Dark humor, street art, gritty beauty, and misery in an ugly time.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.
When the “Shelter in Place” order was announced in San Francisco on March 16, 2020, which was supposed to continue for three weeks through April 7, 2020, two local businessmen, entrepreneurs, and photographers, Basul Parik and Corky Engel, set out to photograph their ghostly city from the streets as they encountered it. Three weeks turned into a year, and into thousands of photos.
Basul and Corky – both with a long history in photography, video, and book publishing – have now released a book with haunting, purposefully black-and-white photos of San Francisco during this ugly time, titled: “Flatten the Curve.”
They gave me color versions of the photos, exclusive for WOLF STREET, and here they are some of them, a wild, equally haunting ride through San Francisco during the lockdown, along with some black-and-white photos from the book.
It gets serious: March 18, 2020. Local markets.
Fisherman’s Wharf without tourists.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, dead.
Fisherman’s Wharf, restaurants and crab shops.
Barbershop on 18th Street.
Market Street without traffic.
Homeless camp on fire.
The Great Highway.
Hayes Street between Octavia and Laguna Streets, May 3, 2020. Painted on boards that covered a storefront.
Waller Street. Getting the heck out of Dodge?
Bruno’s nightclub, Mission Street.
Broadway and Kearny Street.
Four-bedroom house for sale, $14.2 million. Photo of ad on Polk Street between Clay and Sacramento, taken Feb 15, 2021. Originally listed at this price in October 2020. As of May 1, it’s still listed for sale, according to Zillow.
Grant Avenue, China Town, February 2021.
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