Welcome to the online studio of Francisco Mattos, built w/ printed samples, design work, and personal projects. For a more formal setting, please see my online portfolio.
March 2017 ]-
THE CRUCIBLE OF SAINT FRANCIS
In 2015, then SF Supervisor Scott Weiner dusted off a grandfatherly plan and resolutely restated, in ecological and economic terms, the city’s need for a subway system.
STAGE I T-Third Street Light-rail
STAGE II Central Subway
Van Ness BRT
STAGE IV Geary BRT
“We are making progress one step at a time. We will continue to transform our transportation systems to reflect the reality of our residents.” In situ since the 1950s, city officials unveiled a comprehensive endeavor which envisioned the laying down of two rows of tracks, in a cruciform pattern, over a span of four stages.
Originally sited underground, this Subway Master Plan has seen many revisions and passed down through many hands and so it has come to pass that Stage I, which has already happened, in 2005, is not underground, but a light-rail line beginning just below SoMA and going down Third Street to Geneva Avenue, and the county line.
The story of Stage II is the subject of this article, concerning the Central Subway dig. The subway will allow the T-Line to reach SoMA, Union Square, and Chinatown, inner city stations that will come w/ a loop-back capability, at 18th Street, for a much-sought-after turnout.
¶Stage III, the Van Ness Improvement Project, began in October 2016. Its first indications were the permanent elimination of nearly all left-hand turns. In partnership w/ the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, this build will bring the first bus rapid transit lanes to San Francisco.
¶Stage IV, currently going by Geary Bus Rapid Transit, promises to bring traffic improvements to a critical corridor ferrying some 52,000 daily riders on the 38-Geary bus between the under-construction Transbay Terminal and Outer Richmond’s Sutro Heights, a route of some five miles from the inner bay at the Embarcadero to the cold waters of Ocean Beach.
Stage II: Central Subway Project
Removing the 30-Stockton, the densest inner-city bus line in the nation, off the streets by moving it underground.
San Francisco’s Central Subway, when ready, will replace the 30-Stockton bus route, move the bus underground, and morph it into a light-rail train. The subway crosses under Market Street where it runs into Fourth, and where BART and Muni tunnels already exist. This new tunnel will need to go under BART’s tunnels, which are under Muni’s tunnels, and down to a depth of 120 feet. Running south, it will meet up w/ existing tracks at Fourth and King. In all, a tunnel some 8300 feet will have been built starting from under South of Market and ending in Chinatown. This build will create a mass transit route along the eastern waterfront, beginning at Mission Bay.
CENTRAL SUBWAY STATIONS
Yerba Buena / Moscone
Work on the only underground SoMA station began in 2013. Where a gas station and auto mecanic shop once stood on Fourth at Folsom was requisitioned, and digging commenced.
FOURTH STREET – Once a three- and four-lane shot to get out of the neighborhood, reduced to two or even one.
Almost immediately, midden was detected, and archaeologists arrived, so that samples could be collected. Construction created a traffic chock point, and roadside electronic signs in the vicinity were set up so as to notify drivers of lane changes, detours and anticipated delay times. It was not enough to stem traffic initially – Fourth had always been a road to exit from Union Square, say, even Chinatown, in order to get onto Highways 101 or 280.
CULVERT Fourth closed completely for culvert work. The cavity at Fourth and Folsom. 2015
A major consideration was the city main, which crosses Fourth. A block of Fourth was completely closed to traffic in 2015, and upgrades to sewer and other water pipes as well as utility lines implemented, including a culvert built to safely channel water on its way to nearby treatment plants at Mission Creek.
In the meantime, headwalls lining the dig were built on-site, cranes were then employed to hoist and lower each into place. Four lane roads oernight became two, one, or none.
CENTRAL SUBWAY STATIONS
A corner of Union Square Garage was demolished and then rebuilt, downwards, to meet the subway tunnel.
WINTER WALK – Taking a break from surface construction during December two years in a row. A try-out for a possible future pedestrian plaza.
To prepare, a large-scale side project was begun two years earlier to relocate all underground utility and water lines along a stretch of Stockton. As a consequence Geary became one lane and cars eventually got the hint and began vacating the ribbon of road and leave it to the transit and tour buses. Beginning in 2015, the first three blocks of Stockton were also closed off to traffic completely. The corner where Stockton runs into Market will get an underground passage to the staton at Union Square.
