Vertigo Celebrates 60 Years!

Vertigo Movie Poster

The Making of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958)

CAST

James Stewart
Kim Novak
Barbara Bel Geddes
Henry Jones
(Click their name if you would like to know more!)

Vertigo is one of Alfred Hitchcock's most powerful, deep, and stunningly beautiful films. At the time of the film's release, it was not a box-office hit, but has since been regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. It is a film noir that functions on multiple levels and was filmed mostly in beautiful San Francisco. The work is a mesmerizing romantic suspense/thriller about a dance with death, romantic delusion and an extreme case of acrophobia.

If you are a Hitchcock Vertigo fan, you will enjoy these fun facts about the film:

1. ALFRED HITCHCOCK BLAMED JIMMY STEWART FOR VERTIGO’S FAILURE.

Marred by mixed reviews, the $2.5 million Vertigo did comparatively less than Hitchcock’s previous movies, and was widely a recognized failure. Frustrated with its reception, Hitchcock partly blamed star Jimmy Stewart’s aging appearance. At the time of filming, Stewart—who had starred in Hitchcock’s three previous films—was 50 years old which, according to the director, was too old to convincingly play then-25-year-old Kim Novak’s love interest.

2. EDITH HEAD USED COLOR TO HIGHLIGHT THE CHARACTERS’ STATE OF MIND.

When having costume disagreements with Kim Novak about her famous gray suit, Head “explained to her that Hitch paints a picture in his films, that color is as important to him as any artist”. After a discussion with the director when Head wouldn’t relent, Novak finally understood their creative choices, “I thought, ‘He knows my point of view, he must see a reason why that would work. He wants me to feel that discomfort as Madeleine. And, of course, she should feel that way because she’s actually Judy, playing the part of somebody, so that edge of discomfort will help me.’”

3. KIM NOVAK WAS ALREADY BEING CONSIDERED TO REPLACE VERA MILES, HITCHCOCK’S FIRST-CHOICE LEADING LADY, BEFORE MILES DROPPED OUT DUE TO A PREGNANCY.

According to Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic, Hitchcock began to have doubts about Miles’s ability to be a breakout star when she showed signs of reluctance to be shaped by the director. Thus, Hitchcock sought a possible substitute. Author Dan Aulier writes, “A few weeks before Miles reported to Stage 5 at Paramount for hair, costume, and makeup tests, Hitchcock screened The Eddy Duchin Story, a biopic featuring an actress [Kim Novak] who was being molded by one of Hitchcock's crosstown rivals [Harry Cohn].”

4. HITCHCOCK EXPLORED NECROPHILIA WHILE SHOOTING THE FILM.

Hitchcock elaborated on the most perverse scene of Vertigo: the part in which Novak’s Judy dresses up as the dead woman with whom Stewart’s Scottie is obsessed. “I indulged in a form of necrophilia,”  In the scene, Scottie can’t bring himself to have sex with Judy until every detail matches his former lover, Madeleine.

5. AN UNCREDITED CAMERAMAN CAME UP WITH THE FAMOUS "VERTIGO EFFECT."

According to associate producer Herbert Coleman, it wasn’t Hitchcock who came up with the film’s famous camera technique (which essentially involves zooming forward while pulling the camera backward); rather, it was an uncredited second unit cameraman, Irwin Roberts. “He didn’t get screen credit on Vertigo because they gave the screen credit to another close friend, [Wallace Kelley] who did all the process work on the stage,”.

6. THE PRODUCTION CODE ADMINISTRATION POLICED THE MORALS OF THE FILM’S CHARACTERS.

Considering this was the 1950s, any kind of sexual activity was scrutinized. According to Auiler’s book on the making of Vertigo, the Production Code Administration, under the leadership of Geoffrey Shurlock, wanted to eliminate several scenes that contained illicit sex. This included, but was not limited to, discussions between Scottie and Midge (Barbara Bel Geddes) about her bra and her love life, and any underwear pictured during Madeleine’s suicide attempt.

7. THE FILM WENT THROUGH SEVERAL TITLE OPTIONS.

While the source novel’s literal translation was From Among the Dead, which is the title under which the film was cast and shot, it didn’t stick. A few Paramount execs weighed in with their suggestions, which included A Matter of FactThe Mad CarlottaFace in the Shadow, and Possessed by a Stranger.

8. A MUSICIANS GUILD STRIKE AFFECTED THE FINAL CUT.

In 1958, the same year Vertigo was in post-production, Hollywood's musical status quo changed drastically. Studios were dissolving their in-house music departments, so the industry’s composers, orchestra members, and musicians had to start working freelance or were out of jobs. According to a 1996 interview with Hitchcock’s daughter, Patricia, the union had a lot of things working against them: a leader who didn't look out for them, Hollywood using cheaper old recordings from Europe, and a tense intra-union split amongst members.

“Bernard Herrmann didn’t conduct himself,” said Patricia. “It couldn’t be done in Hollywood, so it was taken to London with Muir Mathieson conducting, and they did about a day and a half there, then the London orchestra went out in sympathy with the Los Angeles musicians. And the entire unit had to move to Vienna.” During the film’s restoration in the 1990s, each country’s recording ultimately aged differently, leaving the folks at Universal to remaster its sound.

9. ALFRED HITCHCOCK CHANGED THE SETTING FROM PARIS TO SAN FRANCISCO.

The French source novel, D'entre les Morts, was set in Paris, but Hitchcock believed that San Francisco was more interesting. With the city's vertiginous streets and hilly landscape, the location perfectly matched the film’s themes. In a city where there were such extreme physical highs and lows, awful for anyone with acrophobia, Scottie’s vertigo became a character in and of itself.

