October 17, 2010. Photo taken from the base of the switchbacks on the "world's crookedest street", Lombard St., in San Francisco's Russian Hill area (Google Map). It's pretty much impossible to take a photo of this street without getting a whole gaggle of tourists in your shot, but I guess that's almost part of the charm of it. I'm sure I ended up in a few hundred other peoples' photos too as I wandered around here. I should have made a better attempt at photobombing.
October 17, 2010, Powell St. at Jackson St., San Francisco. I took a bunch of photos while hanging on for dear life standing on the running-board at the front of the cable car. Our conductor had to jump off here to manually switch tracks as we went by.
October 17, 2010, at the corner of Pacific Ave. and Stockton St., in Chinatown, San Francisco.
After visiting the Cable Car museum, I was treated to some west coast rain while wandering around Chinatown looking for lunch. (If you step away from the touristy Chinatown strip, you can find some delicious and cheap eats. I stuffed myself with a $4 plate of noodles, while seated at a big table with friendly locals.) Smartly, many of the locals carry umbrellas for exactly these rainy moments. I had a rain jacket and hat, so I managed to do OK too.
It's also worth noting, though probably not interesting at all for 99.9999% of people, that I had trouble finding this exact location on Google Streetview, as the name/signage on the Wing Sun Market has completely changed.
Note: Yeah, my "daily" photo posts have been on the rocks for the last couple of months. I still want to post more of my San Francisco pics from last October, and keep up with some more current things. But sometimes other commitments, of the small/crying/pooping variety, tend to change my focus.
October 17, 2010. Underneath the junction of Washington and Mason Streets, San Francisco. If you head downstairs at the San Francisco Cable Car Museum, you can peer through the glass at the cables in action, as they are routed down through the city.
This wasn't an easy shot to take. I was pressed up against the window trying to block reflections, cranked the camera to ISO 1600, f2.8, and had to hold still for 0.3 seconds. This may be an extremely cool place to explore / tour, without guardrails and glass in the way. Probably a good way to lose limbs too if you're not careful.
October 17, 2010. A cable tensioner in the San Francisco Cable Car powerhouse and museum. This tensioner can be moved to pick up some of the slack as the cables stretch.
October 17, 2010. The San Francisco Cable Car Museum is one of my favourite museums ever. It's not too big, but it's packed full of things to look at, read, watch, and learn about. The best part is that it's a working museum, in the actual powerhouse that drives San Francisco's entire cable car system. You can watch the huge motors, cable pulleys, and underground cable routing. Seeing these motors in action, as they pull completely motorless cable cars full of tourists all over San Francisco, makes the whole system even more impressive. Plenty of good history about the cable car system, San Francisco's geography, and of course the San Francisco Fire too.
I'd highly recommend checking this place our before heading out for a cable car ride. It makes the whole experience so much better when you know how it all works. I'd love to go back sometime too.
October 17, 2010. Cable car tracks on Jackson St., looking west across Mason St., San Francisco. The sign instructs the cable car operators to let go of the cable before crossing the Mason St. cable (failing to do so, I imagine, would cause an ugly tangled mess of cable car bits). After letting go of the cable, the car would just coast across the intersection, and then "take rope" again to continue up the hill.
October 17, 2010. Cable car tracks on Powell St., looking north to Jackson St., San Francisco. The sign instructs the cable car operators to pick up the cable again after rolling down a hill.
If I were to take this photo again, I would try to jump out into the street right after a cable car went by, so that I could capture it rounding the corner. But that could have taken some time, as dodging other cars is pretty important too when taking (literal) street photos. I was in a rush to walk around and see as much of the city as possible during my short two-day visit.
October 17, 2010. Willy "Woo Woo" Wong Playground, in Chinatown, San Francisco.
Willie "Woo Woo" Wong was a Chinese-American basketball player who was born and raised in San Francisco's Chinatown. Wong, who only stood 5'5" tall, starred at Poly and Lowell High School's in San Francisco before being recruited to the University of San Francisco (USF) by legendary coach Pete Newell. Wong was known as one of the finest Chinese-American basketball players in his time. After his time at USF, Wong continued to compete at various local and national tournaments as part of the San Francisco Saints team. Wong died at the age of 79. After Wong died, local residents successfully petitioned the City and County of San Francisco to rename "Chinese Playground" to "Willie "Woo Woo" Wong Playground".
October 17, 2010. The Tunnel Top bar on Bush St., above the entrance to the Stockton St. Tunnel, San Francisco.