NIGHT + DAY
During the holiday season, construction at street level took a break and astroturf was laid down on the road, lights then strung up and outdoor seating strewn about. Scattered among the shoppers and other pedestrians was entertainment provided by balloon blowers, firework demonstrators, even an on-site photobooth operator.
For this Market Street annex to happen, Apple had given up its first San Francisco store (the second in the world) to relocate two blocks up to a corner facing Union Square. This adjunct subway entrance will also connect w/ Muni Underground and BART, and is at the corner of Ellis Street, across the street from John's Grill.
CENTRAL SUBWAY STATION:
From Union Square, the tunnel will continue up Stockton to Chinatown, and become the current terminus of the subway. This phase of the build will end up displacing a chunk of the granite that is Nob Hill, which sits atop the Stockton Tunnel.
VICTORIAN VEXATION Tossing a monkey wrench into plans to extend the the Central Subway tracks on through to Fishermans Wharf, are national monuments running on three blocks of Columbus Avenue.
It would seemingly make sense to extend the Central Subway past Chinatown and continue on to Fisherman’s Wharf as a street level light-rail, where the user-friendly Embarcadero tracks are but a stone’s throw away.
A route using Columbus to achieve this would be the least disruptive — to homeowners and to traffic — if not for cable cars traveling smack in the path of this neat solution. Victorian-era tracks already exist along a stretch of Columbus, using a system of cables and grips that have been functioning superbly (and passing its centennial) of continuous operation since it was built, the famous and very first funicular system in the world.
Then, seeing as how the tunnel boring machines had to find an egress, it came to pass that the shuttered Palace Theatre was sacrificed and in its ruins the exit portal was made, at Columbus and Powell. The bores resurfaced after two years underground, and were then taken off-site.
EPILOGUE In November 2014, changes came to the 30-Stockton bus route. Manned by staff standing at an open house and standing in front of blowups of architectural renderings, and being armed w/ printed literature, the beginning of the end of the surface route begam, and details on the phase-out to retirement took shape.
Fittingly, no formal presentation took place that evening. Visitors learned about upcoming changes to the route in a 90-minute session filled w/ questions and answers. The pool of interested citizens was enlarged by inclusive text in Cambodian, Tagalog, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Russian, Spanish and Chinese. The case was made for the most difficult route for inner-city bus drivers west of the Mississippi. An idea was then knocked around to give the 30-Stockton a rapid transit feel during the Central Subway dig, but it never left the drawing table. After leaving Chinatown and emerging from the Stockton Tunnel, it would have rolled onto a red lane going two blocks up Sutter before containing down Mason to Market, where it becomes a dedicated bus-only lane down Fifth Stret to Townsend and its terminus.
| CENTRAL SUBWAY FOOTNOTES
THE TUNNEL —
The dig commenced in 2013 when a stretch of Fourth where it crosses Bryant was closed off. A launch box was then constructed on-site, a bore put into place, and a portal opened up.
TWIN BORES "Big Alma" and "Mom Chung", nicknames given by the workmen. Each is 22 feet in diameter. LAUNCH BOX set up to open a portal, Fourth at Bryant, Summer 2013.
The two-bore system consisted of double rotating cutterheads, each within its own cylindrical steel shell, which are pushed forward along the axis of the tunnel all the while excavating the ground through the cutterheads.
It is propelled using hydraulic jacks thrusting against the tunnel path. A modern method of tunneling, called Sequential Excavation (the cut-and-cover method), was used in this build. During trench excavation, and after the bore has passed by, a box frame structure is immediately put into place, and fortification of the backfill then begun. This is slow progress. Exposed earth is shored up and support introduced to maintain structural integrity. Steel shields are erected to support the excavated ground until the proper tunnel lining can be built. This cut-and-cover method of tunneling employs a “top-down” or “bottoms-up” approach.
From the minute the first jackhammer hit the roads the rats came running out. Disturbed in their habitual haunts, no nearby pavement or park was safe from them. They fanned out on both sides, north and south; four-legged immigrants seeking other shores.