10. DESPITE HITCHCOCK’S TASKMASTER REPUTATION, KIM NOVAK GOT ALONG WITH HER DIRECTOR.

Happy to be on loan from Columbia, the Harry Cohn-run studio under which Novak was contracted, Novak reveled in her experience with Hitchcock. “I didn’t find him controlling whatsoever,” she told The Telegraph“I found him a joy.” She elaborated saying, “[Hitchcock] didn’t make me feel ‘less than.’ He never said, ‘You’re not doing it right…’  What I would do after a take is to look in Jimmy Stewart’s eyes … I used Jimmy to give me what I needed to keep going and to know that I was on the right path with it … So, Hitchcock wouldn’t say anything about my work in the movie but, on the other hand, he wouldn’t complain, either.”

San Francisco Movie Locations

MY FIRST LOOK: Salesforce Park!

A green roof, amazing views and a place to chill!

It was a cold and foggy day, but that didn't stand in the way of the excitement I had for my tour of Salesforce Park. This was my first up close and personal viewing after watching the monster project for the past several years. 

The 5.4-acre rooftop park stretching four city blocks features many activities for everyone in this neighborhood. The year-round open public space features an outdoor amphitheater, beautiful well thought out gardens with more than 600 trees, 16,000 plants, trails, open grass areas, children's play space, a (future) restaurant and a gondola for the public. There will also be free exercise classes, concerts, WIFI, DIY crafts and dance parties. 

One of my favorite features was the 1200 ft long "Bus Jet Fountain" designed by Ned Kahn. When a bus moves through the terminal, shooting jets of water follow the buses movement in the park above. I am not exactly sure how it works, but it was definitely working while we were all there and a couple of people had to move out of the way!

 Bus Jet Fountain" designed by Ned Kahn

Bus Jet Fountain" designed by Ned Kahn

The amount of construction and traffic has been overwhelming since this project started. Many thought it would never be complete, but I have to say, this should be a welcome sight to everyone who lives in the Rincon Hill, South Beach, Yerba Buena and South of Market neighborhoods.

The opening party is on August 11 from noon - 4:00 pm. There will be food trucks, live music, shopping and of course.... the views!

What's in a name?

Chinatown.jpg

San Francisco neighborhoods and how they got their names. 

With the help of my favorite daily read Curbed San Francisco, I have compiled their list for everyone on my list to enjoy! 

Alamo Square: Alamo Square Park began as a mere watering hole on a horse trail, marked by a standout poplar tree. San Francisco Mayor James Van Ness created both the park and its name in 1857, according to the San Francisco Parks Alliance. “Alamo” means “poplar” in Spanish.

Ashbury Heights: According to the Library of Congress, nearby Ashbury Street is named for Munroe Ashbury, former member of the Board of Supervisors.

Balboa Park: The park itself is probably named after early 16th century Spanish explorer Vasco Nuñez de Balboa—not to be confused with the park of the same name in San Diego. (Which was definitely named after Vasco Nuñez de Balboa).

Bayview: Naturally, the name comes by way of the proximity to the bay, although the San Francisco Travel Association credits the long lost Bay View Racetrack with pioneering the moniker.

Bernal Heights: Wealthy rancher José Cornelio Bernal once owned a quarter of present-day San Francisco, conferred on him via a land grant from Mexico in 1839. According to a San Francisco Chronicle obituary, some portion of the land stayed in the family until 1926 and the death of Bernal’s grandson of the same name.

The Castro: Several-times governor of various parts of California, General Jose Castroseems to have had a somewhat luckless life, which included losing California to John Sloat and John Fremont with hardly any opposition and then later being assassinated by bandits.

Chinatown: The city experimented with a few variations on the theme in the 1850s before “Chinatown” eventually stuck. Once upon a time, Sacramento Street was known as China Street.

Civic Center: Present-day Civic Center resulted from an $8.8 million bond ($227 million in modern currency) approved by San Francisco voters in 1912, after the 1906 earthquake devastated the previous Civic Center.

Clarendon Heights: Named after nearby Clarendon Avenue, but from where that name derived seems a mystery.

Cole Valley: The SF Streets database credits 19th century San Francisco doctor Francisco Cole as the most likely namesake for the street and surrounding area.

Corona Heights: Corona Heights Park started off as a quarry dubbed Rock Hill. According to SF Parks Alliance, the city conferred the present name on it when buying land for park space in 1941.

Cow Hollow: Yes, once upon a time most of present day Cow Hollow was dairy farms—and, naturally, there were cows.

Crocker-Amazon: The Crocker part possibly comes from local railroad tycoon Charles Crocker, who once owned most of this land. Amazon Street may have gotten its name from the Amazon women of Greek myth, whom 16th century Spanish novelist Montalvorecalled in his novel about a far-off island nation ruled by warrior women and dubbed “California,” which is from where the name first came.

Diamond Heights: The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency picked the sparkling name when it created the neighborhood from scratch in the 1950s. If there was any particular reason for the diamond moniker—except for the chicness factor—it’s not evident.

Dogpatch: Similarly, Dogpatch is proverbial for the nonsensicality of its mysterious name. Other than general speculation that there must once have been a noteworthy number of dogs around, there’s little use in arguing about this one. Another speculation is that the name was derived from barflies who used to frequent an area watering hole.

Dolores Heights: One day in 1776, a chaplain accompanying Spanish explorer Juan Batista de Anza’s expedition wrote in his diary, “We arrived at a beautiful creek, which because it was Friday of Sorrows, we called the Arroyo de Los Dolores.” Although it’s no longer clear where Dolores Creek once was, the name has endured long after it vanished.

Duboce Triangle: Spanish-American war veteran Victor Duboce was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1899 but served less than a year before dying. Almost immediately after his death, neighbors began stumping to name a park after him, so great was his reputation at the time.

Embarcadero: No mystery here: the Spanish word “embarcar” means simply “to embark.”

Excelsior: The Excelsior Homestead dates to at least 1869 in surviving San Francisco records. Where that got its name in the first place is less clear, although the word itself is Latin and means (roughly) “ever upward.”

The Fillmore: Fillmore Street is named for Millard Fillmore, the former U.S. president who admitted California into the Union.

