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Personals history

I moved to San Francisco in 1991. At the time, I was freelancingĀ in theater, doing sets and props. The work was sparse, and the pay was abysmal, but San Francisco was a different city then. It was moderately affordable, and…

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1997 All Over Again

Although we live in baby-centric Noe Valley now, DPaul and I lived right on Dolores Park for 11 years. During this time, we watched the neighborhood evolve from a depressed, drug-ridden extension of the gritty Mission to one of the…

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Child of the Sixties (barely)

1969 was a turbulent year. The world was in the throes of great strife. The Vietnam War raged on, sparking protests across the country. The breakaway nation of Biafra was crumbling from the military pressures of Nigeria. Insanity must have…

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Walk with me: Dogpatch and Potrero Point

Cimg1410For the next in our series of May walks with City Guides, we did the Dogpatch & Potrero Point tour. And what a glorious day for it! Under a sometimes baking sun, we strolled through this industrial yet entertaining neighborhood, learning a bit about the geology, geography, architecture and (occasionally sordid) history along the way. And, yes, we also got a gander at the Hell’s Angels headquarters too.

This is the kind of tour I love most — getting under the skin of a neighborhood whose history and appeal may not be immediately apparent. I also have a thing for industrial landscapes, so this tour worked for me on every level. If you want to take it, stay tuned for the summer schedule to see if it will be offered again then; otherwise you may have to wait until October.

More pics and notes after the jump.

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The Columbarium

Columbarium1Taking a break from what seems like incessant recipe documentation, I schlepped out to BevMo while DPaul was getting his teeth cleaned. I’d not been to the one on Geary at Stanyan before. As I pulled out from the underground parking lot, I was faced with a glorious green dome rising over the horizon. How could I resist the opportunity to stop into the Columbarium?

I’d never been to the Columbarium before, and it has always been on my list of things to do in the city. I have a thing for cemeteries generally, and this one is exceptional. San Francisco has but two cemeteries where people are buried in the ground; The Columbarium is where you put your ashes to rest.

Built in 1897, it was the centerpiece of a large cemetery. However, in 1901 interment became illegal within the city limits of San Francisco, and in the 1930s all burial plots (except the cemeteries in the Presidio and Mission Dolores) were moved to Colma.

The beautiful Victorian structure has niches on four levels, surrounding a central portico under the copper dome. It’s remarkable to see how people are commemorated — some of the niches are austere and somber; some are elaborate; others are filled with whimsical items from the person’s life. I was pleased to see a number of niches with rainbow flags, others with same-sex partners that have chosen to share the tight quarters. All in all, not a bad place to spend eternity. More crappy cell phone pics after the jump.

Neptune Society of Northern California
The Columbarium: Final Shelter [San Francisco Reader]

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