Then and Now

‘Then and Now’: Balboa at 18th

Above: A mound of sand covers the property on the north side of Balboa Street, looking east from 18th Avenue. Photo taken in December 1914.

Below: This same view 108 years later. Photo by Tyrone Bartoli.

If you have a historical photo of your home, neighborhood or some other part of the Sunset District and would like to submit it along with a current-day picture for consideration for publication, send an email to

1 reply »

  1. Oh geez, my family home was five houses from the corner of Balboa Street and 18th Avenue. Back in the day, ie the 1950s, this northern side of Balboa on 18th Avenue had Alice’s candy shop right on the corner. As kids we bought candy and small food items like sandwiches & soda. Alice was a little red haired woman who wore very colorful clothing and was as friendly as friendly could be. Her store had a small table and two or three chairs, a food counter with another few stools and a glass candy case with stacks of penny candies. Next to Alice’s on Balboa Street was Bob’s barbershop. Got my first real haircut at Bob’s once my mom gave up making my hair look like a lop sided mop. Bob had a lot of friends who just sat in the shop for hours drinking coffee and chatting. He had two barber chairs but he had no partner barbers that I can recall. Kiddie corner from Alice’s was a neighborhood general store or maybe early 5&Dime – kitchen items, household goods, kid’s toys like kites & skates. It was on the same side of 18th Avenue as my family home. In the 1950s it was owned by the Levy family and we always referred to it as Levy’s. Young son Abraham was my age so we became fast friends. In the late 1950s or early 1960s the store was purchased and turned into a small food market owned by a Chinese family whose name now escapes me but the name of the store was MJ Market. In that immediate neighborhood there were three small food markets. Long established Johnny’s market at 17th and Balboa and Roy’s at 19th and Balboa. Wow, what memories this photo generates for me.


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