June 03, 2010

the colors of NorthBeach

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Oh gosh, this rather tacky doorway on Stockton Street near Columbus looks like a paint job I might attempt -- in an earlier life I worked in a paint factory and had a multitude of colors at my disposal. The walls of our factory restroom were HIGHLY decorated with bright and colorful stripes.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

At first glance, this photo of Coit Tower, being basically black and white, might not seem to qualify for a blog entry titled "the colors of NorthBeach", but actually there is a lot of color in the image. Trust me.

Oh, by the way, if anybody ever tries to entrap you into a debate about whether Black and White are actually colors, just politely punch them in the stomach and walk off.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Meet my new friend and one of NorthBeach's more colorful ladies -- I'll just give you her first name; Marné. I'm afraid Marné is another of the growing troops of San Francisco's homeless. More and more of these people look totally out of place -- I don't know how long Marné has been on the streets or exactly how she got there, but evidently she used to live in Marin County and is quite knowledgeable about music and art. And she LOVES to talk.

This was taken about 8AM and Marné had been having a rough night -- and you guessed it -- she told me all about it. At about midnight she had been beaten up and robbed by punks -- two BandAids covered a wound on her hand but not the surrounding smears of dried blood. She told me all about it.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Well, I don't know if there is anything good to say about it these days, but this is Broadway Street, San Francisco, Caifornia. To brighten the colors I Photoshopped the Holy Bejeebers out of the original image.

As late as the 1960's, but not a moment later, Broadway Street was a really cool place to hang out. The Hungry I served up comedians like Ronny Schell, Professor Irwin Corey, Bill Cosby; and musicians like Vince Guaraldi, Glenn Yarborough, and the Kingston Trio. Oh, the Hungry I is still there, but now it's a strip-club and they "only" serve up ragged spirits and wild women.

Seems like the smoke/head shops are starting to outnumber the adult book shops, but Larry Flint's club seems still firmly rooted in the sleaze trade. Ask about Enrico Banducci, the man behind Enrico's and the Hungry I, and you are likely to get blank stares. (((Trivia Question: What did KGO Radio personalities from the '60's, Ira Blue and Les Crane, have in common?)))

But hey, when it's all looking pretty bleak -- don't forget -- City Lights Bookstore, a treat for the brain, is nearby. So is Cafe Trieste, for coffee that is stronger than Hulk Hogan. And by the way, if you need a tattoo or could really murder a slice of pizza, then you are definitely in the right place!

You can also easily get roughed up by drunk young punks, so that's why most people don't hang out on Broadway or the NorthBeach area at night. Unless they are homeless people, and then they don't have a choice.

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MELI. said...

is that a jean-pocket tiger?! that is awesome!! :D
great set, i LOVE north beach

AphotoAday said...

HI MELIGROSA - Thanks, and yes, she was very proud of her tiger -- that's why she is sort of showing it off. She had gotten the pants at one of the charities -- they were long and baggy with zippers on the cuffs -- something she said she would "never" wear, but I guess "never" was pretty much where Marne was.

photowannabe said...

Sad and beautiful and just so San Francisco. I remember when....
Great colorful slices of life.

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