bent machine production takes a walk on the

underside of San Francisco

to see were those glass sidewalk plugs go.


Financial District

North Beach

If you're walking around the older parts of the city, you'll find these glass plugs in the sidewalks all over the place once you start looking for them. A friend of mine recently told me they are all over New York City as well.

To see what they look like from below, a person might take a trip to San Francisco's second most famous bar, Spec's. This bar is located in North Beach directly across the street from San Francisco's number one most famous bar, Vesuvio's.

Spec's is easy enough to find. Here you can see it from two doors down on Columbus.

And here it is from two doors up the other direction.

Spec's is the very definition of the word "dive," and the inside has to be seen to be believed.

While Vesuvio's is famous as a hangout for poets, authors, and artists, I think you're more likely to find them in Spec's these days.

Here we are in Spec's men's room during the early evening, with sunlight pouring down from those glass plugs in the sidewalk above.

The sunlight lights up the bathroom well enough that I didn't have to use flash to get these pictures.

One of the things you'll notice about Spec's is that it has been open a long time, and nobody has cleaned the ceiling in maybe decades.

I have heard from several sources that back in the old days a person could go up a stairway in Spec's to a strip club
This is no longer the case.

A shot with forced flash.

And here's the sidewalk over the bathroom at 10 am on a Saturday. As you can see, there's still a strip club over Spec's.

The Garden of Eden at Broadway & Columbus.

Check out all the lights all over the front of the club! Enticing, isn't it?

About a block away from here is the Crowbar, which may very well have the best juke box in the city. But that's another story.

I was below this sidewalk just two nights before, taking a photo in the other direction.

Above the strip club are apartments.Before taking these shots I had to wait while a woman & a little girl I took to be her granddaughter checked their mailbox. They were standing there on that checkered stoop.

Above the apartments there is sun and sky.


Everything copyright, 2000 Dave Benz

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