Janet Delaney – South of Market

 

There are days where you want to go somewhere different, somewhere new,
somewhere unexplored but that already feels familiar,
somewhere on the cusp on being transformed but still steeped in the old.
And Janet Delaney’s South of Market reminds us of just that.

A series of images taken from 1978-1986 when Janet first moved to the South of Market area of San Francisco, these capture how the slightly run-down neighborhood of old business and homes was gradually being replaced with new build and industry. While families moved to the suburbs, artists and hipsters moved into the neighbourhoods left behind and now made more affordable.

In her beautiful book that documents these images and times, Janet talks about how when she first moved to South of Market, it had developed a reputation for petty crime and one of her fears was being mugged on the street. An immediate response, that came quite naturally to her, was that if she wandered the streets with her camera and made friends with the neighbours, she was less likely to fall prey to someone she already knew. And that’s where this project really started. From a desire to embrace her surroundings, and replace the fear with the familiar.

Crime is something that happens between winos and gays and Latino youths. It isn’t thought to be something that happens when speculators exploit a political situation and just move in and displace 5,000 people over ten years. That’s not crime, that’s business. Which makes headlines… and which makes profits? Jim Pomeroy, artist and Langton Street resident

Peppered with interviews and musings like these, filled with first names and peeks behind drawing room curtains and cafe counters, this book is like soft blanket and a comfy sofa. A great read that takes you back in time, if only just a little way down.

 View of the Financial District from south of Market Street
View of the Financial District from south of Market Street

 

10th at Folsom Street

Bobbie Washington braiding her daughter Ayana's hair, Langton St. 1982
Bobbie Washington braiding her daughter Ayana’s hair, Langton St.

 

Pat serves a customer at the Budget Hotel’s Gordon Café, Mission and 7th streets.

 

Walt's Diner, 7th and Townsend
Walt’s Diner, 7th and Townsend
Moscone Center under construction

 

Boy lifting weights on Langton St., 1978
Boy lifting weights on Langton St.

 

San Francisco Tennis Club Bar, 645 5th Street

 

Transbay Terminal Newsstand

 

 Mr. Giannini in his Barbershop, Established 1932, 480 6th Street
Mr. Giannini in his Barbershop, Established 1932, 480 6th Street

Mary Gardner’s Kitchen after the Five-Alarm Fire, Folsom at Hallam Street

 

Langton between Folsom and Harrison Streets

 Saturday Afternoon, Howard between 3rd and 4th Streets
Saturday Afternoon, Howard between 3rd and 4th Streets

All images borrowed with thanks from various sources and (c) Janet Delaney

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