Greetings from San Francisco

…Well almost! We are headed there this weekend for a few days, and I thought it was the perfect excuse to share the San Francisco portion of my vintage postcard collection!

Large letters spell out "Greetings from San Francisco" with images of various landmarks in the letters.

Seals on Seal Rocks, San Francisco, California

Seals on Rocks, near Cliff House

The Cliff House, San Francisco, California

Cliff House and Seal Rocks

Cliff House. Five miles from San Francisco's Civi Center, lie Seal Rocks and historic Cliff House. Long famous as a tourist center and restaurant, it gives the visitor panoramas hard to equal - Seal Rocks on wich California sea lines perform unceasingly, beautiful views of the broad Pacific and entire beach area.

The historic Cliff House originally opened in 1863, serving as a resort for the upper class of the Bay Area. However it burned to the ground Christmas Day, 1894. Already an icon, it was rebuilt and reopened just a few years later in 1896. While it survived the 1906 earthquake, it once again fell victim to a fire in 1907. In 1909 it once again rose from the ashes, but this time was constructed out of steel and concrete, and continued its iconic legacy, the Cliff House shuttered in late 2020 as a result of the pandemic. But there is good news on the horizon! A new restaurant is slated to arrive later this year.

Giant breakers, Mile Rock Lighthouse, looking across "The Golden Gate"

Great Highway and Beach Esplanade.

Fisherman's Fleet, Fisherman's Wharf

Downtown San Francisco as seen from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

Pan-America Airways "China Clipper" arrives at San Francisco, from the Orient

Alcatraz Island, Federal Prison

Alcatraz Island lies in San Francisco Bay. Known as "The Rock" it was formerly a United States Arm disciplinary barracks. In 1933 it was made a federal penitentiary to house the incorrigibles from other prisons.

For all of my visits to California growing up, we often skipped over San Francisco, and I never really played tourist there until a visit in 2012, but I didn’t make it to Alcatraz then either, but that is about to change, as we have a tour slated during our visit.

Sunset at the Golden Gate, San Francisco Bay, California

Golden Gate Bridge spanning the golden gate, San Francisco, California. The Golden Gate Bridge from San Farancisco to Marin County is the World's largest single span bridge. The main structure is 8,940 feet long. The towers above the water are 746 feet high. The mains pan is 42000 feet long. There are two ten-foot sidewalks and six lanes for vehicular traffic; total widge 90 feet. total length including approaches is seven miles. Cost $35,000,000.

Golden Gate Bridge across the Golden Gate, San Francisco to Marin County

Golden Gate Bridge and Yacht Harbor

Golden Gate Bridge. This great suspension bridge, connecting San Francisco with Marin County in California, has a center span of about four-fifths of a mile and is held some 250 feet above the tides by the two enormous cables, each made up of more than 25,000 strands.

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, San Francisco, Calif. East Bay Shore in Distance.

Night scene, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. At night the 8 1/2 mile bridge looks like a string of stars across the bay.

Bust cable cars climb the steep, terraced Powell Street Hill at twilight time, San Francisco, California.

San Francisco, California Cable Cars. San Francisco's cable cars retain their place in the affections of residents and visitors alike.

Cable car turntable, San Francisco, California. While traffic waits good-naturedly, conductor and gripman, often assisted by passengers, push a cable car around until it is facing north for its return trip up Powell Street.

Union Square, San Francisco. Site of Admiral George Dewy Monument, commemorating the victory of Manila Bay, Spanish-American War. In this picture are Hotels St. Francis, Sir Francis Drake and Plaza, also the underground garage.

Podesta & Baldocchi - America's Most Famous Florists. The most unusual and beautiful flower displays in America can be seen at Podesta & Baldocchi, Florists, 224 Grand Ave, San Francisco, Calif.

While some of these postcards are obvious choices for my collection, as they document icons of the city, this florist postcard may initially seem strange. However it is the shop in which Kim Novak’s character purchases flowers in Alfred Hitchock’s masterpiece Vertigo. It was rare for Hitchcock to shoot interiors on location (as he preferred the control of a studio sound stage) but he shot here because of the distinct floor tiles. Sadly, Podesta & Baldocchi is no longer in business.

Coil Tower, San Francisco. High atop Telegraph Hill is the towering Coit monument from which one may enjoy a panoramic view of all San Francisco.

Chinatown's Telephone Exchange Building. The quaint San Francisco Chinatown Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co. building was erected in 1909 to conform with Chinese architectural traditions. It houses what is believed to be the only Chinese Telephone Office outside of China itself.

Chinatown, San Francisco, California. San Francisco's Chinatown is the largest Chinese settlement outside of Asia. Grant Avenue, the main thoroughfare, is lined with curio shops and bazaars displaying merchandise of oriental design.

Dutch Windmill, Western entrance to Golden Gate Park.

"Portals of the Past", Golden Gate Park.

Portals of the Past, Golden Gate Park, San Fransisco, California. These colums are a memento of the great San Francisco fire and earthquake of 1906. These Portals are all that remained standing of one of the Nob Hill's elegant mansions.

Conservatory, Golden Gate Park

Conservatory of Flowers Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California. This glass structure, modeled after the Royal Conservatores at Kew Gardens, England, is filled with tropical and semi-tropical plants from Africa, China, India, Central and South America. The surrounding laws are kept bright with flowers.

On a summit in Lincoln Park stands the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco's largest art museum, a memorial to California's dead in the First World War, closely resembling eighteenth century "Palais" in Paris, France. Visible through the arch is a bronze cast of Rodin's "The Thinker"

Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Fransisco, California. Created as a memorial to California's dead in World War I, it is the city's largest Art Museum. The Bulding design is from 18th Century French and is on a hill overlooking the Golden Gate.

San Francisco’s Legion of Honor is part memorial, part art museum, and is yet another Vertigo filming location. It is here where Madeline sits and stares at the “Portrait of Carlotta.” Like the florist, this is one of the few on-location interior locations from Vertigo.

Palace of Fine Arts

Built in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the Palace of Fine Arts is perhaps one of my favorite places in San Francisco. It was also featured in Vertigo. Like most Exposition buildings, the Palace of Fine Arts was built as a temporary structure, but it charmed locals and tourists alike so much so that it was completely rebuilt between 1964 and 1974.

Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with poem reading "Out Where the West Begins. Out where the handclasp's a little stronger, Out where the smile dwells a little longer, That's where the West begins; Out where he sun is a little brighter. Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter, Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter, that's where the West begins. Out where the skies are a trifle bluer, Out where friendship's a little truer, That's where the West begins; Out where a fresher breeze is blowing, Where there's laughter i every streamlet flowing, Where there's more of reaping and less of sowing, That's where the West begins. Out where the wold is in the making, Where fewer hearts with despair are aching, That's where the West begins; Where there's more of singing and less of sighing, Where there's more of giving and less of buying, And a man makes friends without half trying, That's where the West begins. -Arthur Chapman."

Stay tuned for our San Francisco adventures! If you’re a fan of Vertigo, then you may like to take a peek at my filming locations post as well as my visit to Mission Dolores and Mission San Juan Bautista.

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