January 10th, 2008

SF City Hall 1906

Old Stuff and Winter

I've just spent hours at the Oakland section of the Online Archive of California. I used to find the archive site fairly annoying, but they've apparently done some work on at least the Oakland section of it since last I visited. For one thing, they've finally added a zoom feature that's well designed, easy to use, and actually produces a fairly decent quality image even in extreme zoom mode. I hope other websites with historic photos adopt whatever program they're using in Oakland. Fool about with this 1887 photo of an Oakland baseball team to get a look at how it works.

One thing I found especially interesting is this album depicting Oakland in 1889, with nearly 50 photos of the lost High Victorian city of which only traces now remain. I'm almost glad the library has only got about 200 other photos in this collection. If there were many more, I'd never have gotten away from the place.

The weather has settled into its ideal local January mood, hour after hour of gray sky, occasional periods of rain falling straight down through the windless air, and the smell of wet earth and pines. In the mountains the snow pack continues to build, bringing us closer to a minimally chlorinated water supply next summer. I could deal with a couple of weeks of this. There might be sunlight by Saturday, though. Well, I can deal with that too.