Friday, 11 November 2022

You Seen The Set, Part Seven: Reno (and Bonus Content!)....

The Dynamic Duo!

"Holy Holidays, Batman!" While a spirited springtime jaunt to San Francisco was undeniably the main attraction of Agent Rob's recent sojourn Stateside, there was no denying that Reno itself had a few sneaky surprises in store....

Reno, er, "The Biggest Little City In The World", um....

"And the skies always had little fluffy clouds...."

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na... Nah, really, honest!

Surprise number one had to be the National Automobile Museum which, completely unbeknownst to Rob beforehand, houses a startling collection of authentic fillum and TV cars. Top of this (far from scrap) heap has to be an immaculate 1960s Batmobile. "Holy Polish Job, Batman"....



In addition to this the museum also has an equally primo 1960s JokermobileGreen Hornet's 'Black Beauty' (as actually driven by some guy called Bruce Lee, no less), Knight Rider's K.I.T.T. (for short, or Knight Industries Two Thousand for, er, long), 2005's Herbie Volkswagen Beetle and Back To The Future's DeLorean time machine. "Run for your life, Marty!"....

The Jokermobile

'Black Beauty'

K.I.T.T.

Herbie (and here Rob goes bananas)....

DMC DeLorean


A quick drive over from Reno to Lake Tahoe (which straddles the California and Nevada state border like a bow-legged hoss) and, Hi-Yo Silver! - wrong intellectual property, Rob knows! - it turns out you're in baked and boiling Bonanza (ranch) TV country....

Obligatory photo of generic sun beaten boulders....

BONUS TRACKS!

Grateful Dead (and company)....

Rewinding just a little, a truly Braw trip to SF wouldn't be complete without hitting the 60s hippie trail and venturing far out, er, in the direction of the Golden Gate Park, making sure to keep on truckin' through the Haight-Ashbury intersection and turning on, tuning in and dropping out at the Grateful Dead's old communal residence, gawping at the colossal collection of vinyl and cds in Amoeba Music, before finally swinging your sizeable pants by the Fillmore West concert venue...

710 Ashbury Street

Haight-Ashbury

It's (un)fair to say that Haight-Ashbury was something of a disappointment. No Dark Star drifting from first floor windows to soundtrack this psychedelic pilgrimage, no great clouds of dope smoke obscuring reality, no real sense of urgent political purpose or idealistic 'movement', just Agent Rob wearing (metaphorical) rose-tinted glasses and enduring the stark reality - the whiffs of patchouli oil/incense while eyeing the (white) bums going about their (permanently closed for) business - wondering just what exactly he was expecting to find (himself?) 60 years post-zenith. To completely compound the cliche Amoeba Music didn't even have a copy of American Beauty in stock....


Indeed the admittedly tasty VeganBurg lunch there was to reveal that they are a 'catering partner' of ultimate mainstream music pop supremo Taylor Swift , making Ben & Jerry's - who occupy the 'store' bang on the intersection - very own Cherry Garcia ice cream simply melt into the counter-cultural flotsam....

Fillmore (West)


"Uh, what's up, docs...?"

Amoeba Music

Madchester in the (hotel lobby) area!

The "Painted Ladies", Alamo Square

If you fancy a 'Full House' of SF TV sights then you could always visit the "Painted Ladies" as seen in the 80s-90s sitcom, er, Full House (as well as viewed in reality at Alamo Square)....

Dashiell "The Maltese Falcon" Hammett....

San "Charles Manson" Quentin....

Finally, driving over the Golden Gate Bridge and on through Marin County and what can one spy from the speeding window of a car but San Quentin (State Prison) which famously 'housed' Charles Manson on one occasion and 'hosted' Johnny Cash on two.... 

Peace (Over and) Out....

Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues (Live at San Quentin State Prison, February 1969)

Friday, 9 September 2022

You Seen The Set, Part Six: San Francisco....

"...you've gotta ask yourself one question..."

