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October 10, 2011 6:38 AM   Subscribe

The Flat Streets of San Francisco Photographs by Dan Ng.
posted by grouse (36 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Flat Streets of San Francisco

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These are actually pretty neat.
posted by zamboni at 6:42 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:44 AM on October 10, 2011


Awesome, and yet sort of seasickness-inducing.

Also, maybe the post could have provided fair warning about the (not) flat women of the Internet plastering the margins...
posted by obscurator at 6:50 AM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's jut me but the impression I get from most of these is just "San Francisco hill photos taken at a weird angle" rather than "flat streets with weird slanty buildings. I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just funny how my brain sorts out the angles.
posted by ghharr at 6:52 AM on October 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, maybe the post could have provided fair warning about the (not) flat women of the Internet plastering the margins...

I had Adblock Plus enabled, so I didn't see them.

posted by grouse at 6:56 AM on October 10, 2011


Precariously Perched Porta-Potty Presents Pushing Possibility, Probable Poop Problem
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:56 AM on October 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Those were pretty cool.

Post should be tagged as slightly nsfw, because of the content of a lot of the links on the page.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:03 AM on October 10, 2011


The photographs are quite interesting, but I am incredibly put off by the advertising on the right column and between the article and comments: grotesque imagery, and objectification of female attributes in crude pictures that seem crafted to "capture" the male eye, in a way that reminds me of the Evony advertisements from a few years back.

I don't mean to sound puritanical here: I'm a thirty-year-old bachelor with... various circumstances that preclude the possibility of romance, so occasionally I will search for online porn. When I visit this page, it just feels like porn is searching for me.
posted by The Confessor at 7:03 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meh. Try giving Lubbock some hills.
posted by punkfloyd at 7:05 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Precariously Perched Porta-Potty Presents Pushing Possibility, Probable Poop Problem Excellent use of ashiteration.
posted by punkfloyd at 7:06 AM on October 10, 2011


Hm, then it's a 'caveat surfer' on my part...anyway, everything's MUCH flatter with AdBlock!
posted by obscurator at 7:06 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whimsical. Cute! I enjoyed it.
posted by notsnot at 7:23 AM on October 10, 2011


As long as I have lived in Japan, I think I have honed the ability to block out all the peripheral ugliness and focus on one subject at a time (like a tiny zen garden in the midst of a crumbling concrete jungle) and I didn't actually process all the practically-porn imagery on that page until after I had viewed/enjoyed the photos.

Growing up in SF, I lived at a number of locations where I felt like my calf muscles were constantly being stretched...these photos made me feel a twinge somewhere between that and sheer nostalgic.
posted by squasha at 7:28 AM on October 10, 2011


gah. nostalgia, even.
posted by squasha at 7:29 AM on October 10, 2011


I gave you love
You gave me asthma
What would the wife say to that?
Child appropriate fail
posted by mrgrimm at 7:49 AM on October 10, 2011


Beware! Definite NSFW images surrounding the cool stuff!
posted by timshel at 7:52 AM on October 10, 2011


These are pretty cool... now I want to try the same thing in Pittsburgh, PA, which has some of the weirdest hillside homes--and steepest streets--anywhere.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:05 AM on October 10, 2011


The only ad that wasn't a "bosomy lady" is one about Steve Jobs.

Parking seems like it would be pretty harrowing on these streets, no? I'd be worried about a well-placed kickball knocking that SUV over.
posted by modernserf at 8:09 AM on October 10, 2011


You could not pay me enough to take my chances in that plank-supported porta-potty.
posted by invitapriore at 8:19 AM on October 10, 2011


parking *was* harrowing...but you also don't see a lot of kickball being played on the steepest streets...ball out-of-bound meant ball out-of-the-neighborhood!

I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't even bother learning how to drive a manual transmission....
posted by squasha at 8:25 AM on October 10, 2011


Heh. I learned how to drive on those streets in a manual transmission. Talk about harrowing. (But it made me a really good driver!)
posted by trip and a half at 8:29 AM on October 10, 2011


Parking seems like it would be pretty harrowing on these streets, no?

You get very skilled in handbrake use and timing. Back up, put on brake, shift into first, slowly let out clutch pedal and once you feel the gear catch, let the brake off slowly.

On many of the craziest streets, you don't park parallel, but perpendicular to the curb.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:29 AM on October 10, 2011


Oh yeah, manual transmission! Really, I think it's easier to drive in hilly places with a manual. It's definitely more fun- for awhile I had to drive a manual for gardening work in SF. The added challenge when the bed was piled high with debris and I had to only park with side mirrors was extra exciting.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:35 AM on October 10, 2011


C'mon. She's just tilting the camera. ?!?!

