10/19/10 - posted by John Martini
Frank -- I stand in awe of your recall. I hadn't thought of some of those places in years! (Bus Van Furniture -- oh yeah! And 2580 McAllister. I used to sleep on a couch in the attic on long afternoons between yearbook layout sessions and evening drama rehearsals.)

Although I grew up in Westlake, I spent endless days at my grandparents' house on 10th between Anza and Balboa, and later went to SI from 1965 to '69, so much of my life is woven through the Richmond District. One of my earliest memories is the sound of the 10 Monterey bus wheezing up the hill past grandma's bedroom where I was tucked in for an afternoon nap.

Here are some of my favorite Richmond sites:

- The Front Room Pizza at 9th and Clement (very sexy waitresses in long 1970s dresses).

- The Richmond District Library between Clement and Geary, with its high-ceiling reading room and dusky children's corner where I kept asking my mom to check out "The Little Engine That Could" over and over and over. Still there but now subtitled the Senator Milton Marks Branch of The San Francisco Public Library.

- The bronze lion near the DeYoung Museum in GG Park, near the pedestrian tunnel to the music concourse. I thought he was mine.

- Larraburu Bakery at 4th and Geary. After an evening at the Fillmore, we'd swing by the back door of the bakery and buy a "seconds" loaf of hot sourdough bread for 10 cents, then eat it while parked at the beach or Merrie Way.

- The long-gone gas station that stood at the northwest corner of Point Lobos and 48th Avenue. It had a tower that looked like a miniature lighthouse. I actually thought it was one. Now the site of some oddly-colored condos.

- Tippy's at 10th and Geary. I was too young to drink there before it closed, but it was an important landmark on my walks from Grandma's to Clement Street and King Norman's Toys. (Years later I learned one of my great uncles had died walking home after an extended stay at Tippy's. Apparently it wasn't his first visit.)

- Sutro Heights Park. Got married there once.
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