Forest Hill: The name says it all: When opened up for development in the early 1900s, it was mostly forestland.

Glen Park: Similarly, the “Glen” name is just a reference to the area’s valley geography.

The Haight: Banker Henry Haight came to San Francisco in 1850 and later served as governor. He is credited with founding the University of California.

Hayes Valley: San Francisco County Clerk Thomas Hayes owned and developed the land around this neighborhood in the 1860s.

Hunters Point: The three Hunter brothers bought this land from the aforementioned Bernal in the 19th century. Note that it’s never “Hunter’s Point”—just “Hunters Point” without the possessive.

Ingleside: According to the Western Neighborhoods Project, New York transplant Cornelius Stagg opened his Ingleside (“fireside”) Inn here in 1885. Which, alas, means we were this close to a neighborhood called “Staggstown,” but someone dropped the ball.

Jackson Square: As most people could guess, Jackson Street is named for Andrew Jackson, former U.S. president and headliner on the $20 bill.

Japantown: Originally “Nihonjin Machi,” San Francisco’s first Japanese enclave settled in what’s SoMa today. After the 1906 earthquake, survivors relocated near the present locale.

Jordan Park: Named after late 19th century landowner James Clark Jordan. Imagine if modern San Francisco tycoons got to name neighborhoods after themselves like that: Benioff Heights, Thiel Place, Mount Zuckerberg.

Laguna Honda: Yes, there was once a lagoon in this neighborhood, although it’s long since disappeared, along with the Gold Rush speculators who first built the Laguna Honda “almshouse” here.

Lake Merced: Another product of Spanish exploration and colonization, they dubbed the namesake lake “The Lake of Our Lady of Mercy” in either 1774 or 1775. (Accounts vary.)

Laurel Heights: In April of 1867, the Daily Alta California newspaper ran the following item: “Lone Mountain Cemetery has ceased to exist as articles of incorporation were filed yesterday by several prominent citizens by which a certain portion of Lone Mountain Cemetery has become legally into possession of the name of Laurel Hill Cemetery. The latter is a much prettier name, but it will be a long time before this generation will consent to the change.”

Little Hollywood: Disappointingly, SFGate says that the name stuck simply because folks in the early 20th century thought the homes here resembled those in Southern California.

Lone Mountain: It’s more of a hill than a mountain, of course, but apparently it stood out enough in the relatively flat surroundings to garner a nickname. Note that the aforementioned Lone Mountain Cemetery is probably the reason the name endured.

The Marina: There’s a marina here.

The Mission: There’s a California mission here.

Mission Bay: Modern Mission Bay doesn’t seem particularly close to the Mission, but much of the intervening neighborhoods didn’t exist at the time the name came up, and at one time the waters extended much further inland.

Mount Davidson: Adolph Sutro named the peak after George Davidson, who was a founding member of the Sierra Club. Despite the photographic evidence, he was not also a time traveling James Cromwell.

Nob Hill: People still argue about this one, but the most popular explanation is that “Nob” is a snarky elision of “nabob,” in reference to the wealthy tycoons who built their mansions here.

Noe Valley: Named for alcalde (mayor) of Yerba Buena Jose de Jesus Noe, who had so many great names it’s amazing they managed to pick just one.

North Beach: There hasn’t been a beach here in generations, of course. That’s infill for you.

NoPa: Neighbors usually resist when realtors try to create new neighborhood designations by sheer power of repetition, and many locals still cringe at the NoPa name. But Hoodline contends the name is actually a century old, so who knows.

Oceanview: A strange story, as this neighborhood was once called Lakeview, a reference to nearby Lake Geneva. But Lake Geneva no longer exists, so they changed the name to Oceanview, even though only a small part of the neighborhood affords a view of the ocean.

Pacific Heights: Note that Magellan conferred the name “Pacific” on the waters of the Western Hemisphere, meaning “peaceful.”

Polk Gulch: U.S. Pesident James K. Polk presided over the Mexican-American War, which, with the benefit of hindsight, probably wasn’t such a great thing. But it did mark the transfer of California to the United States.

Portola: Gaspar de Portola founded both San Diego and Monterey on his 18th century expedition north through California, which eventually terminated near the present day Golden Gate.

Potrero Hill: Turns out the “pasture hill” name is pretty literal, as former alcalde Don Francisco de Haro used the land granted to him to graze cattle. Lucky break that the neighborhood isn’t “Cow Hill.”

Presidio Heights: According to Gary Kamiya’s book Cool Gray City of Love, the original Spanish Presidio only survived a couple of years. Turns out adobe architecture was not the ticket for SF’s foggy climate.

The Richmond: Another one nobody can quite agree upon, the most often cited storyis that an Australian immigrant named the neighborhood after his native city, a suburb of Melbourne. Previously, all of the far western reaches were known as the Outside Lands.

Rincon Hill: “Rincon” means “corner” in Spanish. However, the geography that provoked the name to begin with no longer exists.

Russian Hill: Possibly the most oddball legacy of the lot, Gold Rush settlers discovered a cemetery atop this hill with Russian names inscribed, apparently the remains of unlucky sailors from the westward seas.

Sea Cliff: Although now one of the most wealthy SF neighborhoods, in the 19th century what would one day become Sea Cliff was mostly just a village for Chinese immigrant fisherman. “China Beach” could just as easily have become the name of the entire neighborhood rather than just the beach itself.

SoMa: For whatever it’s worth, SOMA magazine published a piece noting that editor-in-chief Ali Ghanbarian has long credited himself with making the “SoMa” portmanteau popular. Take from that what you will.

South Beach: The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency built South Beach Harbor in 1986, and as the premiums of the surrounding blocks rose they adopted the name to distinguish itself from nearby SoMa.

South Park: According to SF Recreation and Parks, San Francisco’s oldest park was “originally conceived as a London-style city garden.” Now, of course, it’s not even particularly far south, by the city’s present borders.

