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Annie - San Francisco, CA

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Entries in vintage (63)


Postcard: San Francisco's Chinatown, 1943

San Francisco's famous Chinatown, the largest outside of China itself...

Sent by the U.S. Navy in December, 1943, this postcard went all the way to New Hampshire to someone's Aunty Daisy...

"I visited this place last Sunday. It's a nice place but kind of spooky. It's in San Francisco. I suppose the Chop Suey looks familiar to you don't it? There's a lot of hills in this place and plenty steep too."

I thought this classic view of Grant Avenue was a perfect tribute to the massive Chinese New Year's parade that's happening on Saturday. Chinatown can still be a little bit spooky, and I'm afraid that Chop Suey is very difficult to find these days, but not much else has changed in this image.


Follow Peripatetic on Tumblr!

I've finally done it...I have a Tumblr up and running as a place to showcase all of those OTHER random images and moments that I love that may not be entirely appropriate or timely for Poetic & Chic. The name, is "Peripatetic", in keeping with the original lyrics of the song "One" from A Chorus Line, where I derived the name "Poetic & Chic".

"She walks into a room and you know she's uncommonly rare, very unique, peripatetic, poetic and chic..."

The word "peripatetic" is an adjective meaning "traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods." Noun synonyms include "wayfarer" or "traveler".

How very appropriate...n'est ce pas?

The content of Peripatetic will be just that: one thing today, another thing tomorrow. Thus far it's pretty vintage and elegant and wistful, but a few playful things are up there too. It's a lot of simple imagery with no text - I can say all I want to say over here. This is where words don't need to happen.

Please follow Peripatetic on Tumblr & enjoy!


Postcard: A Park Scene in Florida

Blissful isn't it? Amazingly enough, this very vintage postcard was never sent to anyone. My guess is that it was kept as a souvenir in a scrap book because it's still in perfect shape and has these amazing colors. It's also printed on that great linen-weave textured stock.

Images like this make me think of one of those screwball comedies where everyone is in Florida going to horse races and night clubs. Like The Palm Beach Story, or Saratoga... Too bad no one makes movies like that any more!


Postcard: New London, CT 1912

Old Town Mill, built 1650, New London, Conn.

Although this postcard was sent in 1912 by the postmark, I can't read anything further on this one because it's written in German to a Hilda Johnson of Providence, RI...

But I looked up the Old Town Mill and found that it was burnt by Benedict Arnold's army in the Revolutionary War, and then re-built shortly thereafter. It has actually been re-built many times, functioning as both a tourist attraction and a part of daily life over the centuries. Today it is located near a freeway overpass, but still hosts an open space for concerts and picnics. The wheel still turns and the mill still works, even in the middle of a modern city!


Postcard: Ferry Building at Night, San Francisco

Sorry for the delay on postcard posting this week! I've been enjoying the mellow week between the holidays and trying to get organized for the year ahead... So for this week's card I stayed close to home: a classic view from San Francisco featuring the Ferry Building back in the early 20th Century - probably from the 1920s or 1930s.


Merry Christmas!

Not just one, but two images to wish you a Merry Christmas! The first is an old snapshot of my Mom (on the bike) and my Grandma on Christmas morning years ago. From my Mom's age, I'd say it was the late 1940s or about 1950. I just love the look on her face!

This postcard was sent on Christmas Day in 1909 from Reno, Nevada. It's a gorgeous card made by "Tuck's Post Card - Raphael Tuck & Sons, Art Publishers to their Majesties the King & Queen". There's even a royal seal printed in the corner. What I love about this one is that it's embossed with texture on the trees and ground, and then given a final layer of gilt in the emboss. These extra steps definitely made it a more expensive card, but the effect is lovely.

Wishing all of you a wonderful, happy and healthy Christmas full of everything you want - or at least lots of thoughts about how to get what you want in the coming year! Wishing all of you love and joy...


