Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rewinding, Rewinding,

For some reason I have been rewinding lately. I ran across an article about a photographer that took pictures of San Francisco from 1940 to 1960. I purchased it on Kindle.

Then I saw another book about growing up in the City, in the 50's and bought that.

After finishing that book, I started searching for articles about life in the city before hippies.
The block where I walked 1000's of times Clayton and Haight Streets

Seeing pictures of streets, buildings and landmarks that I grew up around made me want to see more. One of the last times I had extra time in the City, I drove out to the streets and neighborhoods that I grew up in.  So few of the stores remain, it was depressing.

The local sporting goods store that carried fishing tackle, baseball bats and balls, basketballs and even the uniforms for the local high school were gone.

As were the mom and pot auto parts stores, only to be replaced by Auto Zone or another one of the national behemoths.

Stores such as the sporting goods store, the ones that carried Keds and other items, got wiped out by chain stores that were able to offer the same items at a deeply discounted pricing.

I wonder if that helped or hindered the overall health of the economy or family unit?

There were a few holdouts that I noticed, but all in all, it was a different landscape.

Gone was the neighborhood tailor who I took my clothes to be altered. He was a short Swiss man who was half bald and did impeccable work. I remember taking a sport coat to him that I somehow spilled battery acid on, at that time it was an expensive coat and was a favorite. The sleeve had a hole in it the size of a half dollar. A week later it was ready and you couldn't tell where he had re-weaved it.
Does anyone do or even know how to reweave fabrics anymore?

The delicatessen that was around the block from our house was gone, shuttered because the property owner purchased the land to tear it down for a condo project, the store sits shuttered, condo project on hold.
The few family style restaurants that we would frequent twice or three times a month were gone. The cleaners, the corner drug store, the pet store, the only thing surviving was the liquor store on the corner a few blocks away.

Having large chains and shopping malls decimated the many neighborhoods that peppered the City.

But reading now, it appears that slowly they are coming back, especially when people comprehend the value of not having to drive to the malls and fight for parking spaces, crowds and other hassles.

Seeing photos of boulevards with a hand full of cars traversing the streets, compared to the bumper to bumper reality of traffic in the City now, sure is eye opening.

I see the changes here in Patzcuaro. When we first came here there wasn't a single stop light except in Morelia.
Progress has taken the small one lane libramento that had concrete/asphalt/gravel and dirt roadways to now being at least 4 lanes, with stop lights which half the time don't work,. Causing the driver to return to the free for all method of driving,

( Funny thing is , that I find myself going through red lights, making turns from whatever convenient lane I may be in, all while be cautious of course!) and I personally enjoy that freedom. too.
The additional new gas stations that have been added and the invasion of OXXO stores, all new in the last 10 years or so.
When we first came here there were no OXXO stores, now we have about 7 or 8 of them.

.Growing up in the city  was great, it was in the 50's and 60's. Times were gentler, more freedoms less government in your face and pocketbook.
Somewhere in storage I have a pile of black and white photographs I need to find and dig out, but that sounds like a project for another day.
 Right now, the weather is perfect, the sun is out, hasn't rained for weeks, chilly at night, need to run fire in our fireplaces, where I can burn as much firewood as I see fit.
Which is now against the law in NCal, light a fire , go to jail.....

And you ask why I love Mexico.

Well, I need to remember some other memories of the old days.  Maybe I can did up my photos of the Watts riots that I covered.   Or the promo first flight of the TWA 747 that they took the press on.
I could do a whole story of how flying use to be. But that might be too depressing.

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