our Information Society.***

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And oh, I just came across this:

Sutro Tower: The Origins of an ‘Eyesore’ By Jessica Placzek

Enjoy.

*Which is no longer owned by the Chronic – it’s master is now Nexstar Media Group.

**I can’t host a Super Bowl party when NBC is doing the broadcast, cause I’m a cutter, a cable cutter since like aught-nine. And no Olympics either. 

***Or Vast Wasteland, your pick. When somebody presses the remote button wrong, the digital TV turns on. Like 16 channels – home shopping network, plus Spanish and Chinese language programs.  

VIDEO: Helicopter flies UNDER the Golden Gate Bridge – (Don’t Try This in a Plane, or You Will Lose Your License)

Monday, July 17th, 2017

And, like I said before, I am surprised that this is allowed as a daily thing (weather permitting):

Peugeot 404: An Artifact from the 1960’s Parked Up Near Twin Peaks

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Wow:

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Wow:

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Surprising that Flying Under the Golden Gate Bridge is Allowed by the FAA, in This Day and Age

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

This is how it goes, every day, weather permitting, under our Golden Gate Bridge:

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You know, like this:

Or if there’s too much fog up high, I guess they’ll go under from west to east, thusly:

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It’s hard to tell, but the pilot is staying in the clear and just under a lot of fog

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And then off to wherever:

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To repeat, it’s Surprising that Flying Under the Golden Gate Bridge is Allowed by the FAA, in This Day and Age.

You know, safety and whatnot.

Captain America Minibike, Clement Street – A Much Cheaper Way of Getting Around Frisco Than Spending $100/Mo on SFMTA MUNI

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Good work, Soldier!

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Harder, better, cheaper, faster than MUNI is what I’m saying…

Just Another Day in the Great Central Valley: TRUMP – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

You don’t see this kind of thing in Frisco…

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