3D City: A quick trip to Piedmont Ave

3D City is a year long stereoscopic photography project by Doctor Popular

In my rush to get as many new comics made for SF Zine Fest I took a quick trip out to the awesome Piedmont Copy. I spent most of my day cutting and folding new books, but snapped a few shots along the way on my Lumix 3D1. The zines turned out great too btw.

Continue reading “3D City: A quick trip to Piedmont Ave”

BARTscalator shitstorm

Good news! The 24th St BART escalator is working!

Here we see the escalator in its new spin cycle. This is a new feature added by BART engineers to clear the escalator of HUMAN WASTE.

Via SFGate:

When work crews pulled open a broken BART escalator at San Francisco’s Civic Center Station last month, they found so much human excrement in its works they had to call a hazardous-materials team.

While the sheer volume of human waste was surprising, its presence was not. Once the stations close, the bottom of BART station stairwells in downtown San Francisco are often a prime location for homeless people to camp for the night or find a private place to relieve themselves.

All those biological excretions can gum up the wheels and gears of BART’s escalators, shutting them down for long periods of extended repairs, increasing station cleaning costs and creating an unpleasant aroma for morning commuters.

Thus far, BART has blamed this on:

1) the main drive gear

2) an overly-sensitive sensor

3) shit.

We should have a contest to guess what’s next on BART’s checklist. I’m guessing:

4) Birds!



Reader @doogiehowsahthinks the timing is suspect:

Wow, it’s such an interesting coincidence that as the story of BART neglecting Mission stations started to gain traction, this story suddenly comes out, blaming dirty poor people for the problem.

We clearly need to wrap the escalator and all BART passengers in vinyl.

On the other hand, here’s a trippy panorama of the 24th St BART foyer:


BARTscalator Capacitor runs out of Flux

24th St BART Escalator Update:

No escalating. But a new sign!

Hey, wait, July’s almost August. Aaahh, I see, this memo is actually from May.

Anyway, I’m guessing we’ve passed the point of a “minor” repair? I say we just skip this escalation and implement Futurama-style pneumatic tubes. Though if this continues, the flux could build up to such a level that some passengers might enter a vortex and find themselves back in an alternate 1960s where we had BART hovercraft.


UPDATE: Mission Loc@l reports that there’s an oversensitive sensor to blame:

The escalator is back in service most of the time but there is a sensor that stops the escalator if a certain weight is exceeded. Technicians have made some adjustments to make the device less sensitive. Hopefully, that will work and will keep the escalator in service.

Vic Wong summarizes this for us:


BARTscalator Cuidado



Dear BART: it’s not like society just invented escalators. This is a fairly well-understood technology, used world-wide.

How many dedicated escalator repair personnel do you have? How many spare parts do you hold onsite? Why does this escalator keep breaking?

As a completely unfair comparison, I present you the much bigger (and very deep) Moscow subway. Not only are the stations prettier, but they keep the escalators running:

How do you keep them running?

“People,” Likhachev says. His division has a staff of 3,000. It has workers posted at every station during operating hours. It has a 20-member emergency rapid response team. It also has its own factory churning out spare parts, “so we don’t have to rely on suppliers.”

This is not to say that all escalators work all the time, because they don’t. But let’s be clear about one thing: “We do not have escalators out of order,” Likhachev says. “We close some for repair.”

24th St. BART escalator returns after 4-month hiatus, breaks down again within hours

Yesterday afternoon, when I read that the 24th St. BART escalator had been repaired, I was thrilled. It had been broken since March 22nd. That’s four damn months. Four damned shit-ass months.

On my way home, I felt something I had never felt before: excitement about riding an escalator. I haven’t felt this kind of anticipation since I waited in line at Disneyland’s Star Tours ride cerca 1989. But at 6pm, mere hours after its return to service, it was broken again. As of this morning, it was still out of service. Here was the scene:

Yeah, I know taking the stairs has its health benefits, and I feel them. I really do. But maybe that has more to do with riding a rusted Murray bicycle that’s stuck in the highest gear and not so much the three flights of stairs. Still, after 8 hours of being zombified in a half-cubicle in Oakland, sometimes you just want to relish that 45 seconds where you can enjoy the blissful miracle of machine-aided ascension.

