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17 July 2006
I can't remember where I first saw the link, probably on the videoblogging list, but there is a GREAT site that I encourage anybody interested in cities around the country (and even a couple around the worldbut not Australia, alas) to check out. It's a web site called "Turn Here." I clicked on it out of curiosity, and found myself hooked for the next hour or so, watching 3-5 minute video clips of the city I grew up in.
[These are all mp4 videos, so if they don't play for you, that may be why. I also discovered that if you click on the picture, the video won't start, so if you click on "download video here" it takes you to the web page and the video should start.]
The above video is a great documentary about the neighborhood where I grew up. You could see Coit Tower out the window of our dining room and the narrator of this piece (a "Russian" puppet) begins the narration standing in front of Swenson's Ice Cream parlor, one block from where I was born (though he doesn't mention that).
I also loved the video about North Beach, and got a few giggles out of it. For example, an interview with Mark Saldino, who has been there "forever" and is an "old timer" in San Francisco. He moved there fourteen years ago. Heck, I had grown up and left before he became an "old timer." But he has that great North Beach look to him and he says "south of Market" properly, so I forgive the fact that he's a Johnny come lately.
The Fisherman's Wharf video, the first one I watched (the one which really hooked me) was a lot of fun. The wharf has changed so much since I moved out of the neighborhood, but this film brought back memories of The Buena Vista, where Irish coffee was born (where we used to go when I was in college), and the crab pots that I remember so fondly from my youth. He interviewed Anthony Geraldi, whose family has been in the restaurant business on Fisherman's Wharf since 1935. I went to school with one of the Geraldi kids...also one of the Alioto kids and other names I now to be famous names in San Francisco history, but who were just "yucky boys" when I was in school.
There are a host of locations which are wonderfully covered by videobloggers on "Turn Here." Jeri might be interested in the film about Jamaica Plain...
And Tom might be interested in the video about Santa Barbara.
And to my own astonishment, there is even a video about dinky little Davis, California.
I have barely begun to scratch the surface of everything that Turn Here has to offer, but I thought I'd share. The films are short, extremely well made, and different from any travelogue you're likely to find anywhere else. If you visited San Francisco and didn't quite get the video you hoped for, this is probably a great place to find what you missed (except, Linda, I didn't find anything taken from Twin Peaks!)
PHOTO OF THE DAY