Wednesday, March 05, 2014

2014 San Francisco History Expo

Over the weekend, a friend & I spent an afternoon at the San Francisco History Expo, a gathering of local history buffs & organizations. It's held, appropriately, in the Gold Rush-era Old Mint building, where the exhibitors occupied rooms on 2 floors. There seem to be history societies for every neighborhood, profession & affinity group in the city. I got the impression that historians must rely on the kind of people who never throw anything away.

A member of the Yerba Buena Lodge of the Odd Fellows told me ghost stories about the Legion of Honor, which was built atop a burial site. A local tour guide informed me that the Presidio doesn't use any Hetch Hetchy water but instead has it's water supplied by a creek. From the author of a food history of San Francisco, I learned that the Chronicle ran a review of a sushi restaurant in 1906. Fortunately the food critic enjoyed the experience. I had fun looking up the entry for my dad in a 1972 directory, which impressively listed him as "dining rm capt Fairmont Hotel."

Historical geographer Gray Brechin delivered a heart-felt slide show talk about local WPA projects, which ranged from street improvements to a diorama in the Academy of Sciences, as well as the public art. I was amazed to learn of a 37-foot square 3D model of San Francisco, constructed in 1940 & meant for City Hall. Mr. Brechin claimed that every building in the city was represented. Seeing the breadth of jobs the feds once offered to the poor & underemployed made my expo companion & I depressed afterward.

Coffee was available in a vault downstairs from Travelin' Joe's coffee cart. It was definitely the most happening place in the expo, & the barista delivered excellent old school patter as he made our drinks. Sadly, there wasn't enough electricity available for his waffle iron.

§ 2014 San Francisco History Expo

Saturday March 1, 2014 - 11am to 5pm
Sunday March 2, 2014 - 11am to 4pm

The Old Mint
88 Fifth Street

No comments: