Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Billy Taylor (1921-2010)

The Subject is Jazz, 1958
Rest in Peace, Dr. Taylor

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

San Francisco (1961)

Thanks to our good friends over at Oddball Film & Video, there is this amazing color Cinemascope film in circulation over at YouTube. Small thrills abound! For example you can see my childhood favorite, Alioto's Hofbrau, at 1:42 in the clip. One of the more interesting segments (to the architecture fan in me, at least) is about 4:36 into the clip where the pavilion building at One Bush Street is revealed to be a Bank of American branch. The Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill designed Internationalist icon (again, to me) was built in 1959 and this is the earliest I have seen of how the pavilion was used. It is currently home to E*TRADE, although I am still holding out hope that one day I can open my fancy "Four Seasons" (NYC eatery) inspired restaurant in that space. OK, I am only half-kidding.

What really strikes me about this film is not so much what has changed in the past 50 odd years, but rather how many recognizable landmarks, buildings, etc. are still part of the fabric of contemporary San Francisco. We can mourn the loss of the Transbay Terminal (birthplace of many an embarrassing white-boy blues anthem, including at least one of my own) but take some degree of refuge in the fact that compared to so many US Cities, many of San Francisco's landmarks are still living and breathing entities. Now if you excuse me, I have an appointment with my lawyer downtown in The Flood Building...

Friday, December 10, 2010

James Moody (1925-2010)

Metronome Record Album, Sweden, 1950
Image courtesy LP Cover Lover

Rest in Peace, Mr. Moody.