Streetwise: This or That
by Frank Dunnigan
Frank Dunnigan, WNP member and columnist. -
Growing up in San Francisco in days gone by, we had choices for everything. Like the old Ford vs. Chevy rivalry, local residents once debated the following preferences—mostly either/or—but sometimes with a few extra options thrown in:
- Richmond District house vs. Sunset District house?
- Parkmerced apartment vs. Stonestown apartment?
- For the well-to-do, St. Francis Wood vs. Forest Hill?
- Fireplace used regularly vs. never used?
- Hire housepainters vs. do the work yourself?
- Buy Sunday’s paper on Saturday night vs. Sunday morning?
- Kodak vs. Polaroid cameras?
- Chronicle vs. Examiner in the morning (pre-1965)?
- News vs. Call-Bulletin in the afternoon (pre-1959)?
- Gas vs. electric range?
- White vs. pastel color kitchen appliances vs. stainless steel (today)?
- Shoes-on vs. shoes-off inside the house?
- One phone in the hallway vs. extension phones?
- Rugs vs. wall-to-wall carpeting?
- Hand-wash dishes vs. dishwasher?
- Clothesline vs. machine dry?
- Kids mow the lawn vs. adults mow the lawn vs. hire a gardener?
Aerial view of Golden Gate Park looking east from above Ocean Beach, 1963 - (Courtesy of a Private Collector)
- Bank of America vs. Wells Fargo vs. Hibernia?
- Do your own taxes vs. H&R Block vs. CPA?
- Always have a written will vs. “someday”?
- Carew & English vs. Arthur J. Sullivan vs. McAvoy-O’Hara?
- Holy Cross Cemetery vs. Italian Cemetery?
- Nightly dinner at the kitchen table vs. dining room table?
- Television on vs. television off during dinner?
- “Sauce” vs. “Italian gravy” on pasta?
- Larraburu regular vs. dark bake?
- Homemade vs. store-bought cookies in the kitchen cookie jar?
- Take-out from Johnson’s Tamale Grotto on Vicente vs. The Hot House?
- Hamm’s vs. Burgie?
- The Hot House vs. Bull Pup for Mexican food at Playland?
- Tia Margarita vs. El Sombrero for Mexican food in the Richmond?
- Eppler’s vs. Schubert’s for a bakery in the Inner Richmond?
- Adeline vs. Baronial for a bakery in Parkside/West Portal?
- Sugar Bowl vs. Wirth Brothers for a bakery in the Outer Richmond?
- Fairmont vs. Mark Hopkins for a drink with out-of-town guests?
- Alioto’s vs. Sabella’s for dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf?
- Sun Hung Huang vs. Kan’s vs. Kuo Wah for dinner in Chinatown?
- Caesar’s vs. Fior d’Italia vs. Green Valley for dinner in North Beach?
- Polly Ann Ice Cream on Noriega vs. Baskin-Robbins on Irving?
- Pirro’s Pizza on Taraval vs. Pasquale’s Pizza on Irving?
- Red Chimney-Stonestown vs. Red Roof-Ocean Avenue/California Street?
- Tennessee Grill on Taraval vs. Zim’s for breakfast in the Sunset?
- Seal Rock Inn vs. Louis’ on Point Lobos for breakfast in the Richmond?
- Herb’s Deli on Taraval vs. Herman’s Deli on Geary?
- Blum’s vs. Fantasia for cakes?
Fishermans Wharf. Tokyo Sukiyaki, Alioto's, Fishermen's Grotto, Aug 1964 - (Courtesy of a Private Collector)
- Neighborhood doctor/dentist vs. downtown location?
- Chicken soup vs. tea/toast/soft-boiled egg for minor ailments?
- House calls from doctor vs. office visits?
- Children’s Hospital vs. French vs. Mount Zion vs. St. Mary’s?
- Easter brunch vs. Easter dinner?
- Shaw’s vs. See’s rocky road Easter eggs?
- Ham vs. lamb for Easter dinner?
- Stay home vs. go out to eat for Mother’s/Father’s Day?
- Homemade vs. store-bought costumes for Halloween?
- Open presents on Christmas Eve vs. Christmas morning?
- Noodle kugel—sweet vs. savory?
- Real vs. artificial Christmas tree?
- Acquired from a breeder vs. pet shop vs. shelter vs. neighborhood litter?
- Goldfish from Woolworth vs. Nippon Goldfish Company on Bush Street?
- Parakeet vs. canary?
- Guinea pigs vs. “there will be no rodents in this house”?