Let’s hope for a speedy re-recovery.

Update (4pm): Our prayers have been answered! Burrito Justice tweets:

Now we can all resume checking our phones for the duration of that short ride to the surface! Please stay operational for the next hour, escalator. I am on my way.

[top photo via Mission Loc@l]

’62 Mission, Proto-Farolito

The esteemed Eric Fischer brings us scans of BART plans from 1962. This shot looks south down (and under) Mission from 23rd towards 24th:

The Look of Rapid Transit: 24th Street Mission station

The interesting part (outside of the fact that the BART station was to be so brilliantly lit that men wearing hats would cast stark shadows) is the street photo up top — it was taken from the NW corner of 23rd and Mission, looking south towards Bernal. (Click the image for a big-ass high resolution version.)

Particularly striking is the utter lack of trees (even on the slopes of Bernal).

Lots of donuts though:

Matching shot from today.  The trees make it hard to compare, but changes a plenty. (Click to enlargify.)

Zooming in towards 24th (above the epic car) we see the epic “Smile Awhile” bar:

A more clear view is available from the south.  It should quickly become clear what that sign represents today:

Much more on the history of 24th and Mission, both imagined and realized, over at Burrito Justice from a few months back.

Why No Bikes on BART Escalators?

Every time I ride BART, I’ve always noticed the sign at the bottom of the escalator that forcefully commands, “No Bikes on Escalator,” and have wondered why that is the case.  A periodic loudspeaker announcement clarifies that it’s for our own safety and that of our fellow BART riders, but this has always seemed like a cop-out to me.

I really can’t tell what’s so dangerous about holding a bike on an escalator while it’s moving upwards.  Surely, you don’t need to monopolize the whole escalator like the person above is doing; there is plenty of space to fit both you and your bicycle while also keeping an avenue open on the left side for others who want to pass.  Moreover, doesn’t it seem even more dangerous for a smallish individual to attempt to lug his or her bicycle up that daunting BART staircase?

Some quick research reveals that while some people are completely against the idea, certain situations sometimes make it a necessity.  So, how do YOU feel about bikes on escalators?  Can anyone provide a cogent reason for why this is a forbidden practice?

[Photo by tinka516]

Let’s Go Giants All the Time

In less than one hour the San Francisco Giants will attempt to clinch the World Series of Baseball while deep in the heart of Texas.  Whether or not Lincecum and the gang will able to do it tonight, it’s undeniable how much of demonstrative force they have been in unifying the vastly diverse residents of our dynamic city.  Everyone has at least one thing in common.

For instance, during rush hour on a crowded BART train earlier, a testy exchange broke out between a passenger with a bicycle and another who felt it was necessary to point out that he was breaking the rules.  Another passenger who overheard the conversation shouted from the other side of the train, “Don’t fuck with bikes!”  The murmuring of everyone around grew louder and the tension escalated as they said a few more things to each other.

Thinking fast, I yelled, “Go Giants!”  Immediately, everyone in the car burst into laughter and smiles that sustained until we got to the next stop, where the passenger with the bicycle departed after offering an earnest apology to no one in particular.  Crisis averted.

So yeah, Go Giants!  And let’s try to be rad to each other all the time!

[Cranial Liminal Scan Photo]

Animated GIF BART Band

Mission stalwart/artist/yoyo-ist/game designer Doctor Popular celebrates the birthday of his girlfriend’s 30th birthday with an EPIC ANIMATED GIF of her playing at the BART entrance. (16th or 24th?)

(Do check out Unwoman’s brand new album The City, released just last week.)

p.s.  Also take a look at Doc Pop’s epic Pac-Man watercolor series, Ghosts in the Machines:

SFPL History Center: Truly a Gold Mine

Building upon the deluge of nostalgic Dolores Park photos that surfaced earlier this week, MM reader friscolex clued us in to the gold mine that is the San Francisco Public Library History Center Blog.  And what a gold mine it is!  Here we have a photo of Mission High School students eating lunch in Dolores Park in 1958.  Myriad interesting things here. 