LANDMARK + WAYFINDING ART —
The Central Subway Public Art Program has been charged w/ finding and mounting public art.
:: COUPLET ::
In the past, cross the ocean, to find a gold mine. At present, open up the grounds, to cast a silver dragon.
-- CARIN MUI
For this staton, which is a street level boarding platform, sculptor MOTO OHTAKE
will be sending over a 40-ft marquee pole w/ 31 rotating points, MICROCOSMIC, callibrated to interact w/ local windy patterns into (sometimes) discernible (or not) patterns in physics.
Moscone ROXY PAINE may or may not bring a 110-foot tapering tree branch, NODE, to the plaza.+LESLIE SHOWS for sure will hang a mega-size pix, FACE C/Z, of a speck of “fool’s gold” by the ticketing area. +CATHERINE WAGNER’s
1970s photographs documenting the building of Moscone Center will be rendered as “sculptural reliefs” and sandblased or laser etched onto stone and metal walls, on the concourse level.
Sculptors JIM CAMPBELL & WERNER KOLTZ will ribbon the overhead spaces w/ an elongated piece known as the ILLUMINATED SCROLL. +
Duo artsits who go by the handle HUGHEN STARKWEATHER will integrate CONVERGENCE: COMMUTE PATTERNS onto glass surfaces around the entryway. + TEMPORARY BARRICADES ARTWORK Kota Ezawa (detail) in Chinatown, Randy Colosky on Folsom at Fourth.ERWIN RADL’s LUCY IN THE SKY descends from the ceiling of the main concourse and lights up.
Storyteller TOMIE ARAI sets down an "exploded" piece, URBAN ARCHEOLOGY, promising a station journey through history. +
Paper cut artist YUMEI HOU will install two large-scale wall pieces in the mezzanine and ticketing area, depicting the spontaneous SPROUT DANCE of Chinese folklore. +
Poet CARIN MUI’s winning couplet will be found in the plaza, having been rendered by calligrapher TERRY LUK in glass. +CLARE ROJAS’s nameless piece fills a cavern wall on the concourse level w/ textile samples patterned in the style of cathedral quilting.
•TEMPORARY MURALS•RANDY COLOSKY covered the Folsom side of a construction barricade w/ ELLIPSES IN THE KEY OF BLUE, marking a formal moment in the construction project, according to the artist’s statement.
FACE C/Z Leslie Shows' blowup of Fools Gold will be found inside the Moscone station.
+KOTA EZAWA covered an overhead 150-ft long stretch of walkway w/ a series of clever paintings, PANORAMA, featuring diverse landscapes all w/ a common horizon.
STAGE I: THE T–THIRD STREET LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT —
Seeing the need to reestablish rail service in a soon-to-be congested corridor, construction of a 5.1 mile track system along the Third Street corridor was undertaken and the first segment of the Third Street Light-rail became operational in April 2007. For the first time in 50 years, tracks ran up the east coast through, or skirting by, the neighborhoods of Little Hollywood, Visitacion Valley, Hunters Point, Bayview, Dogpatch, Pier 70, Mission Rock, Mission Bay, UCSF Hospital, and SoMa.
STAGE III: VAN NESS AVENUE BUS RAPID TRANSIT —
This build will involve two phases. In order for roadwork stretching sidewalk to sidewalk to begin, Van Ness, which doubles as a conduit for Highway 101 as it spills off the Golden Gate Bridge on its way down the peninsula, has lost a lane in each direction to become two-lane roads.
Almost all left-turn lanes have been taken out of service permanently. One still left standing is the left turn from Van Ness northbound onto Hayes, which will not be allowed come April 2017. The median will be removed, and all trees save 12 will be removed.
Phase 1 can then proceed in earnest, addressing the utility lines and water main. Work will replace an 1800s-era water main system that’s been in continuous operation since it was built. All the 19th century street lamps still left standing on Van Ness will also be removed. Two corners are identified as initial starting points: at Lombard, and at Sutter, where left-turn lanes will still be allowed, in order to funnel (inadvertent) traffic off Van Ness. Both units will work southwards, gobbling up parking spots as they proceed block by block. Afterwards, the other side of Van Ness gets the same treatment, going northwards. This phase will take two years.