Opening Day. Traffic Jam leaving park to 3rd Street. Aerial view from above 3rd Street., Apr 12, 1960 - (Courtesy of a Private Collector)
- Baseball at Candlestick vs. football games at Kezar? (Or both?)
- Downtown movies vs. neighborhood movies?
- Fleishhacker Pool vs. Sutro’s (pre-1954) for swimming?
- Legion of Honor Museum vs. old de Young Museum?
- Coronet vs. Alexandria Theater on Geary?
- Jewish Community Center vs. Rossi Pool for swim lessons?
- Ice Follies vs. Ringling Bros-Barnum & Bailey Circus?
- Ice skating at Sutro’s vs. 48th Avenue rink vs. Legg’s on Market Street?
- Playland vs. Fun-Tier Town?
- Ocean Beach vs. Baker Beach?
- St. Brendan’s Teen Club vs. St. Cecilia’s?
- Lincoln Park vs. Harding golf course?
- Olympic Club vs. Italian Athletic Club?
- “O” gauge electric trains vs. “HO?”
- Gambling at Tahoe vs. Reno?
- Public vs. private vs. parochial elementary school?
- Wide-rule vs. college-rule binder paper?
- Pica vs. elite font on typewriters?
- Bring lunch from home vs. eat in school cafeteria?
- January vs. June graduation for SF public schools?
- Assigned neighborhood high school vs. Lowell?
- St. Rose vs. Mercy vs. Presentation vs. Star of the Sea for girls?
- S.I. vs. S.H. vs. Riordan for boys?
- City College vs. SF State vs. UC-Berkeley vs. USF?
- Downtown vs. Stonestown?
- City of Paris vs. White House for better items?
- See’s vs. Shaw’s for candy?
- Lucky vs. Safeway vs. QFI vs. Petrini Plaza for a supermarket?
- Pine Lake Market vs. Fairlane for a Parkside neighborhood grocery?
- Seabright Market vs. Carriage Market for a Noriega grocery store?
- Day-Lite Market vs. Mount Davidson Market for West Portal groceries?
- Lick Market vs. Littleman for groceries in the Inner Richmond?
- Sutro Super vs. Cala for groceries in the Outer Richmond?
- GETs on Sloat vs. USE on Alemany for discount store purchases?
- Gillon Lumber on Geary vs. Goodman Lumber on Bayshore?
- Reis’ vs. Overland Pharmacy on Taraval?
- Wakelee’s Pharmacy vs. Ace Drug on Clement Street?
- Woolworth’s vs. Walgreen’s at Stonestown?
- Flying Goose Sporting Goods on Taraval vs. Dekker’s on Irving?
- J.C. Penney at 5th & Market vs. Sears-Roebuck at Geary & Masonic?
- I. Magnin vs. Joseph Magnin?
- Bruce Bary-Stonestown vs. Young Man’s Fancy-Laurel Village?
- Auto Row on Van Ness vs. neighborhood shopping for cars?
- Borden’s vs. Sun Valley Dairy for home delivery of milk?
- Sears at Geary & Masonic vs. neighborhood hardware store?
Stonestown Shopping Center sign, Merced Heights, Brooks Park in background, May 1966 - (Courtesy of a Private Collector)
- NBC’s Today Show vs. CBS Morning News?
- Romper Room with Miss Nancy vs. Captain Kangaroo?
- Game shows vs. soap operas during the day?
- Captain Satellite vs. Skipper Sedley for after-school TV?
- Bugs Bunny cartoons vs. Marshall J. on Saturday mornings?
- Flintstones vs. Jetsons?
- Walter Cronkite vs. Huntley & Brinkley for the evening news?
- Perry Mason vs. Bonanza on Sunday nights in the 1960s?
- Johnny Carson vs. Dick Cavett for late night?
- Lake Berryessa vs. Lake Temescal for a weekend getaway?
- Marin Town & Country Club vs. Russian River?
- Guerneville vs. Monte Rio vs. Rio Nido?
- Camping vs. motels?
- Disneyland vacation—car vs. train vs. plane to get there?
- Side trip to Knotts Berry Farm vs. Marineland vs. Universal Studios?
- Camp Mather vs. Yosemite Valley?
- Clear Lake vs. Lake Tahoe?
- Pan Am vs. TWA vs. United for flying?
- Drive to work vs. MUNI?
- Pack a lunch for work vs. go out to eat?
- Dress up for work vs. a uniform vs. “Casual Friday” every day?
Night view, Twin Peaks Tunnel, K-line #1144, 1965 - John Harder (Courtesy of a Private Collector)
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Page launched 30 January 2018.