Postcard: Mile of Christmas Trees, Pasadena, CA 1933

MILE OF CHRISTMAS TREES, Pasadena, California. Stretching north from the city limits of Pasadena through the heart of beautiful Altadena, these giant Deodars have long been famous. These trees were grown from seed brought from the Himalaya Mountains in India, where the Deodar is grown as the tree of God. They were first planted here in 1885, and now reach a height of about one hundred feed, and have a spread of from forty to fifty feet.

Postmarked from South Pasadena, CA on January 4, 1933, this postcard was sent to Wayton, Ohio by a woman named Edythe. From her brief message I can only glean that she was newly-arrived Californian... She says "Was glad to receive letter from so many at one time. We are having a lovely time. Went to this place Xmas eve. Yesterday was the big Rose Parade. I wish every one at home could see it...."

Now I haven't seen it myself, but Altadena still has the "Mile of Christmas Trees". While the trees were planted in the late 1880s by an early California booster, they first lighting of the trees was in 1920, over just a quarter-mile of trees. Each year thereafter the lighting expanded to include 150 trees.

This year, the trees will be lit until January 1, 2012, and are lit from dusk until 10 PM during the week and midnight on the weekends.


Postcard: Two Views of Rue Soufflot & Pantheon

This week's postcards offer two different views of one of my favorite intersections in all of Paris - Rue Soufflot at Boulevard St. Michel. This is right at the edge of the 6th and 5th Arrondisements, with the 6th behind you as you face the Latin Quarter in the 5th. If you were standing at this spot, the Jardins de Luxembourg would be behind you, with the Medici Fountain and all it's gorgeous lime walkways and chestnut trees.

I love this spot because it's a wonderful, colorful neighborhood that mixes families and students, parks and museums. The Sorbonne is just down the street, and the honored French of bygones past are held within the massive dome of the Pantheon. It's all very formal and informal at once. There's cafes, shops, tabacs, ice cream vendors with carts, and the best Sandwhich Grec (that's French for gyro) just up the way...

The first postcard is probably from just after World War I, judging by the clothes and the types of transportation. There's a bus, but there's also a few horse-drawn carts here and there... Meanwhile, the second one comes in much closer and shows a great reflection in the fountain of the roundabout. I'm assuming this shot is from the 1930s because of the cars. It also has a scalloped edge, and is from the famous postcard producer Guy.

As for Soufflot? He was the architect who built the Pantheon. Jacques-Germain Soufflot was the Controller of the King's Buildings in the final years of the Ancien Régime; he was also a representative figure in the artistic avant-garde of the Enlightenment. Several great national institutions wer designed by him (like the Louvre...) but the Pantheon is his greatest achievement.


Bon Weekend!

A classic cover from Better Homes & Gardens, September 1958 issue. The illustration is by the famous Jan Balet, who is better known for his illustrations of childrens books, and for his work as art director of Mademoiselle magazine in the 1940s. I just love how these homes are idealized here - its a perfect Mid-Century American dream of suburbia without all of its taint. An idyllic moment with perfectly rounded trees...


Postcard: Monarchs of New York City

"New York City has a population of over 7,500,000 people and is known everywhere as the "Sky-scraper City." Radio City, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Building, are some of the tallest and largest buildings in the world and form an integral part of New York's famed skyline."

As so many are in New York City this week for fashion week, I thought this postcard was a sweet reminder of the Americana aspect of New York - that just seeing the skyline is a big deal to most everyone in the world (except for us jaded fashion & retail & commerce types who get blindsighted by business each visit.)

Apart from calling the great buildings "Monarchs" - an apt description - the charming font, stripes, and images of the buildings when they were fresh and new transports you to another time. Sent in 1948, the message from "Mother & Dad" describes a trip along the eastern seaboard:

"Had a nice ride on bus, crossed Hudson R. on Ferry to Jersey City where we left on Baltimore & Ohio train to Wash D.C. from there to Chicago."