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Friday Slide Show: On Chenery To Church Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

27 January 2017

We took a walk last weekend down O'Shaughnessy, which follows Glen Park Canyon, to see if a slide area had been contained. But we kept going into Glen Park itself and followed the main street Chenery up and over the hill into Noe Valley.

You can do that around here. Just keep going, that is.

For half the long walk, we didn't pull the camera out. When you don't see anything to photograph, you aren't paying attention. Fatigue had something to do with it, too.

But when we ran across a rather whimsical front yard and we couldn't help ourselves. Out came the camera.

And once it was out, we kept it out. We knew the Pritikin Museum was just a few blocks away with its assortment of antique American vehicles parked on the street. We particularly liked a 1952 Kaiser Manhattan, famous for introducing the padded dash. Kaiser is famous for the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, too, which has been taking care of us for 15 years now (and we're in better shape than the Manhattan).

When you don't see anything to photograph, you aren't paying attention.

Chenery runs into Randall and Randall carries the J Church streetcar line a few yards to Church itself. Right where Church meets Randall is a wonderful Sardinian restaurant called La Ciccia (or Babyfat).

At that end of Church, the main attraction is St. Paul's. Designed by Frank T. Shea, the architect responsible for St. Brigid's as well, Shea used a modified English Gothic style for St. Paul's. Work began in 1897 and was completed in 14 years.

We have fond personal memories of St. Paul's and Noe Valley in general. Somehow they managed to tuck a gym in the basement of the church where we played basketball in grade school. Then there was the girls' high school where we participated in a debate as a freshman before getting the girl as a junior. And we had a lot of friends in the neighborhood, which then was still working class.

Those things stick to you. The warm welcoming feeling of a friend's house where you were always offered a bite to eat. A buddy's basement apartment at New Year's Eve turned into a party venue.

We took a few shots of the church. It's imposing. But we don't think of saints or sins when we look at it. We think of the people we became fond of in its shadow.

Following the tracks up Church, you see all sorts of whimsy. An old Chevy Impala with a funny license plate. A party shop with a window full of wigs. A restaurant with boars' heads above the window. An antique shop's clearance items on the street. A decorated garage door.

If you're paying attention, that is.


Nice piece. I've learned the hard way more than once that the worst place for my camera is in my bag.

-- Michael Melneck

And taking it out of the bag can also significantly lighten your load. -- Mike

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