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Friday Slide Show: On Broderick Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

19 March 2021

We've been making weekly trips to a plastic surgery clinic lately. The clinic is in the Western Addition in San Francisco and free street parking is hard to find. But one miraculous day we found just that on Broderick.

We didn't even make it to the curb before we realized what fabulous buildings loomed above us and took out our iPhone. They weren't easy shots, but we fired away as we walked to the corner. There the scenery changed with a big federal housing project, so we put the iPhone away and hurried on to the clinic.

What did we see that so captivated us?

Like every neighborhood in every city, buildings falling apart stand should-to-shoulder with buildings being restored. But even among the decay, we found remnants of grace and grandeur. Those uplifting qualities were what had inspired our little shoot.

Broderick made his fortune first in the Gold Rush, smelting and assaying gold.

The street is named for Sen. David Broderick, who was killed in the last duel in California, the site of which we previously featured in a slide show.

Broderick made his fortune first in the Gold Rush, smelting and assaying gold. By minting $10 gold coins that contained $8 worth of gold and pocketing the difference, he made enough money to finance his political aspirations.

Which, providing an opportunity for corruption, further enriched him.

Ironic, then, to have found free parking on a street in San Francisco named after him.

The grand facade looking over our nondescript vehicle begged for its close up. So we obliged. A balustrade missing a few parts then grabbed our elbow, asking for no less. So we obliged. Then two scooters in love asked us to take their photo. So we obliged. And finally a three-level staircase jauntily posed with its gate ajar for one more shot.

We obliged.

It didn't hurt in the least that it was 11:15 in the morning, the winter sun low in the sky. The harsh light brought out every distinctive feature in these characters.

But somehow the color, while diverting, didn't do the light justice. So we converted them to selenium-toned monochrome images. And that did the trick.

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