"Do I feel lucky?" Indeed Agent Rob certainly does, being one of the fortunate few who managed to Escape From UK earlier this year for a bit of glorious sightseeing stateside, managing to swipe a few days on the streets of San Francisco, pounding the very same sidewalks that Harry Callahan and Frank Bullitt called their own to bring you yet another 'Summer Blogbuster' in the vein of JAWS, Indiana Jones and, er, Chungking Express....

Greyhoundog day.... Yes please!

It seems only fair to start at the beginning with the bus trip from Reno HQ to San Francisco on a Greyhound bus - I mean, c'mon, why the cliche not? - a journey that just so happened to mosey on through Sacramento and Philip K Dick's old SF stomping ground of Berkeley, California then (over) Oakland (Bay Bridge) giving a first glorious glimpse of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge....

"I am the law!" (er, wrong character....)

Setting up camp in Bush Street (around about Chinatown) proved to be the perfect location to simply get out and wander about this very walkable city (and very tasty too, with Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese slap-ups around the chops). But like Harry and Frank themselves this is gonna be a blog of few words - we all know a picture is worth a thousand and, in Agent Rob's decidedly lower (quality) case, probably much much more than that - so without further ado let's hit those dirty roads....

San Francisco City Hall

First up we have San Francisco City Hall (at 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place) and the surrounding Civic Center Plaza. Maybe best to avoid the decidedly dodgy UN Plaza / Market Street / Tenderloin area to the East, mind - at first Rob thought the nearby assembled throng was tourists before realising it's a key congregation site (for sore eyes) of the city's numerous homeless....

Eh, that was then....

....like this is now....



Civic Centre Plaza (1971 style)

Civic Centre Plaza (minus water feature)


Still hangin' in a Sunshine State....

Saints Peter and Paul Church


Next stop is Saints Peter and Paul Church (at 666 Filbert Street / Washington Square off Columbus Avenue) where that scallywag Scorpio took aim at a Catholic Priest....

Bank of America Building


Our final stop is in fact Harry's first, the Bank of America Building (at 555 California Street) which he scales to get a better view of the swimming pool where Scorpio's first victim is bob bob bobbing along....

Mt. Davidson Memorial Cross

Those with more time on their feet may wish to visit the Mt. Davidson Memorial Cross (at 2-280 Dalewood Way / Myra Way) to complete their stroll around the most easily spotted Dirty Harry landmarks....

"You couldnae tell us the way to San Jose, mate?"

With so much attention lavished on old Harry it was inevitable that young Frank's locations would inevitably suffer (from a lack of proper pre-research and later inability to match up photos to actual street names). Still, a completely comprehensive guide is here and there's no doubt Rob got the gist of the famous car chase, making sure to race around Mason StreetTaylor Street, Chestnut Street - the sign of which definitely appears in The Enforcer, Detective Callahan's third outing,  - Filbert Street and Columbus Avenue....

Grace Cathedral Episcopal Church, 1051 Taylor Street

That'll definitely be, er, Chestnut Street, um, at Columbus Avenue

 Chestnut Street, again at Columbus Avenue (and Taylor Street)




Filbert Street  (towards Colt Tower)

Filbert Street  (towards Colt Tower) 1968

Taylor Street

Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, 1 Nob Hill, 1968

Top of the Mark (Hopkins Hotel)

Taylor Street, er, again....

Mason Street?

Mason Street?

Taylor Street, er, again again....


Of course, the Clint connections just keep on coming, with Alcatraz Island having pride(?) of place to your right in San Francisco Bay. (Those with suitably stern stomachs might fancy a trip doon the watter for a visit.) Then again, over to your left is the Golden Gate Bridge, guest star of far too many films to mention (so Rob'll settle for recent firm film fave Rise of the Planet of the Apes)....


Alcatraz

Murky Harry

Golden Gate Bridge

Unfinished monkey business....

Woah! It's "The Big One"!

Well, here's hoping this blog made your day, as there we have it (for now, as there'll no doubt be some subtle tweaks in the coming weeks) until the planned/under wraps sequel arrives on the small screen worldwide early November. So what are you waiting for, bookmark your tickets now....

Ooh, Braw Books gets political....

Grateful Dead - Ripple (Official Music Video)