St. Francis Wood: Italian friar Saint Francis of Assissi, for whom the tony neighborhood is named, is also the namesake for San Francisco.

Sunnyside: German immigrant cum developer Behrend Joost, the “Father of Southwest San Francisco,” seemed to be fond of the Sunnyside moniker, naming two of his companies “Sunny Side” before granting the name to the neighborhood.

The Sunset: Once, this westernmost neighborhood was actually called “Carville,“ as early SF bohemians built homes out of decommissioned streetcars and other vehicles. The Sunset moniker was the brainchild of later developers casting around for a marketable name.

Telegraph Hill: Originally it was just “Loma Alta”—literally “high hill.” But apparently that was too obvious, so the telegraph moniker came by way of the old semaphore that long sat at the peak.

The Tenderloin: Named for the neighborhood in New York City, there’s a longstanding dispute over precisely what it means. Popular myth has it that beat cops made extra money for steak dinners working here, though whether they were eating off of hazard pay or bribes isn’t clear. The Tenderloin Museum, on the other hand, suggests that the name refers to the city’s “underbelly.”

Treasure Island: The island could hardly have less to do with the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, but even so here it is.

Twin Peaks: According SF Recreation and Parks, the Spanish originally dubbed Twin Peaks “Los Pechos de la Choca,” which translates into “the Breasts of the Maiden.” Just “Twin Peaks” is a little nondescript by comparison, but who can blame them?

Union Square: During the Civil War, rabble rousing minister Thomas Starr Kingwould harangue the masses here, calling for an end to slavery and victory for the Union. Maybe the fact that both of those occasions came to pass is the reason the name hung around.

Visitacion Valley: Another neighborhood named for the land grant rancho that once stood here, in this case Rancho Cañada de Guadalupe, La Visitacion y Rodeo Viejo.

West Portal: Named for the terminus of the Twin Peaks Tunnel. Which poses a Schrodinger’s Cat-style paradox: While the tunnel is closed, is the neighborhood still there?

Western Addition: The city created the Western Addition in the mid-19th century as a response to squatters creating ad hoc settlements outside the city’s westernmost borders.

Yerba Buena: Yerba Buena is the last holdout of the city of San Francisco’s original name. It translates to “good herb,” which, of course, provokes dank snickering today, but the reference is actually to the wild mint that used to grow on the hillsides.

Dig deeper and learn about a few more neighborhoods not included on the list. Thank you, Wikipedia!

List of neighborhoods in San Francisco

 

The Tale of Four Cottages and Landmark #232

A Milkman, A Butcher, An Artist and a Couple with Persistence

 1338 Filbert Street cottage row

1338 Filbert Street cottage row

The Filbert Street Cottages tell a wonderful story by providing a tangible link to the 19th Century history of Russian Hill as both a working-class neighborhood and one that contributed to the City’s artistic traditions. The original property know as 1312 Filbert was split into two lots, each with one house, one owned by by Peter Matthews, a gardener, milkman and laborer, and the other by William K Bush, a butcher.  In the immediate aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake and Great Fire of 1906, a group of four cottages, permitted as rental housing, were built on the double lot property. Since there was a high demand for housing, the structures were built modestly by skilled craftsman rather than known architects.  The embodied rustic simplicity, minimal embellishment, and a generous sensitivity to the site . The overall appearance references the craftsman style en vogue during the early 20th century.



The Matthews-Bush ownership formally transferred to Marian Hartwell in the 1946 who, while renting Cottage A, had built a 1943 addition to use as an art studio. 1n the early 1940's Hartwell developed the School of Basic Design and Color using cottage A as a classroom and renting our the other cottages to students, some of whom had been students of hers from her days as a faculty member at the California School of Fine Arts. These students enjoyed the benefits of her teaching the principals of California Decorative Style during these years. In the 1950s, Marian added square footage at the rear, reconfigured the cottages to 10 units. Additional brick walkways, outdoor patio areas, and landscaping were added to the property. These cottages continued as rentals for working people and retirees.

In 1972, Marian Hartwell sold the property to San Francisco architect, Robert Marquis of Marquis Investors, who in 1979 subdivided the property into four condominiums. Over a period in the 1980's, the units were resold until all four were owned by John Willis, one of the city's developer of fine boutique residential projects. Willis lived in Cottage A from 1989 until 2007, when he sold the property to David Low and Dominique Lahaussois.

Low and Lahaussios purchased the cottages for a simple renovation plus a couple of parking spaces. Three years of planning reviews followed as the project team worked through a myriad of complex preservation, environmental, and planning issues. Entitlements were obtained in early 2010, but further litigation delayed the construction until 2014. Their small renovation ultimately turned into a massive undertaking that included a full underground garage accessed by a commercial vertical lift. During this stretch of time the four cottages were suspended in air by steel columns for nine months while the concrete garage was built underneath.

Patience is definitely a virtue! Now in its reimagined, historically sensitive state, these four beautiful cottages have all been sold. The final sale was completed this spring by my partner, Joseph Lucier, who relocated a very happy couple for Marin County to begin a new chapter in San Francisco.  We all love a happy ending!


Renovated Interiors from 2017-18 offering


Before/After Slideshow

The Big Book of Chic

The Big Book of Chic

While Joe and I were in New York, he requested a mandatory stop at a local book store to satisfy his book obsession. Since we were not sure where that bookstore might be, we made our way through the streets of NYC. As we wandered around Midtown, we decided to visit the shops at the Plaza Hotel. Winding our way through the crowded hotel filled with tourists, wedding guests and vacationers, we spotted Assouline. C'était parfait!

The second-floor, walk-up store was filled with an impressive collection of art, interior design, architecture, fashion, travel, and, frankly, all things BEAUTIFUL. Among the perfectly displayed books, The Big Book of Chic, was a title jumped out at us. We were both drawn to the big and vibrant photos and thought-provoking quotes.