Phase 2 entails building out the new center bus lanes lands and boarding islands. Then Van Ness will be repaved, new sidewalks and street lighting installed, and new landscaping incl. rain gardens planted.
Some bus stops will be eliminated or moved. The new bi-directional median stops will now be located at Market, McAllister, Eddy, Geary-O'Farrell, Sutter, Sacramento, Jackson, Vallejo, and Union streets. Northbound stops at Grove, Geary-Post and California streets and southbound stops Pacific, Pine, Post and Grove streets are gone, or will be.
Everything will be rebuilt from 30 feet below ground to 30 feet above ground. This phase will be one year, w/ a completion date of 2020.
Then, physically separated transit-only lanes w/ low-floor buses and station-like stops, running both directions along the center of Van Ness, for the use of Muni and Golden Gate Transit buses, will happen. When the overhead contact system that powers electric buses are replaced, and the 47-Van Ness and 49-Van Ness-Mission begin using them, in cahoots w/ coordinated traffic signals and limited stops, they will become the city’s first bus rapid-transit lines, running every four to five minutes.
STAGE IV: GEARY BUS RAPID TRANSIT PROJECT —
This build has interesting considerations. As a tunnel it will a few possibilities, incl. a direct link to a still-in-discussion second BART tunnel under the Bay. City officials, though, have decided not to wait but to bring rapid bus transit and its resultant improvements (and groundwork) for any future discussion of a subway.
Accordingly, the first phase will involve marking off transit-only lanes on both sides of Geary, from Market to Stanyan. Sidewalks will get bulbouts and mid-street medians installed or enhanced, and 195 trees removed. The second phase, from Stanyan to 34th Avenue, has so far not yet been addressed.
Pedestrians will begin experiencing new crosswalk features like bulbouts, better lighting, safer medians and, eventually, accessible boarding islands. They should feel safer crossing the street knowing that 29 left turn lanes along Geary are to be removed. Senior centers will get nearby bus stops.
Drivers, though, will have to contend w/ two-lane roads and bus-only lanes, but should breathe a sigh of relief to know that 15 of the left turns that remain will now be protected (i.e., they have their own green arrow). Geary will get much-needed street repaving, new landscaping, and smart traffic signals.
How to improve bike lane safety, what w/ all these new street furnitures, is still a head scratcher.
When built, this modernized bus route promises to shave travelling times between the neighborhoods of Union Square, Tenderloin, Lower Nob Hill, Cathedral Hill, Japantown, the Fillmore District, Western Addition, and the Richmond District, turning the last back into having the boulevard it was intended to be all along. The route will skirt the neighborhoods of Lower Nob Hill, Lower Paific Heights, Anza Vista, Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain, Jordan Park, Presidio Heights, Presidio Terrace, and Seacliff.
One of the early subway ideas for Geary was to install an underground light rail from Market to Cathedral Hill, where it will surface and become a street light rail on its way to the Great Highway. Now, w/ speculation of a second BART tunnel under the Bay, there is talk of having these tracks somehow be integrated into BART. Or transition from do-able bus rapid lanes and its concommitant street improvement, to laying down tracks for rail in the future, and bypass BART. Or else keep the 38-Geary as a surface bus, and let BART dig the tunnel and run a route below. All this only to find out that Geary, from 1912 until the mid-1950s, ran the country’s first light-rail line.
A transportation network nicknamed Hub 2 will be the culimination of all these trasit plans, and is coalescing around the Caltrain Station at Fourth and King Streets. Central Subway’s T-Line will pass in front of the station, which itself is in the process of a feasibility study to lay down tracks to connect w/ the new Transbay Terminal, nearer Market Street and central Embarcadero.
The Central Subway benefits Muni’s overall system here where the Caltrain terminal is located, which itself is readying to be extended by laying down new tracks to connect w/ the new Transbay Terminal. Then there’s the nearby ferry dock, behind AT&T Park, and its aquatic promises.
The infrastructure rearrangement brought on by Central Subway is looking at leveling the playing field around the Caltrain Station. The nearby King Street ramps shunting Embarcadero traffice onto Interstate 280 are being studied so as to have the ability to move the ramps back four blocks, to 16th Street. By doing so, missing segments of two streets can be reclaimed such that connections can come about for the future benefit of pedestrians as well as bicyclists.
