Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Memories of Coit Tower and North Beach

Rumor has it that Coit Tower is shaped like a fire nozzle. If you look at the Golden Gate Bridge Tower in the center of the photo and then just a bit to the right you can see it in the skyscape.

Although it was built to honor the firefighters of San Francisco it was not purposely designed to look like a fire nozzle. That, upon researching, seems merely a coincidence.

I can no longer ride across this bridge without
trying to get these shots. I am sorry!

I am compelled, I just have to do it.

I realized we did not have any readily available photos of Coit Tower when I tried to find one to put in the post about the little book, Good Night San Francisco. (The red is a link.) So that void needed filling, right?

This vantage point shows how Coit Tower rests proudly on Telegraph Hill in the City. Telegraph Hill is where you will find some of the most expensive real estate in the country, if not the world.

Julius' Castle's fantastic cuisine
and breathtaking views~
await patiently
somewhere in our future
to be experienced.

Coit Tower is a 210-foot tall. It is designed in the art deco fashion. The tower, located in the city's Pioneer Park, was built in 1933 at the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the city of San Francisco. Coit bequeathed one-third of her estate to the city "to be expended in an appropriate manner for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city which I have always loved."

It is built of reinforced concrete and there are 26 artists' work displayed on numerous murals on the inside. According to wiki, "The tower was not designed to resemble a fire hose nozzle,[2] despite Coit's affinity with the San Francisco firefighters of the day, in particular with Knickerbocker Engine Company Number 5."

She was a fire chaser and often could be seen lending a hand during the putting out of fires. She was a very eccentric woman, an avid gambler which required her to don men's clothing to get into the establishments of the day. She was also said to have shaved her head for better fitting wigs. There is another sculpture located in the City of three firemen rescuing and carrying a draping woman during a fire, that was donated by her.

Parking is limited at the top of Telegraph Hill and parking can be a trick, but it is worth the wait in line should there be one. Sometimes you will see a flashing light at the bottom indicating the lot is full. Sometimes when that happens it isn't really full. Take a chance!

Jim took this beautiful shot of this
California Poppy for me at the top.
He knows I love them.
When they are in bloom,

nice warmish weather has arrived.

Looking north west over the many rooftops to the Gate

Looking due north to the bay and all the sail boats.

Looking up at the base of the tower.

The beautiful Eucalyptus trees of the Hill
with an antiqued effect.

Just a little house up there on
Telegraph Hill just below the Tower

Looking east toward Yerba Buena and
Treasure Island near the tower

It is right here in the arch way
of the walkway
around Coit Tower
that Jim asked me to marry him!

We became engaged on my 20th birthday.

We just realized this week that at that moment if we would have walked down a few steps and looked across the bay to the East there sat the Oakland Temple in plain sight in the Oakland Hills. He could have picked the west side or the south side but his choice was the east side. Little did we know then that we would one day join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That is where we would be sealed several years after our marriage, with our three children surrounding us at the sacred alter. That event changed our lives even more than this one!

Established as a Family~ June 15, 1968
Sealed in the Temple~June 23, 1979

So now you know a little more about
why Coit Tower is special to us.

Thinking back on why it was the chosen spot to propose, I think it came out of Jim's history of going to North Beach when was young with his family. North Beach has always been Little Italy in San Francisco. It is at the foot of Coit Tower. When we got together, I went there with them too. Especially Jim's Grandmother, who was raised in North Beach so this was the logical place for her to go to get Italian foods that you could not find out in the burbs.

We would go over there to get baklava, a dried fish that Italians love. It was the worst smelling stuff on the planet and when you would bring it home they would wrap it very tightly in newspaper to protect your car (and passengers) and then you stored it in the garage until ready to be used. I can't remember ever actually eating it. I probably wouldn't try it because of the pungent smell, which I will never forget or regret! Mamma Mia! We would also often visit Mateo's the family jeweler from way back.

In our dating years our favorite
restaurant was called the Tivoli.

It is still there in North Beach but has changed now to a bar and grill type of establishment. In its hay day it was a place where you could get the best Italian food, served in little individual booths with curtains to make them completely private. Now I ask you, how romantic is that? No wonder we went there often and since Coit Tower was right up the hill~it just naturally became our place. Such fun to look back and remember just how very long ago that was. Nostalgia, don't you just love it?


Julie Harward said...

Beautiful place and how sweet to hear about where he asked you to marry him and to see a wedding picture..loved that! :D

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bonnie,
Loved your trip and your story about Coit Tower. How Romantic and yes, nostalgia is a wonderful gift!!
Love the sounds of that Tivoli restaurant, private booths, how cool, course, today people are so crazy no telling what would go on in there!
Since we have lost all decorum it
seems!! lol
All such beautiful pictures, enjoyed them very much, and your wedding picture is so cute. That is so funny that we both posted them the same day. fun!!
Like the old saying goes "great minds run in the same circles"!!

and yes, you are right that is exactly what I have been thinking about, I can't believe we are just
9 days away, and the excitement is building, I have to say.
I am praying for a no bloat day for all the ladies involved, so we can
all look good in our dresses!! lol
Dee's dress finally came in but it was tight on her so she is so hoping she had just consumed to much salt over the weekend.
Next week we are eating only chicken or fish the latter part of the week, and lots more veggies and fruits, and tons of water!!
That is the plan anyway!! lol

Sounds like you and Jim had a great day out reminiscing. Such fun!!

So good to hear from you as always,
Love ya hon, Nellie

Sister Susie said...

I always like your travels and the pictures you take. It's like I go on your same trip through your pictures!
Hugs and love,

Marie said...

Bonnie, I always love visiting these places through your camera's eye. You take such wonderful photos. I never knew that you and Jim were converts. I always thought you had been brought up in the church. I am pleasantly surprised! You are a lovely couple. Todd and I have never seen a family baptised into the church. Lots of singletons, but never a whole family. What a special blessing that must be. I send lots of love and many hugs, on this dry and cool morning. We need some rain! xxoo