As I was researching the book, I found an interview from another Stacey:)  I thought she captured the book perfectly. Stacey Bewkes writes a lifestyle blog about living well with style and substance. A philosophy the resonates well with the two of us. SEE INTERVIEW BELOW....

The Big Book of Chic: Published in 2012

From the age of five, Miles aspired to be a part of the “great big glittering world” with fantasies of Cecil Beaton’s royal portraits, the 30’s chic of Fred Astaire in Top Hat and the timeless style of the glamorous interwar period.

From his ridiculously stylish un-student-like dorm room at NYU to his first apartment nicknamed “Rue Quatorze,” on the then unfashionable 14th Street, he has risen through the ranks with an uncompromising sense of joie de vivre and reverie. He learned the ropes from the best, working for John Rosselli and then Bunny Williams. But don’t expect any decorating advice in this tome (at a weapon-sized 9-3/4 x 13″ 300 pages). This is visual escapist inspiration at its best – a potential pinfest of drool-worthy imagery.

While Miles downplays the intellectual component of the book, make no mistake, there is a cultured educated eye behind this panoply of pretty. You’ll be looking at the pairings more than once, recognizing some new aspect with each viewing. Design is all about the mix and training the eye to see the possibilities, and this book is an invaluable lesson in connecting the dots.

But I don’t mean to take the fun out of it because this book IS fun – a frothy vicarious look at Redd’s particular style of cozy glamour. From his bold exuberant use of color to his eclectic elegant spin on classic you’ll want to dog ear every page. Sprinkled throughout are literary inspirations. I’m impressed with the lines he remembers or has accumulated. So many favorites read over the years – I’m not sure I’d know where to start. I didn’t even recognize this quote from one of my favorite books – the pairing is so seemingly straight forward it makes you think twice.

You will certainly see why Redd chose this quote – it’s exactly how you’ll feel, enveloped in his world of wonder and whimsical beauty. And to add another layer to this pairing, the room is from Redd’s friend Danielle Rollins‘ house, with whom he has collaborated on not only the decoration but some memorable entertaining as well – a very Mummy and Rory duo!

I had the opportunity to ask Miles a few questions I thought you might enjoy.

Q – That now famous shot of you leaping in your bathroom seems to say so much about your style. What is the story behind the photo?

MR – The story goes as thus, House and Garden wanted a portrait, and that is something that does not happen very often, so I decided to go for it. The inspiration comes from many places – Fred Astaire and Hollywood should take all the credit. It was my Top Hat fantasy brought to life.

Q – We know you love to entertain and have done so even in that iconic bathroom! With the holiday season approaching, can you share three tips for creating a successful party for those of us who don’t have a vintage David Adler mirrored bath?

MR –  Entertaining is fun, but only if you do not make yourself exhausted getting it together so, 

1.     Make it easy – don’t do everything yourself – hire help!

2.     If you don’t have a big budget – think pizza, Chinese or tacos – it is the way you do it, not the price tag

3.     Good music and soft lighting, which are free go a long way

 Q – Your book is unusual in that it has so little text and yet the thoughtful pairings say so much. Do you think there is an inspirational connection between design and literature?

MR – I do, every quote was something I read and remembered – and felt…style is in everything. How you dress, what you like to eat and certainly, what you like to read!

So….. come along for the ride. Miles’ particular brand of effervescent glamour is contagious.  Dare to dream! He’ll be the first to tell you that “This is a book about dreams coming true; the curiosities in the rooms I have decorated; and the people, artists, and places that have inspired me. … a very personal blend of work and fantasy.”

http://milesredd.com/

JUST LISTED I Idyllic Ross Opportunity

45 Poplar Avenue, Ross

First Time on the Market in 100 Years!
Offered at $1,395,000

A unique opportunity to build your dream home steps from downtown Ross. The property is coming to market for the first time in over 100 years.  Situated on a large flat lot, the current residence offers the chance to enlist a design/build team to create the ideal central Ross home.  Ross Park and the town’s biking/walking path and tennis courts can be directly accessed from a private gate at the rear of the property. Create a slice of Marin just for you! 

Appointment only.

  • Large flat lot: 9300 Square Feet along tree lined street
  • Private gate access to bike path and tennis courts
  • Steps to the award winning Ross K-8 School District 
  • Downtown Ross features a general store, coffee shop, restaurants, bike shop and more. Locals gather for a quick chat at the Post Office
  • Seasonal Farmers Market
  • Easy access to some of the best hiking/biking trails in Marin and Phoenix Lake

Lot size: 9,300 per Realist-Corelogic (not verified by agent or seller)
Please note: I have not verified any information contained within documents that were prepared by others. Buyer to independently verify.

 

Please fill out the form to receive more information.

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A Sweet Ride Around San Francisco in 1955

How fun is this film! This film took place well before I was born, but depicts the San Francisco I have always loved. Take this wonderful tour around San Francisco and visit many of the landmarks that are still here today. The landscape has definitely changed over time and you will see places in this movie that are no longer here, but the heart of San Francisco still remains! Enjoy!

Cinematography by - Tullio Pellegrini
Filmed with Bell and Howell's Filmorama Lens

Ellinwood Residence Landmark #207

2799 Pacific Avenue: Built 1894

 The family coachman shown in this photograph is Carl S. Anderson, a Swede who was naturalized and in 1900 became a U.S. citizen. During World War II, the FBI stayed at the home to spy on the Russian Consulate located at Divisadero and Broadway.

The family coachman shown in this photograph is Carl S. Anderson, a Swede who was naturalized and in 1900 became a U.S. citizen. During World War II, the FBI stayed at the home to spy on the Russian Consulate located at Divisadero and Broadway.