All these plans got a boost at the beginning of 2017 when the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the city $11 million from its own Smart City plan, in order to develop and implement better technology to address inner-city traffic woes and to hopefully give mass transit a national face.
FUTURE METRO RAIL —
The Central Subway dig is just one of several transit projects in San Francisco, ranked by tiers. These notes are correct as of beginning 2017.
¶Tier I already in the pipeline:
(1. A surface-&-subway light-rail on Geary.
(2. Light-rail on Geneva from Balboa Park Station over to Bayshore. (3. The North Beach / Fishermans Wharf extension project, w/ a possible line branching off to the Marina.
(4. The four-car M-line subway project, along 19th Avenue. Total of 12.3 miles of new tracks.
¶Tier II ties up loose ends w/ capacity building:
(1. West Portal and Forest Hill will become 4-car train friendly.
(2. N-Judah to be 3-car operational, and underground beginning on 9th Avenue.
(3. The 22-Fillmore transit priority project will give 16th Street dedicated transit lanes.
Total of 4.3 miles of new tracks.
¶Tier III takes place around 2050:
(1. T-line gets a spur at Evans Avenue over to the Shipyard district.
(2. Fort Mason Historic Streetcar extension project.
(3. A new streetcar at 2nd and Sansome, perhaps up to Broadway and then over to Fillmore.
(4. Linking the N-Judah and T-Taraval lines.
(5. A light-rail along Fillmore for the 22-Fillmore, from the Marina to Upper Market.
Total of 13.8 miles of new tracks.
BASED ON reports from, among others,
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez,
and Internet searches.
| CENTRAL SUBWAY APPENDIX
HISTORIC HUB — The area around Market between Van Ness Boulevard and Octavia Street was called "The Hub" going on many years, and local shops had names like the Hub Pharmacy, housed in that pie-shaped corner on Market at Haight. The Hub neighborhood district was likely given the name because it was a key transportation artery through the heart of the City. The Municipal Railway had a strong presence, with major rail lines that ran from Market out Haight, Valencia and Gough streets. By the 1950s Muni’s practise of using this spot as a transportation hub began its decline as car-friendlier street reconfigurations came into play and streetcar lines began to be replaced with the City’s first electric buses. Text and illustration by John Horn.
Finally, a bedside companion to Brian Eno’s arias to airports.
HOVE, U.K. —
Soon after Music for Airports was released in 1978, Brian Eno speculated in an interview about Music for Hospitals,
The Quiet Room, Montefiore Hospital
a site based on his notion that both places were high stress environments where notions of coming and going are ever tinged w/ metaphysical conditions. And now, the Montefiore Hospital has commissioned two similar pieces in a quest to aid in the treatment of patients, and as it turns out, their visitors too.
The first of these sound-&-vision commissions was unveiled in opening ceremonies in March 2013, and known as “The Quiet Room for Montefiore.” It is a space inside the hospital where ambient music plays over three panels of subtly changing colors. The hospital’s head receptionist, Ann-Marie James, mentioned that the artwork and the music really help take people’s minds off, which may or may not be a blessing if you really get to think about it.
77 Million Paintings
Matron at Montefiore Hospital Lynette Awdry adds, “The relatives can come and have time out for themselves for exactly the same reasons as the patients need it.”
The juxtapositioning of the 8 screens harken back to Eno’s 1980s video installation, where recordings of clouds outside his NYC window are played back on a TV monitor turned on its side, in portrait view. Still from
Mistaken Memories from Mediaeval Manhattan.
The second piece is near the entrance and consists of eight plasma screens, “77 Million Paintings for Montefiore,” a continuous nonrepeating display of morphing colors and shapes.
As Mr Eno explains, “A piece of software selects a random image and combines it with another random image and combines them to create ever-new combinations.”
Head receptionist James: “In the evening [77 Million Paintings] comes into its own when the lights go down.” Comments in the visitors' book include:
“Absolutely stunningly beautiful, calm, distracting in a very positive way. Wonderful concept. Congratulations on a beautiful waiting area.” “You can feel your blood pressure calming by the minute. It made me think of cells and change and the beauty of life.”
