I’ve never been to San Francisco, but I’ve often wanted to visit because it looks so beautiful, plus I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Armistead Maupin and his Tales of the City series of books that take place there.
But… have you seen this video?
I’ve gotten trapped into watching this whole thing many times in the last few years after I found it initially. It is a trip down Market Street. It was apparently originally thought to have been filmed in 1905, but was really filmed four days before the big San Francisco earthquake in 1906.
It isn’t paranormal at all, but it is so haunting to watch for several reasons. First off, who isn’t impressed with footage from 1906? You can learn so much about history just from the video. For instance, these people were reckless and not afraid of getting run over or trampled by a horse! Apparently there weren’t any traffic laws. I am fascinated by the children chasing the cars down the street or running ahead of the camera. I wonder how many kids in 1906 would have even been able to identify a video camera and knew what it was? The heavy coats and dresses are interesting to me, considering it was filmed on April 14th (my birthday… it’s a stretch… but it’s another thing that makes it haunting). Also, maybe it’s just me… but it is strange to see a video from so long ago that shows people strolling, walking, and strutting just like we do today! You mean people didn’t walk differently 100 years ago? 🙂 I wonder if these people imagined we’d be watching and learning from them over 100 years later?
Secondly, imagining the destruction and lost life that happened just four days after the hustle and bustle of a normal day in San Francisco is truly haunting. According to USGS, it is estimated that 3,000 lives were lost and 28,000 buildings were destroyed.
I’m not sure if the same people who filmed the above video filmed the footage after the destruction, but it seems genius that it is filmed in the same manner. Both videos have been paired next to each other so that you can compare.
And lastly, a trip down the same street in 2005. The same hustle and bustle… only different. To me, the neatest things about this version are the cyclists and passersby that seem fascinated with the filming, just like in the original footage. And even cooler, it finishes off with the same historical building at the end of the street that apparently survived. I don’t know enough about San Francisco to tell you anything else about it… but it’s cool.
Will people watch and learn from us in 100 years?