Wanting to move from his home on Pine Street near Van Ness Avenue, Dr. C. N. Ellinwood commissioned architect Eugene Freeman Smith to design this home, first known as 2739 Pacific Avenue and later changed to 2799 Pacific Avenue, a number believed to be better suited for a corner home. It is among the earliest homes built on the crest of Pacific Heights after the extension of transit lines. This academically correct Colonial Revival was under construction from 1893 to 1894 and then the doctor and his wife, Elizabeth moved in and raised their four children.

The interior, with its formally arranged rooms, displays a very high quality of extant decoration. Aside from its 106 windows and 14 fireplaces, the building features a spectacular interior dome containing approximately 8,000 pieces of stained glass.

The house is ripe with multi-generational drama. In 1850, Divisadero was the dividing line between the City and the Presidio, and the Ellinswood House was one of the earliest homes located right at the boundary. Dr. Ellinswood was one of the officers in the U.S. Public Health Service and founder of the Marine Hospital of the Presidio. In 1902 he became the president of Cooper Medical College, which would eventually become Stanford Medical Hospital. By 1907, he was forcibly removed from the presidency following a financial management controversy over funneling funds earmarked for the now famous Lane Medical Library.

His descendants continued to own 2799 Pacific for over 100 years, including a bizarre 50-year stint from 1928-1978 when the house sat vacant and was rumored to have been used by the CIA to spy on the nearby Russian consulate. A later descendant, Alice Ellinwood, lived in the house alone and bankrupted herself in an attempt to restore it.

The home was completely reborn in 2000 by architect Lewis Butler and designer Paul Wiseman in a project that spanned 3 years and cost more than 10 million dollars. This renovation added a swimming pool, fitness center, caretaker's apartment and a spa with a 75' lap pool. By 2009, the mega mansion went into foreclosure, with a mortgage balance due of $11,363,000 and an unmet minimum bid of $10,000,000. Shockingly, no one showed up with cash in hand, so the bank had to forcibly kick out the defaulting owners in 2011.

Now..... this stately home has been lovingly cared for since 2012. If you drive by 2799 Pacific during Halloween or Christmas, you will be in for a wonderful treat. These famous homeowners know how to decorate for the holidays!

 

Iconic Coca Cola Sign

Coca Cola SF

San Francisco History

Standing 112 feet above Bryant Street atop a three-story building in San Francisco's South of Market area, the Coca Cola billboard has been a landmark for drivers going to and from the Bay Bridge since 1937 -- One year after the bridge opened to traffic.

The Spencerian script of the logo with its glowing background in a shade known as Coca-Cola Red was originally illuminated with neon. It alternately twinkled and shone for the better part of seven decades, but in 2010 it began showing its age.

Seventy-feet long and 30 feet high, the new sign is about the same size as its predecessor, but the look at night is crisper and the colors seem more vibrant.

The work to remove the original lighting system and reface the billboard with 4,800 CFLs for the white lettering and strip LEDs for the background took crews working day and night. The billboard was dark for only four days.

When I return from a long trip, I can always count on one of my favorite signs to light up and welcome me back to San Francisco. I am sure for years to come.......
 

BROLLIOLOGY

Umberella

A HISTORY OF THE UMBRELLA IN LIFE AND LITERATURE

By Marion Rankine

Humans have been making, using, perfecting, and decorating umbrellas for millennia — holding them over the heads of rulers, signalling class distinctions, and exploring their full imaginative potential in folk tales and novels.

In the spirit of the best literary gift books, Brolliology is a beautifully designed and illustrated tour through literature and history. It surprises us with the crucial role that the oft-overlooked umbrella has played over centuries — and not just in keeping us dry. Marion Rankine elevates the umbrella to its rightful place as an object worthy of philosophical inquiry.

“Marian Rankine [is] a delightful raconteur… Her charming book presents a whimsical and thoughtful survey of, yes, the umbrella — or ‘brolly’ in the British author’s parlance… Delicious.”
— Washington Post

As Rankine points out, many others have tried. Derrida sought to find the meaning (or lack thereof) behind an umbrella mentioned in Nietzsche’s notes, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote essays on the handy object, and Dickens used umbrellas as a narrative device for just about everything. She tackles the gender, class, and social connotations of carrying an umbrella and helps us realize our deep connection to this most forgettable everyday object — which we only think of when we don’t have one.

To order from Amazon click here. Happy Reading!

Fox

1035 Vallejo Street, San Francisco

Open this Saturday and Sunday
2pm - 4pm.

Located along the crest of Russian Hill and situated along an exclusive cul-de-sac, 1035 Vallejo Street offers a rare opportunity to own one of the city's most highly sought residences.

  • $3,950,000

  • Exclusive Russian Hill cul-de-sac location

  • 3 Bedroom - 2.5 Bath

  • Private Garden

  • 2 Car Parking

  • Elevator to all Levels from Garage

  • On Site Concierge

 

Japan’s Most Famous Festival of Lights

Kobe Luminarie, Kobe, Japan

Back in 1995, the city of Kobe was hit with one of the most devastating earthquakes in Japan's history. Among the major cities, Kobe was the closest to the epicenter so it experienced the most damage both in terms of infrastructure and in lives lost. To pay tribute to the thousands who perished and to give hope to the surviving citizens, Kobe Luminarie, a light festival was put on that year, in December. After the earthquake, Kobe was without lights and was plunged into darkness, so the first Luminarie was meant to light up the city and to give the people of Kobe hope that their city could, one day, be restored.

The lights were donated by the Italian government and the installation was produced by Italian designer Valerio Festi and Kobe native Hirokazu Imaoka. Though not meant to be an annual event, it proved to be so popular, the city had no choice but to bring it back every year since then.

Over three million people now flock to Kobe to witness the country's most spectacular festival of lights held for approximately two weeks every December. Most amazing is that each of the lights are individually hand painted. This year, the event was held for 12 days in December ending on December 17.

Below are some of the most breathtaking designs created throughout the years.


Since you missed the Luminarie show this year, here is a wonderful video that captures its spirit.

