Chinatown and North Beach
"I was there! - Lyle Tuttle's 70th Birthday Party - Worcester, Mass 10-7-2001" I wasn't really there, Lyle set this one to me. By the way, if you don't know who Lyle Tuttle is, you should.
"Chinatown - San Francisco" You know, I thought I had every penny in San Francisco... Then I found this one in Chinatown. I think it's about the 3rd or 4th penny with some kind of dragon on it.
This one came from Chinatown... It shows a cable car... The California Street Cable Car line goes through Chinatown... But the cable car in the picture is not the longer double-ended California Street kind, it's a Powell Street cable car! Aha! I knew there was something wrong.
"Chinatown - San Francisco" The picture of the Giant Panda makes me think of Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, who were traded to the National Zoo in Washington for a couple of Wildebeasts from the San Francisco Zoo. As a kid, I always thought it was kind of a raw deal that we lost the wildebeasts and didn't get the pandas.
Brady and her friend Fawn went to Coit Tower one day recently because Fawn had never been there. (She moved here from the East Coast last year.) In the tower, they discovered a new 4 die penny machine! This one shows the GG Bridge looking from the southwest, you can tell because that arch under the bridge was built to accomodate Ft. Point. Thanks a lot Brady and Fawn!
Coit Tower is on top of Telegraph Hill, near North Beach. It doesn't have a cable car running up to it, although it once did. I like this penny, but it's kind of funky; both the cable cars appear to be going the same direction. It just doesn't happen that way!
"I left my Heart in San Francisco" - ahhh, the smarmy Tony Bennett ballad is not the official song of the City, the much more peppy "San Francisco (open your Golden Gate...)" vote declared our official song a few years ago.
"Alcatraz - San Francisco" This is not quite the view of Alcatraz from Coit Tower, where this penny came from. I have to admit something. When Brady and Fawn got these pennies at Coit Tower, they brought back all zinc clad ones, not all copper. I went back later and the ones you see here. There, I've come clean.
"1999 San Francisco - Golden Gate Bridge" This one came from legendary tatto artist Lyle Tuttle's studio/museum in San Francisco's North Beach. He's got a website.
"I Love You - 1999 San Francisco" This one came from legendary tatto artist Lyle Tuttle's studio/museum in San Francisco's North Beach. I don't really have much to say about this one, I think the "Ilove you" penny design is universally scorned by penny collectors across the country...but this one is a little teeny bit nicer.
"Mason St. Line - San Francisco" This one has a Cable Car (the Mason street line runs right down Columbus in front of Lyle Tuttle's studio) and Lyle's signature. I like this one.
"I got my tattoo in San Francisco - Lyle Tuttle 1999" When I got this one along with the other 3, Tanya, who was working at the tattoo studio that night, said that Lyle was designing the pennies himself, Thanks for branching out Lyle!
"Chinatown" This is from San Francisco's Chinatown, where there are at least 4 pennies available. This one came from the machine on Washington Street just above Grant.
Chinese New Year is usually near the end of January, and San Francisco has a huge parade through Chinatown that ends at Portsmouth Square. The end of the parade has a giant dragon dance that goes on right in the middle of an enormous string of firecrackers...that's where I was going with this.
If you can't tell, this one has a tiny dragon's head on the left, a lantern on the right, and reads "Chinatown - San Francisco." Looking closely at the penny, you can see that the die has some kind of smear in it over the lantern, aw shucks.
This is from the San Francisco Cable Car Museum. It's not just a museum, it's the working powerhouse for San Francisco's 3 remaining Cable Car lines.
"Chinatown - San Francisco" The building shown is at the corner of California and Grant, the former site of the Chinatown Wax Museum, the present site of the Chinatown McDonald's. Ah, Progress!
This one has all the great San Francisco landmarks, the Golden Gate Bridge, a cable car, and Fisherman's Wharf. The night I got this one, my friend Eric and I saw a three-card Monte game being played on Jefferson Street, right near the Wharf. Here's a three-card monte tip: it's a con game that you can't win, so don't play.