Golden Gate Bridge

So far, Chrissy Park Field affords the best vantage point for taking a snap of the Golden Gate Bridge — at least from within the City.


We rented one of those little electric GPS cars, and tooled around the city for an hour.


UPDATE:  February 24, 2006 6:16am

With a top speed of about 25, and a low center of gravity,  they feel moderately safe. We zipped down Lombard Street in it, and I got about 3 screams out of Mrs. Big Picture.  Never  took any wheels off the ground, but the sense was that the damn thing could flip over if you took a turn too fast . . .

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  1. Ian commented on Feb 23

    It’s Crissy ‘field’, not park. It used to be an airfield. Have fun!

  2. chris commented on Feb 24

    You REALLY need to cross the bridge. _Just_ on the other side go west again out on the headlands. it’s on the exact opposite site of the bridge from your shot here. That’s the view to beat all views.

  3. Martha Bridegam commented on Feb 24

    Wot’s it like driving one those cars? Can you see and be seen OK? They always look so dangerously close to the ground…

    If you’re spending more time on the north-central waterfront, the Greens vegetarian restaurant, in the Fort Mason complex at the east end of the Marina, is a good meal in a great location.

  4. Palooka commented on Feb 24

    Barry how many homeless people, bums, cross-dressers,fags or democrats have you seen in frisco???

  5. B commented on Feb 24

    Isn’t that guy in the sunglasses part of the Genovese family in New York?

  6. slg commented on Feb 24

    If you do get across the bridge check out Point Bonita, the headland on the north side of the entrance to the Golden Gate. It’s a huge old military reservation that’s now a park and nature preserve, and it’s preserved an extraordinary chunk of the original landscape. It shows what the land was like before they went and cluttered it up with a huge city. (Sorry, my prejudices are showing–I’m not a big city person :)

  7. Zach commented on Feb 24

    You going to go see Brad Delong in Berkeley while you’re there?

    I don’t know if you even know him, but I’d like my fanciful view of a blogsphere where everyone I read who mentions each other are actually good friends.

  8. Mark commented on Feb 24


    We are looking forward to the publicity photos we arranged of “The Sweater in San Francisco”. As you are aware, we will utilize these in our upcoming Home Shopping Network efforts. Please forward at your earliest convenience.

    Best regards,

    Mark McCormack
    “The Sweater” Marketing Group LLC

  9. Bill Thorne commented on Feb 24

    Ah-hah! Now after retracing my favorite walk you have landed at the best place to windsurf in any city, anywhere.

    Of course, better in the summer when the fog is just a bit on the sea side of the bridge.

    Involuntary jumps off the wakes of Circle-line tour boats, crazy tide sweeping you out to sea if the fog comes-in and the wind dies…more exciting than carrying a short in gold in these interesting times!

  10. Anon commented on Feb 24

    “Barry how many homeless people, bums, cross-dressers,fags or democrats have you seen in frisco???”

    There’s a compassionate conservative for you. I’m sure a true self-described Republican. You forgot African Americans, Latinos, Jews and Asians.

    Some people just make you ashamed to be a human being.

  11. Dru Nelson commented on Feb 24

    Ah, Mr. Palooka, come on down to the city. You may find that you may never want to go back :-)

    Seriously, great shots, but I would never try to go down lombard street in one of those cars.

    If you get a chance, come on down into the valley or up into Marin. There is a lot more than SF to see.

  12. Martha Bridegam commented on Feb 24

    I would at least like to thank Mr. Palooka, despite his otherwise unfortunate choice of language, for distinguishing between “homeless people” and “bums.” Those are different categories everywhere, and in San Francisco especially so. It’s hard work being homeless in a town with such a high cost of living, such intensely contested public space, and so many narrowly specialized charities that spend so much time referring needy people back and forth across town. Wrt cost of San Francisco housing, this referral list, mainly for subsidized rentals, should give some idea. Note the length of the waiting lists.

  13. BC commented on Feb 24

    Another great place to take photos of the bridge is from Baker Beach (the North end is a nude beach).

    Oh yeah, and don’t call it Frisco.

  14. seamus commented on Feb 24

    But don’t take pictures OF the nude beach, which is primary populated with fat old hippies who hate pants.

  15. Larry Nusbaum, Scottsdale commented on Feb 24

    If you drive on, right under the bridge, you can see the hill where Bogey got into a fight with the blackmailer, who fell to his death in “Dark Passage”. Now, back up and drive down to Fort Pointe where Jimmy Stewart jumped into the water to save Kim Novak in “Vertigo”. Of course, from this photo above, taken on Marina Blvd, where Steve McQueen chased the hired killers in “Bullitt”.

  16. Martha Bridegam commented on Feb 24

    The south end of the Stockton Tunnel, at Stockton & Bush Streets, is where Miles Archer is assassinated in The Maltese Falcon.

    And… (shameless plug here)… the offices of Affordable Housing Finance magazine are in the 111 Sutter Street building, widely thought to have housed the fictional offices of the detective firm of Spade & Archer. Check out the lovely Art Deco lobby there anyway. The interiors above the first floor have unfortunately been renovated into blandness, though the owners are apparently fixing up the spires at the tippy-top.