Lasting Love and Landmark #251

  Glazer-Keating House  1110 Taylor Street

Glazer-Keating House
1110 Taylor Street

Built in 1906 shortly after the Great Earthquake and Fire, this Neo-Georgian dwelling served as the Coachman's House to the Flood Mansion, which still stands atop Nob Hill at 1000 California Street.

On October 16th 2002, the dwelling was finally designated by its owner, Dr. J Henry Glazer as: ZELDA d'ANGLETERRE GLAZER'S MEMORIAL LODGINGS, and such donated in his late wife's memory to the University of California , San Francisco for use and support of brain cancer research.

Dr. J Henry Glazer's love is clearly depicted in this tribute to his beautiful wife Zelda. The heartwarming history of their relationship and the reason he donated this classic home to help UCSF continue research to the horrible disease that took his wife's life.

A book simply called 1110 Taylor Street, San Francisco was also produced to explore the historic home and it's contents. It's a wonderful jaunt down memory lane and a fitting compliment for the historic neighborhood of Huntington Square.

 

 

THE SECRET LIVES OF COLOR

The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.

In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh’s chrome yellow sunflowers or punk’s fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture.

Below are some favorites:

After running his wallet dry, Duthé became a dancer, courtesan, nude model, and general woman of interest — though this lifestyle came with a reputation of stupidity.
— Blonde

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair
Kassia St. Clair is a freelance journalist and author based in London. She graduated from Bristol University with a first-class honors degree in history in 2007 and went on to do a master’s degree at Oxford.

“A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every color has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking.”
— —Simon Garfield, New York Times bestselling author of Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

For more information or to purchase one of these very cool books click here for more information. Happy Reading!

A Trip Down Market Street

NEW FOOTAGE AND SOUND! ENJOY!!

Many of us by now have seen this short film of a trip down San Francisco's Market Street in 1906. Four days after the film was made, San Francisco was rocked by an earthquake. The ensuing three-day firestorm destroyed three-quarters of the city, certainly, everything shown in this film. Mike Upchurch has recently done an excellent job of adding sounds to the film. Here is more information about the film with a link to the audio-enhanced version.

The origin of the film was an enigma for many decades, and it was long thought to have been shot in September of 1905, after being dated as such by the Library of Congress based on the state of construction of several buildings. However, in 2009 and 2010, film historian David Kiehn, co-founder of Niles Film Museum in Niles, California, dated the film to the spring of 1906 from automobile registrations and weather records. Kiehn eventually found promotional materials from the film's original release and dated the film to April 14th, 1906, and finally gave credit to the filmmakers, the Miles Brothers.

Restoration: This version was transferred from a new 35mm print made from a restored 35mm negative, taken from the 1906-era 35mm print owned by the Prelinger Archives. This version does not appear to have any digital restoration, except minimal contrast and brightness adjustments.

Post Effects: This version of the film has been digitally stabilized to remove jitter.

Resources: Sounddogs, Youtube, Horseless.com, Wikipedia, Archive.org, Streetcar.org, earlyamericalautomobiles.com, Prelinger Archives.

Accuracy: Automobile sounds are all either Ford Model T, or Model A, which came out later, but which have similarly designed engines, and sound quite close to the various cars shown in the film. The horns are slightly inaccurate as mostly bulb horns were used at the time, but were substituted by the far more recognizable electric "oogaa" horns, which came out a couple years later. The streetcar sounds are actual San Francisco streetcars. Doppler effect was used to align the sounds.

Produced by: The Miles Brothers Photographed by: Harry J Miles Sound Design by: Mike Upchurch

And to learn more about the historic film, here's a clip from 60 Minutes with Morley Safer.

Millennials' New Weapon in Bidding Wars: Parent's Home Equity

MN-AP683_SWITCH_12U_20170925111514.jpg

Call it the mortgage merry-go-round: Parents refinance their home to fund the full cost of their son or daughter’s desired home. This allows the child to compete as a desirable all-cash buyer in an area where bidding wars are common. Then, when the purchase closes, the child refinances the new home and pays the parents back.

Sellers often prefer cash because transactions can close quickly without making a deal contingent on financing. This is particularly important in bidding wars: If the purchase price is above the list price and appraised value, it may be tricky to get a loan, said Kas Divband, a Washington, D.C., agent with Redfin. Mr. Divband said he has worked on six deals where the buyer was relying on a parent’s mortgage to make an all-cash offer.

The strategy is also evidence of how difficult it is for millennials getting into the housing market for starter homes, where competition is the fiercest. Even those with high-paying jobs and hefty down payments are losing out, particularly in cities with strong job markets for young people, such as Washington, Boston and Seattle, said Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist.

Educating him on how to talk to his parents was probably the most difficult part Mr. Coffman said, since it wasn’t every day their son asked for $2 million. The athlete worked with a loan officer who vetted him before the purchase and also handled his parent’s line of credit.

Redfin agent Cody Coffman recently worked with a 20-something Olympic athlete who paid $2.8 million for his first home, a newly built five-bedroom house in Los Angeles’s Venice neighborhood that was listed for $2.758 million. His parents took out a home-equity line of credit, or Heloc, to give him the full purchase price, allowing him to beat out four other offers.

“Educating him on how to talk to his parents was probably the most difficult part,” Mr. Coffman said, since it wasn’t every day their son asked for $2 million. The athlete worked with a loan officer who vetted him before the purchase and also handled his parent’s line of credit.

This move will not work for everyone. Parents must have enough equity in their homes to make a refinance worth it, and the same goes for the child’s new home. Both parties must be willing to take on the added hassle and cost of two loans. And mixing family and money is often fraught.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind:

• Loan options. Parents have several options for using the equity in their homes, including a cash-out refinance, which allows borrowers to refinance an existing mortgage plus an additional amount and take the difference out in cash; a home-equity loan, which is a loan against the value of a home, including a second mortgage; or a Heloc, which works like a credit card, allowing homeowners to qualify ahead of time and withdraw funds when the child is ready to close.