... I can't be the only one who was hoping to find a photo-tribute to the actual flat streets of San Francisco, can I? So here goes...

Here's to Valencia; here's to Mission; here's to Capp, Harrison, and Lapidge.

Here's to the Broadway Tunnel; here's to the Embarcadero; here's to Market, Montgomery, and Spear.

Here's to Florida; here's to Alabama; here's to Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Indiana.

Here's to Clarion; here's to Balmy; here's to Lexington, Bartlett, and Shotwell.

Here's to Irving; here's to Carl; here's to Hugo, Frederick, and Howard.

And here's to the greatest San Francisco flat road of all: Tunnel Avenue.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:38 AM on October 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


mrgrimm: that's what I was thinking. (As an East Bay person without a car, I end up spending most of the time I spend in the city in flat parts, just because they're closer to BART.) Thanks for putting that together.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:43 AM on October 10, 2011



Precariously Perched Porta-Potty Presents Pushing Possibility, Probable Poop Problem


But at least now we're all up to speed on preventing Poop Splash.
posted by xedrik at 9:06 AM on October 10, 2011


It's been done before.
posted by keep_evolving at 9:29 AM on October 10, 2011


.. I can't be the only one who was hoping to find a photo-tribute to the actual flat streets of San Francisco, can I? So here goes...

Don't large parts of Sunset Blvd! Not to mention many of the avenues south of it.

And the Great Highway... well, until you get to that one hill up to Cliff House where they held street luge.
posted by like_neon at 9:57 AM on October 10, 2011


Don't large parts of Sunset Blvd!

I couldn't have said it better myself.

(I actually meant to include more of the Sunset, even though it's pretty rolling all in all. I was also going to stick in a Paris, London, Lisbon, and Madrid bit, but nobody takes good pictures out there. :P)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:23 AM on October 10, 2011


The first link is just blogspam wrapping the photos in the second link. Can we remove the first link? The second link, the one to http://www.pbase.com/dang_57/the_streets_of_san_francisco_but_flat appears to be canonical.
posted by macrael at 11:09 AM on October 10, 2011


I used to be a manual transmission forever kind of guy, but I moved to the top of a 17% grade hill in SF (with a stop sign!) and even though I don't drive that often, I'm seriously considering getting an automatic.
posted by aspo at 11:13 AM on October 10, 2011


What is preventing this from transition from interesting to belonging in a gallery, are all the clues that this is just a tilted camera rather than some strange place that decided to build everything at an angle.

He starts to get it with the one posed photo he has of a guy standing at an angle. But mostly there are a lot of sloppy little technical issues that take you out of the illusion, like the just off perpendicular angles in z-space, or how he is still subconsciously letting gravity tell him what down is, resulting in a bunch of photos that still aren't flat.
posted by danny the boy at 12:02 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to be a manual transmission forever kind of guy, but I moved to the top of a 17% grade hill in SF (with a stop sign!)

One of the best tests is Gough St. between Jackson and Washington. There's a light at Washington and you're all "c'mon, c'mon, hurry, HURRY!" and then you're stuck on a 15-20 degree upslope with another car 6 inches behind you.

My wife snapped her clutch cable right at the top, barely making it over. (Then, of course, we had to listen to a jackass in a big, white truck yell "fucking bitch" and "whore" out his window just because her car failed and she slowed down traffic for a few minutes. :()

I'm sure glad we made it over that hill though.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:34 PM on October 10, 2011


The best one is the tram - and it seems to be the earliest too. So I'm thinking he took that one, and went, 'That's amazing!' set himself a little mission that didnt quite measure up to the initial inspiration. Good on him though and I might give it a go next time Im in Wellington.
posted by meech at 12:55 PM on October 10, 2011


Not entirely related, but the slanty buildings kind of reminded me of an optical illusion that one experiences on the 190' escalator at the Atlanta train station.

The tiles surrounding the escalator run parallel with it, as opposed to being level with the ground. So eventually, you begin to feel that you are moving along a flat trajectory, as opposed to up or down a steep incline. Then suddenly you pass someone going the other way, and they appear to be leaning WAY forward or backward, even though they're standing perfectly upright.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:00 PM on October 10, 2011


Better video of the illusion
posted by ShutterBun at 9:01 PM on October 10, 2011


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