nobody steps on a church in my town

one of my all-time favorite pictures. my friend, jennifer (from high school, not the music fiend buddy i've previously mentioned), took this pic shortly after the great san francisco earthquake of 1989. that solitary figure in the photo is not me, by the way. i wish she had a website, because i'd totally spam for her. this is what was left of the embarcadero freeway. it was shut down after the earthquake as it suffered too much structural damage and was unsafe for travel. the clock tower is part of the ferry building, which still stands today. the freeway was eventually torn down after much public debate regarding whether to rebuild it or not. it was not rebuilt and this whole area underwent a serious beautification process.

this area used to be a shithole. there were people living under the freeway, lotsa crackheads, bums and thieves. not a place you'd like to walk around at night. there were empty warehouses and vacant buildings, just watch some of the old dirty harry movies and you'll probably get a glimpse. if you're in san francisco, take a walk along the embarcadero. it's absolutely gorgeous these days. you can walk from the baseball park (where the sf giants play) to fisherman's wharf. it's clean, smooth and well-lit. make sure you stop by to see the seals.

listen: belle & sebastian > san francisco (be sure to wear some flowers in your hair)
(this is from the september 2001 show at the warfield, here in sf)


jennifer said...

That picture's amazing. So haunting. It makes me want to live through an earthquake and see the aftermath. I don't know what that says about me.

Stef said...

Hmm... Hopefully I'll make it over to SF some time and I might follow your advice.

I probably am coming to California this summer but only briefly and only really to San Diego. My wife's been to SF a couple of times in the last few years so she fancies a change so I guess I have to wait :-(

robot_hero said...

jen, i'm not sure what that says about you either, but i think i understand it.

stef, if you're ever in SF, i'd love to have a few pints with you.

Stef said...

Sounds good. I'd quite like to go next time we head back to Seattle which would probably be around Chinese new year 2007. That is if our finances allow it!