August 18, 2009

morning in Northbeach

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Coit Tower was built atop Telegraph Hill in 1933 at the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the City of San Francisco.   Lillie bequeathed one-third of her large estate to the City of San Francisco "to be expended in an appropriate manner for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city which I have always loved".

Contrary to popular opinion, the tower was not designed to resemble a fire hose nozzle.   This belief persists in part because of Lillie Hitchcock Coit's affinity with the San Francisco fire fighters of the day, in particular with Knickerbocker Engine Company Number 5.

Anyway, the imaginations of San Franciscans have been running wild over the years trying to figure out secret and hidden meanings in the design.   The secret is that there is no secret.

One thing for sure, inside is a wonderful collection of WPA sponsored frescoes by Arnautoff, Zakheim, Howard, Boynton, Stackpole, Moya del Pino, Oldfield, Berlandina, Hesthal, and others.   But don't expect to find any of Diego Rivera's work inside Coit Tower (Armatoff was a student of Rivera) -- to see some great Riveras I'd suggest stopping by the San Francisco Art Institute on Chestnut Street -- and if you aren't going to make it to San Francisco any time soon, click here for some examples.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Get to Northbeach early and you'll find larger than life shadows.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Looking for an authentic Italian coffeehouse?   That would be Caffe Trieste, 'fer sure.   I'm not going to tell you the somewhat secret location of Caffe Trieste in Northbeach -- I don't want to spoil the fun of you finding it on your own.

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Your comments are invited and welcome.


Tomate Farcie said...

Love the bike shot!

Cafe Trieste is pretty easy to find, just follow your nose and the nice coffee smell.

Sérgio Aires said...

Great, GREAT images!!! Congratulations!!!

AphotoAday said...

HI TOMATE FARCIE -- Yep, just follow your nose...   But you know, I still have never been inside -- but remember a scene in The Parrots of Telegraph Hill movie where Mark (Bittner) goes in for a cup and "Mama" (or whatever her name is) refuses to let him pay...

AND THANKS SERGIO -- I enjoy your site too... (((everybody should click on Sergio's site "eu-nao-sou-eu", which is the second from last link on my sidebar)))

Texas Travelers said...

Great images. Thanks for the links.

Since you are on my blogroll,
you know I like your blog.
I Like the great photos and writeups.

I am back blogging again.
I just started a new WordPress Blog, 'I C U Nature' for Nature Only!
Click here to see the blog.
It will take some learning to work out the differences between WordPress and Blogspot.
The new blog is bare bones right now, with just the masthead and two posts.

Come visit and tell me what you think,

AphotoAday said...

HI TROY -- Glad to see you're back up with the new blog on Wordpress... Gold luck with it...

Everybody should check out Troy's site... Click on the last link on my "Blogs I Enjoy" sidebar.

photowannabe said...

Love the long shadows of the bike and I can almost smell that heady expresso fragrance.

Louise said...

LOVE the bicycle shadow! I'm kind of into shadows. And I like to bike. The combination is really good.

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