  17. Larry Nusbaum, Scottsdale commented on Feb 25

    Martha: Sam Spade’s office was on Powell & Market in the Flood Building.
    There is a plaque on the building marking the spot where it was believed that Miles Archer was murdered.

  18. Martha Bridegam commented on Feb 25

    Hmm, I don’t think that can be right. If you run a Google search for the separate words “pine stockton miles archer” (don’t use quotation marks in the search), the first result that comes up is an LA Times article titled “Take a walk in Sam Spade’s gumshoes.” The direct link is here. It’s a long article with continuations and I can’t get Page 2 to come up even if I register, but anyway Page 1 explains that the Flood Building is where Hammett himself worked (makes sense — it’s still a lovely place for marble hallways with dark wood door frames and pebbled glass) and that the scene of Archer’s fictional murder is Burritt Alley. You can confirm the Burritt Alley part on pp. 12-13 of the 1992 Vintage Crime/Black Lizard:Random House edition. Burritt runs parallel to Stockton on the west side but at a higher elevation. That is, it climbs steeply to meet Bush St. while Stockton runs into the tunnel underneath.

    The next two results from the same Google search refer to 111 Sutter as the conjectural site of the Spade & Archer offices. These two are an article in “Mystery Readers Journal” and an historical essay on the Web site of the Market Street Railway preservation group.

    …and you can add to the evidence the SF Chron article I linked in yesterday’s post here.

    So, yes, it looks like the Flood Building was Mr. Hammett’s workplace and 111 Sutter was Mr. Spade’s. A difference that matters only to mavens, I guess, but a difference nevertheless.

  19. Larry Nusbaum, Scottsdale commented on Feb 25

    Martha: Everything that you have said and posted is correct, with the exception of the location of the office.
    “The Flood Building most certainly is the backdrop for the offices of Sam Spade. Anyone who hangs their hat in the Flood Building’s marbled halls will tell you the same. Don’t take my word for it: Visit the lobby, look at the “Maltese Falcon” in the display case, and check out the offices themselves. ”

  20. Martha Bridegam commented on Feb 25

    Do you mean that the offices as shown in the film appear to be in the Flood Building? Or are you talking about the location as described in the book?

  21. Martha Bridegam commented on Feb 25

    P.S. If we’re talking about the book, see the beginning of Chapter 6:

    “For half an hour after Joel Cairo had gone Spade sat alone, still and frowning, at his desk. Then he said aloud in the tone of one dismissing a problem, ‘Well, they’re paying for it,’ and took a bottle of Manhattan cocktail and a paper drinking-cup from a desk-drawer. He filled the cup two-thirds full, drank, returned the bottle to the drawer, tossed the cup into the wastebasket, put on his hat and overcoat, turned off the lights, and went down to the night-lit street.
    An undersized youth of twenty or twenty-one in neat grey cap and overcoat was standing idly on the corner below Spade’s building.
    Spade walked up Sutter Street to Kearny, where he entered a cigar-store to buy two sacks of Bull Durham. When he came out the youth was one of four people waiting for a street-car on the opposite corner.
    Spade ate dinner at Herbert’s Grill in Powell Street…”

    As you know, the Flood Building is on the corner of Market and Powell, to the right of the cable car turnaround as you look uphill, whereas 111 Sutter is a little more than five blocks’ walk to the northeast, on the block of Sutter bounded by Montgomery and Kearny Streets. Why would a busy man who worked in an office at Market and Powell walk all the way to a tobacconist at Kearny and Sutter to buy a common brand of tobacco before walking back to Powell for dinner? Especially when he could have gone to Marquard’s instead? I don’t know for a fact if Marquard’s, the big tobacconist at Powell and O’Farrell, was open then but when the place closed the Chron described it as a piece of Hammett’s San Francisco being lost. See here and here .

    You may very well be right about the film version, though. IIRC the hallway and office door in the film are in fact very much like those in the Flood Builidng.

  22. Larry Nusbaum, Scottsdale commented on Feb 25

    The film version, of course. (It was the thrid film version of the book and the only one remembered.) Also, because Hammett told me I was right as recently as last week.

  23. Martha Bridegam commented on Feb 25

    ;-) Ah, that explains it. Not going to argue about the film version, at least until I see it again.

    I had to do some shopping anyway and so walked by the Flood Bldg and Burritt Alley today. The Flood Building’s own displays certainly do give the impression that this one property was the scene of the whole Maltese Falcon. They have several display cases showing off the building’s history. One of them has the edition of the Black Bird that formerly belonged to the owner of John’s Grill, and also a card about the building’s history reading in part, “Dashiell Hammett used her as the backdrop for The Maltese Falcon.” (“Her” being the building, not the bird.) Didn’t see a plaque, though — not something brass attached to a wall, anyway, and the security guy didn’t know about one. Where should I have looked?

    Now, on Burritt Alley at Bush St. there really is a plaque. It says, “On Approximately This Spot, Miles Archer, Partner Of Sam Spade, Was Done In By Brigid O’Shaughnessy.” No mention of him being fictional in the first place.

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