January 26th, 2010 | Published in general
Here’s some very cool footage my Dad forwarded the other day. It’s a 7:10 shot traveling through several blocks of Market Street in San Francisco just days before the great earthquake hit. What struck me most about it initially was how many people there are on the street, and how everything going on in the street relates to the human scale rather than the machine scale of current-day auto and truck traffic, despite the 1906 cable cars and autos.
The traffic here is a little chaotic, and there are some close calls (largely from those crazy automobile drivers and kids dodging the cable car), but people are actively negotiating their way around, and nobody gets squished. So often in city traffic today car drivers are just slogging along stoplight to stoplight, paying no attention to their surroundings other than point A to B. It’s cool to see footage of horse traffic in the middle of town too. Note that the automobiles here are all recreational; the real work of commerce is being done by the horses.
It looks like the film is playing a little slow, but it’s very interesting to see a city at a time with a completely different expectation for their travel speed and distance.
I love the great clothes and seeing the many cyclists (all coasting – take that, SF fixie hipsters!), but i doubt i’d ride down the center of the tracks in front of a streetcar, that just seems like certain death. It looks like the film is playing a little slow, but it’s very interesting to see a major city during a time with a completely different expectations for their travel speed and distance.