We don’t know much about what’s going on here, because the caption doesn’t provide any context. (“Above San Francisco, 1969” is all it says. Thanks!) Still, it was nifty to stumble across this image in an online round-up of vintage LIFE magazine photographs of San Francisco.
While the activity taking place here is mysterious, there are nevertheless a few cool things to notice. Let’s use our special combination of algorithms to zoom and enhance the eastern side of the background:
There’s Cogswell Polytechnical College, on Folsom between 26th and (then) Army Street. Just south of that, the original St. Anthony’s church still stands, before it was destroyed by fire in 1975. And of course, the infamous Bernal Dwellings housing project, built in 1952, with its fortress-like residential tower, dominates the block on Army between Folsom and Harrison.
Now let’s look a little to the west…
There are lots of new cars lined up outside the Lesher-Muirhead Oldsmobile dealership on the corner of Army and South Van Ness, while just a little farther west we can see the big sign for Kerry’s Restaurant — open 24 hours a day, with ample parking! — rising above Army Street.
Bernalwood hasn’t geeked-out about Kerry’s Restaurant before, so let’s digress. Here’s a rather awesome 1986 (!!) shot of Kerry’s taken from street level, courtesy of the Chronicle:
Here’s an advertisement for Kerry’s from a 1964 copy of the Bernal Heights Pictorial, which was an “antecedent to New Bernal Journal”:
Even more tasty, perhaps, is this 1960s menu from Kerry’s that we found in a dusty corner of the interwebs:
Crab Louie! Cottage Cheese Salad! Breaded Veal Cutlet! Kerry’s was obviously a classy joint.
Meanwhile, if you happen to know anything about those two gentlemen frolicking in the foreground, please do chime in…