During that summer, when Jane and John drove cross country to San Francisco, a riot of sorts broke out in a drinking establishment by Ocean Beach. They happend to be driving by when news crew arrived and so ended up becoming part of local history on their first night in town. Spectators were interviewed and Jane is in the broadcast: Leather skirt and sci-fi hairdo, wearing boots that she finally lost down in the Salinas Valley where John’s band played and she had taken them off for only “ ... a new york minute I swear,” but all this happened much later. A song was penned to commemorate that first night. John: “ ... by coincidence Jane and I were driving by and saw the whole thing. She even got interviewed for the local news. I forget what her answer was but it became the punchline. Anyway, I wrote this song the next day. It’s our second song, never performed it live.” From a newspaper clipping dated July 17, 1973: “A melee broke out inside a tavern by the beach, a known hangout spot for musicians. It started around 1:30 a.m. just when last call was announced. Four squad cars converged within five minutes due to the seriousness of the situation; the police spokesperson would not elaborate further.”
DREAMTIME | BOWIETIME | YOU & ME —
you and i were stepping into an elevator after seeing a new film starring bowie. he was the only one in the elevator and sorta hiding in a corner ... he was obviously trying to escape the main crowd, but he was friendly to us.
i told him i thought it was the best film since A Clockwork Orange. he lit up at that, and the three of us got out together and went to a shadowy area where we could talk in private, although his hair, long coat and scarves all glowed dully, his age was 67 and at times he looked more like 32. suddenly he said he had to rush off for a plane (does he fly these days?) and that we'd catch up again. i remember too, other individuals sort of looking around for him, but he was an expert in stealth.
– JOHNNY STRIKE 2015
In all 19 were taken into custody, including four females; no conventional weapon was found on anyone. The account in next day's paper managed to get every name spelled wrong but had an accurate head count. Fourteen were booked and released the next morning, the others to be arraigned over unspecified charges. Within a week the reporter was quietly let go. He went on to write a novel, Fact Into Fiction, eventually moved and was glimpsed late in life living next to the Straits of Hercules. According to the bartender’s subsequent testimony, the riot appears to have been started over a misunderstanding: a special walking cane supposedly stolen from the person of W.S. Burroughs the day before (he was in town for a reading and his cane did go missing) was displayed prominently behind the bar.
| GREAT HIGHWAY FOOTNOTES  Hand-tinted postcard depicting the Great Highway down the middle w/ the Pacific Ocean on the right and Playland By the Beach on the left, circa 1950s.
The protagonist of H.G. Wells’s novel, Tongo-Bungay, has come up from the provinces to work in London, and here gives an account of his train journey into the city:
“The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.”
LONDON 1908 —
“ … I got London at last with an exceptional freshness of effect, as the sudden revelation of a whole unsuspected other side of life. I came to [that human wilderness] on a dull and smoky day by the South Eastern Railway, and our train was half an hour late, stopping and going on and stopping again. I marked beyond Chilselhurst the growing multitude of villas, and so came stage by stage through multiplying houses and diminishing interspaces of market garden and dingy grass to regions of interlacing railway lines, big factories, gasometers and wide reeking swamps of dingy little houses, more of them and more and more. The number of these and their dinginess and poverty increased, and here rose a great public house and here a Board School and here a gaunt factory; and away to the east there loomed for a time a queer, incongruous forest of masts and spars. The congestion of houses intensified and piled up presently into tenements; I marvelled more and more at this boundless world of dingy people; whiffs of industrial smells, of leather, of brewing, drifted into the carriage; the sky darkened, I rumbled thunderously over bridges, van-crowded streets, peered down on and crossed the Thames with an abrupt eclat of sound. I got an effect of tall warehouses, of grey water, barge crowded, of broad banks of indescribable mud, and then I was in Cannon Street Station – a monstrous dirty cavern with trains packed across its vast floor and more porters standing along the platform than I have ever seen in my life before. I alighted with my portmanteau and struggled along, realising for the first time just how small and weak I could still upon occasion feel.”
02|19|14 – A Solitary World
| H G WELLS FOOTNOTES
1908 map of London Underground.
excerpt, Tongo-Bungay by H.G. Wells, 1908.
