Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hats on parade

With a double bill of a Columbus Day Parade and Fleet Week, North Beach was really jumpin' on Sunday. I took my Bike Friday, my big camera and a long lens to see what I would see. Because one can't easily change lenses in a crowd, I settled on the long lens for the parade. I stood at the corner of Stockton and Filbert, or the northeast corner of Washington Square, with the parade coming at me from out of the sun - less than ideal.

Looking through my images later, I was struck by the hats and caps and crowns. Here's a sampling:

 Christopher Columbus landing in North Beach.

I guess there would have been Italian cowboys (love the Stetson).

And then there were the crowns.

Many streets were turned into outdoor cafes.  Italians in this town sure know how to party.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Street Art vs Tags

I took this picture of Greta Shred's mural in Clarion Alley in late 2006. When I went back last week I found it much changed by taggers.

What I can't figure out is why some murals have been seriously defaced and others left totally intact for years and years. The subject matter doesn't seem to make a lot of difference.

In an ongoing effort to find the names of the mural artists, I've been researching on the Web. Under Clarion Alley images, there are about 22k to plow through, looking for someone who dependably knows the attribution for a given mural. I also bought the just released book, "Street Art San Francisco, Mission Muralismo," but it has limited use for finding names, since it covers a wider area.

And that makes me wonder why I'm doing this, since it's so already done . . . maybe because the murals are often beautiful, tell stories - and that they fascinate me?

For instance, when I found Greta's name, but not a title for the mural above, I also discovered she was the publisher of a 'zine called mudflap, and that her street address was 666, hence the devil on her handlebars. If you click to enlarge the top image, you'll see all the neighborhood influences, including early Spanish, Irish, Italian, as well as the recent Latin. (But, ice hockey?)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

It began on Sunday

Last Sunday, I hopped on my old Miyata, and taking along the big camera and a long lens, went on a photo safari, primarily to revisit the murals around town.

I never know when I will get back in the groove, but since Sunday I've made about 420 new files. One or two might be worth keeping.

First on my list was the fence-mural near 228 Clara, somewhere south of Market. I hadn't seen it for six years and didn't know if it had survived. I found it intact, though a bit changed as the owner paints over rude tags.

Before I had my camera out I heard the chain in the fence rattling. A man emerged from whatever was behind the fence. I asked him if he was the painter. No, he said, he thought the artist lived in the house next door, he'd only been here for five months.

After he left, I took lots of new pictures of this reproduction of Matisse's dancers, and then I looked through the chain-hole in the fence.

I was surprised to see a large, well kept garden behind the fence. I think I expected a car park or a garage. And another surprise was a big backpacker-type tent.

Perhaps that is where the man is living now.

There are many stories here and I wish I knew them.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

More murals

I've taken a lot of new pictures of the Market Street Storefront Art Project, though this is a mural, a very long sidewalk mural. More to come . . . if I can find time to work on the files.