Market St., San Francisco, in 1906

Haunting film (the music helps) taken on a ride down the length of Market St. to the Ferry building in 1906 before the earthquake. I was just on Market St. and Mission just this morning, stuck in traffic (later to take part in a panel discussion on pinay writers at the San Francisco Public Library). I mentioned to my companion that I felt like I was inside a huge, peeling work of art, a collage, signs upon signs, messages plastered on every available space. What strikes me about this old film is how busy and full of life Market St. appeared to be in 1906. “Imperial San Francisco,” as Gray Brechin has called it, the city that grew out of the Gold Rush, in its time of dominion.