John Updike excerpt, The New Yorker 10|5|2015.
A Solitary World – Dir: James W. Griffiths – Published on Feb 19, 2014 – Narration adapted from the works of H.G. Wells. Excerpted from the following:
The Time Machine (1895) –
The Island of Dr Moreau (1896) –
The First Men in the Moon (1901) –
In The Days of the Comet (1906) –
The World Set Free (1914).
Director, Producer, VFX Artist & Colourist: James W. Griffiths – Director of Photography: Christopher Moon – Editor: Marianne Kuopanportti – Sound Design & Mix: Mauricio D'Orey – Composer: Lennert Busch –
Narrator: Terry Burns – PBS Digital Studios Original Shorts Series Producer: Matt Vree.
JOHN UPDIKE (1932-2009) GAVE AN ACCOUNT OF A TRAIN TRIP DOWN TO NEW YORK:
… After Providence, Connecticut –
the green defiant landscape, unrelieved except by ordered cities, smart and smug, in spirit villages, too full of life to be so called, too small to seem sincere. And then like Death it comes upon us: the plain of steaming trash, the tinge of brown that colors now the trees and grass as though exposed to rays sent from the core of heat – these are the signs we see in retrospect. But we look up amazed and wonder that the green is gone out of our window, that horizon on all sides is segmented into so many tiny lines that we mistake it for the profile of a wooded hill against the sky, or that as far as mind can go are buildings, paving, streets. The tall ones rise into the mist like gods serene and watchful, yet we fear, for we have witnessed from this train the struggle to complexity: the leaf has turned to stone.
“Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with wife and two daughters.” Photograph, [between 1863 and 1865].
(right) “Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946.” Photograph by William P Gottlieb, 1946.
Layouts for Sabrina Alonso's feature documentary “Grizzly Road: the Last Days of the California Grizzly”, available at the
San Francisco Public Library. The cover artwork features a black-&-white photo of Monarch, a grizzly captured by William Randolph Hearst, and in captivity for 22 years.
(Living nightmares can begin in many ways! HENRY PYM's began w/ a cry of triumph!)
“It works! I've done it. I've reduced the chair to doll size!”
(Almost at the instant of contact, the fantastic serum starts to act!)
“It's shrinking me so fast, I can see myself change! I'm becoming smaller and smaller! It's working faster than I epected! Too fast!”
The cable car was invented in San Francisco to relieve the burden of climbing hills. Its story, though, involves more than one stop, wending this way and that, passing landmarks of wealth and waste.
:: full article BIRTH OF THE CABLE CAR on Wix ::
IRON PEACOCKS – hover over a plaque marking this apartment building as the birthplace of the inventor of modern dance.
May 27, 1979 •
ISADORA DUNCAN •
1876 - 1921 • Daughter of California Pioneers, America's Genius of the Dance was born on this site. She created a new art form liberating the dance as an expression of life. She believed and taught that "no education is complete without the dance" since "movements are as eloquent as words - the dance of the suture shall dance the freedom of women - the highest intelligence in the freest body - the dance will not belong to a nation but to all humanity."
MODEL BEHAVIOR — A Botta biscuit holds up one side of Snøhetta’s silver sliver, rising ten storeys above Howard Street and, lacking a second biscuit, starts a slump towards Minna, resembling the baked alaska it is from the Natoma side.
SHERIFF OF SIXTH STREET – By noon on March 8, 2013, as a small crowd gathered outside the new police substation, an unassuming Mayor Ed Lee strolled down the sidewalk, shaking hands until reaching the podium and announcing the arrival of a police presence on the first stretch of Sixth Street, the most San Franciscan block in the South of Market in all its Dickensian duds. After a speech, the mayor handed the mic to District Attorney George Gascon, Police Chief Greg Suhr, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, a local resident, and finally to Zack Stender, co-owner of nearby Huckleberry Bicycles, a new business which had moved into a neighborhood renowned for its flatness among the surrounding topography. Within the first week, surveillance footage was released showing a wrestle-to-the-ground arrest on the block by law enforcement, with broadcast and favorable commentary on the evening news. (Photo: Police show of force on Sixth Street on opening day.)