First of all, these “high school” students look a lot older than most high school students I see around these days.  In fact, they look older than most undergrads!  Perhaps they’re not really high school students at all but are merely playing the part a la James Van Der Beek.

Furthermore, I’m not quite sure, but all of these students look pretty white.  Although this may just mean that they weren’t on the city champion soccer team, I’ve got a feeling that most of their fellow classmates were white as well.  50 years later, it seems that things are a little different.

But that’s not all from the SFPL HC!  Check out these amazing early (1965) designs for BART trains!  Supposedly, BART promised “trains automatically timed to arrive at stations every 90 seconds during rush hours, [and] BART is guaranteeing everyone of its passengers a seat[!!!]”  I wonder how that worked out.

Nevertheless, the SFPL History Center is a gold mine.  Be sure to check it out and support it however you can!


Dolores Park 20 Years Ago

More Photos of Dolores Park 20 Years Ago

Mission Soccer: A San Francisco Dynasty

BART Buttcrack

Okay, so this is clearly no BART boner, but I DID happen to see the most intense wedgie I’ve ever witnessed, today on BART.  I tried to get a good angle on it, but the above photo is the best I could do without giving myself away.

You could see every butt dimple on the babe!  She was standing in the exact line of sight for at least 6 passengers, who could do nothing to avert their gaze but stare at their hands like they’d just miscarried.  Me, I wanted so desperately to help a sister out and pick her butt for her, but social convention wouldn’t allow it.

I hope her buttcheeks are at home, breathing easy, as we speak.

BART Maintenance Badges: DALY CITY

A couple of days ago I posted a collection of BART maintenance badges. I was convinced I was missing one more and it had to be something on or near the end of the peninsula line. So this weekend I was coming back from the east bay and saw THIS:

This is definitely the definitive SF maintenance station badge. It features Golden Gate bridge (which is incidentally nowhere near Daly City or BART), and an airplane heading to or from SFO. For the record, the car smelled better than any car I’ve ever been in. Some kind of sweet flowery cleaning fluid was just used. It also had a spotless, non-carpeted floor. Go DC! Show ’em how it’s done.

Next conquest: MUNI bus maintenance badges. Psych! Nobody maintains those.

BART Maintenance Badges

Over the past couple of months I’ve noticed and collected pictures of these delightful maintenance badges inside of BART cars. Each with their own personality:

Richmond: “Hey don’t let all that gang rape stuff that happens in Richmond put you off–don’t you want your BART car to enjoy a lovely bay view while its being serviced? Richmond Maintenance Facility: home of the best view of San Rafael in the bay area.”

Hayward: “Look, if you want some guy to bullshit with you about sports and the weather while he does sub-par work, go to Concord. If you want solid, no-nonsense maintenance done on your BART car, come to Hayward. We take quality seriously and have 15+ years of industry experience to prove it. Our 10-point inspection includes door re-greasing, upholstery steaming, and complete removal of graffiti cocks scrawled on the on windows.”

Concord: “Think we’re just a bunch of bummer straight-ahead mechanics from a failed city? Think again. We actually have kick-ass senses of humor as indicated by this badge’s allusion to classic WB cartoons. Free coffee, donuts, and ESPN while you wait. Say me and the boys are going out for a drink at the Time Out afterwards. Why don’t you join us? And… fuck it, here are the keys to my house.”

It seems like these are all at the terminal stations. That might mean I’m missing Daly City Maintenance Facility. First one who gets me a snap of it’s badge gets a high five.

Update: Heyo!

Poems For Sale!

This guy was selling poems at 16th Street BART last night:


The sign inside his typewriter case said “Pick a subject and price then get a poem.”


I’m pretty sure I tried this one as a young lass, with no luck (newsflash: my poems were shitty).  Judging by the crowd surrounding this young poet, he’s doing much better than I ever did.

What do you suppose the most popular poem topic was?  Probably healthcare.