Thursday, November 16, 2006

Random City Shots

I was in the city today, I had to venture down to the TL, so I thought I'd snap a few pics along the way.

This building is the Hibernia Bank. It is obviously closed, but I think it remains a very majestic structure. I dig the dome in the front of the building. If I'm not mistaken, this building survived the quake of 1906. Pretty neat, living history. I try to imagine what this neighborhood was like at that time. Even amidst slum surroundings today it retains an air of importance and dignity. More Here.

Speaking of depravity, here's what stands across the street from the Hibernia Bank. Lovely place, no? Not quite Vegas, but neon nonetheless.

These other two are just old, dilapidated buildings that caught my eye. I have a pet interest in architecture and physical structures, so old buildings hold an interest for me. The first one here is just closed down. The windows are boarded, and it looks completely abandoned, save for a small corner store on the ground floor. I wonder what it was before? Apartments? Perhaps a hotel? I am always intrigued by the "lives" of old buildings, specifically the people that have passed through them during their existence.

This second building is also abandoned; it looks like it was some type of residential hotel before it landed in its present state. Apparently before it was shut down the owners (or someone) thought it would be fun to remove the furniture from inside the building to the exterior walls. There are chairs, lamps, tables, etc. all attached to the outside of the building, hanging above the street. The semi-lawyer in me frets over the liability issues inherent in such a display, but it does speak to my inner photographer (and blogger!).

Interesting to note about this building is that the entire chunk of it is not being used. In contrast to the preceding picture, where a corner store was still operational on the ground floor, this whole building is boarded up and closed off.

I walked south from the Tenderloin across Market to the SOMA (South Of MArket) neighborhood. I noticed all the new buildings going up "South of the Slot" (as it is sometimes called because of the trolley cars that run down Market on grooves in the street) and saw that the area is undergoing some real changes. I question the notion of "revitalization" as it applies to San Francisco these days. Of course, the pejorative term employed to this process is "gentrification". There's some charm about poorer areas and the unique street culture they produce. Granted, nobody likes crime in their neighborhood, and I'm certainly not making a case for that, but it is sad to think of people being displaced and shuffled out of the city altogether just so that a few condos can be erected.