• Finance fail. The biggest risk is that children won’t qualify for a loan—or as big a loan as expected—especially if they pay above the asking price or the market cools. To help avoid this outcome, let the lender know your plans ahead of time, Mr. Divband said. It may be more convenient to use one loan officer for both transactions.

Note that some lenders want buyers to live in a home for three to six months before refinancing. An alternative is a delayed-financing mortgage, which allows a buyer to purchase the home in cash and refinance the day after closing for up to 80% of the value of the home, said Peter Lucia, a production manager at Brecksville, Ohio-based CrossCountry Mortgage.

• Think like a lender. Parents should do the same kind of due diligence as a lender, including vetting children’s finances. Tim Manni, a mortgage expert with NerdWallet, a San Francisco-based personal-finance company, recommends working with a lawyer to draw up a family loan agreement setting out repayment terms and other stipulations. Buyers may also want to get a home inspection.

• Consider the costs. A purchase mortgage or a refinance would typically cost about 2% of the loan value, Mr. Lucia said. Most closing costs would apply to two loans instead of one. Luckily, prepayment penalties are rare on primary-residence loans, though they might apply on investment properties, Mr. Lucia said.

• Tax tips. Givers must report gifts of more than $14,000 per person per year under federal tax law, though an individual must pay taxes only after exceeding the $5.49 million gift-tax exemption, which is a lifetime limit. Interest on the first $1 million of a purchase mortgage is tax deductible, versus only the first $100,000 on a home-equity loan or line of credit. Both parties should consult a tax professional.

Corrections & Amplifications
Givers must report gifts of more than $14,000 per person per year under federal tax law, but an individual must pay taxes only after exceeding the $5.49 million gift-tax exemption, which is a lifetime limit. An earlier version of this article failed to make it clear that an individual owes this federal gift tax only if the lifetime limit is exceeded. (Oct. 13, 2017)

By Leigh Kamping-Carder

Appeared in the WSJ October 13, 2017, print edition as 'Tag-Team Mortgage Financing.'

JUST LISTED: Stylish and Chic South Beach Living

170 King Street #802
Offered at $1,295,000


 

SOUTH BEACH LIVING

Bright, light, and airy TOP FLOOR CORNER UNIT. 2 bed, 2 bath + den condominium in beautiful South Beach. Once one of the model homes, this open floor plan is designed for today's modern living. Fresh paint, new carpet, and designer lighting offer a new look. The well laid out open kitchen features a gas range, microwave, stainless steel appliances, pendant lighting, bar seating and stone countertops. Conveniently located near The Embarcadero, AT&T Park, gourmet/casual dining and transportation. With a transit score of 100, getting to work will be a step outside your door. This chic unit also includes an exclusive use balcony overlooking the heated pool, Jacuzzi, and courtyard. Three storage units and secure deeded parking. This well maintained building has 4 elevators, landscaped outdoor lounge area, BBQ, clubroom, theater, gym, and roof terrace. Welcome to the epicenter of San Francisco’s new economy.

Features include:

  • Top Floor Corner Unit
  • 2 Bedroom (One en-suite)
  • 2 Bath
  • Den
  • Large Closets
  • Private Balcony
  • Hardwood Floors
  • New Carpet
  • Designer Lighting
  • Fresh Paint
  • In Unit Laundry
  • Secured Parking
  • Well Maintained Building
  • In-house HOA
  • HOA Dues $685.95
  • Quick access to the Muni light rail,
    Caltrain, I-101, I-280, and the Bay Bridge

Neighborhood


 

JUST SOLD Madera Gardens Gem!

This charming four bedroom three bath home has been in the same family since the 1950s and has been lovingly cared for over the years! I am pleased to announce that my first time buyers Chris and Hilary just closed on this lovely home! In the competitive Marin marketplace, this home was a true find. With a close proximity to parks and award winning schools, they cannot wait to call this place home and raise their young family! First time buyers are the best!

Buyer Represented - $1,750,000

Need help finding your perfect home or are you ready to sell? Call me so we can get started. 415.450.8465

JUST LISTED: Gorgeous Lumina view unit! Catered Tour and Twilight!

201 Folsom Street 32D, San Francisco
Offered at $1,695,000

Supreme Living in South Beach


Broker Tour, Wednesday 13th - 12pm - 1:30pm
(catered lunch)

Twilight Tour, Wednesday 13th - 5:30pm - 7pm
(wine + cheese + chocolate)
 
Hosted by Mike Ostby from First Republic
 

Renovated to the highest designer quality, this move-in condition one bedroom + den condominium offers full service, doorman living along San Francisco’s famed waterfront.
 
Designed by world-renowned Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica, LUMINA’s striking curves and angles capture the elegance, modernity, and vibrancy of San Francisco’s new economy. Situated along the core of the city’s newly developing cosmopolitan hub, 201 Folsom Street is one of the city’s latest premier addresses. Property values and prestige will continue their upward trend upon the completion of Salesforce Tower, 181 Fremont, Park Tower, Oceanwide Center, and the neighborhood's crown jewel, the 5.4 acre Transbay Terminal City Park. Welcome to the epicenter of urbane city living!!!
 

Top shelf features include:

Gaggenau appliances
Premium Caesarstone quartz countertop and backsplash
Custom SieMatic kitchen cabinetry
Wide plank hardwood floors
Built-in cabinetry with full size Murphy bed) by California Closets
Custom built in TV wall cabinet with 72’ Samsung television and Bang & Olufsen sound system
Motorized window treatments
Custom lighting
Bosch washer and dryer
Double vanity with Volakas marble counter-top
European porcelain flooring and shower tiles
Indulgent MAAX soaking tub
Smart NEST Learning Thermostat
Designer paint colors
HOA $1,013.49 per month

1BED + DEN | 1 BATH | 975 SQ. FT.

Contact Stacey Caen for details. 415.450.8465 or stacey.caen@sothebyshomes.com