I knew I had an “Urban” picture in my collection that also represented San Francisco, and yet did not feature the usual cliched destinations. I also wanted to find something that represented this modern, high-tech techno-hub of a city with its high-tech economy. And nothing represents this like foreign streetcars that are almost 100 years old:
During the Willie Brown administration, someone had the neat idea of running vintage streetcars from around the nation and around the world on Market Street and along the Embarcadero. The first additions to the collection were a set of vintage 1925 streetcars from Italy, complete with their Italian advertising placards. They have proved wildly popular with visitors, and even more wildly popular with San Franciscans.
This photo seems a bit above average for me, and I suspect it’s a matter of pure dumb luck and accidental good timing. The eye focuses on the woman, not on the brightly colored streetcar, because there are so many lines that point to her: the Muni signpost, the safety railing at the trolley stop, the green paint on the street constitute three examples. Enjoy studying it.
Vonn Scott Bair