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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Place Dirty Harry Shot People Slated for Development as Luxury Hotel

Posted By on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

[image-1]Fair enough: The headline "Place where Dirty Harry shot people slated to become luxury development" could probably be deployed every day. Dirty Harry shot a lot of people and this city doesn't know its limitations when it comes to luxury development. 

But, in an ongoing sign of San Francisco's transformation from what it was to what it is, the diner where Clint Eastwood's gun-toting cop first uttered the phrase "Go ahead. Make my day" before perforating half a dozen or so robbers -- now a McDonald's --  is slated to give way to a 10-story SoMa luxury hotel.  

Back when Sudden Impact came out in 1983, Third and Townsend was a gritty realm of poverty, warehouses, and misbegotten, never-to-be-completed freeways

AT&T Park was decades from even being a dream. SoMa, in fact, had plenty of nothing; that's why it served so ably as a repository of Dirty Harry Callahan shootouts and chases. 

In the shootout in question, Callahan is alerted to a holdup in progress by a server's clever ploy of pouring a cup or so of sugar into his coffee. Perhaps this transgression alone would have been enough to ensure gunplay from Dirty Harry but, fortunately, when he returned to the besieged diner he walked in on the robbers, guns drawn. 

Half a dozen gun-toting felons vs. one older man would seem to be poor odds. But, as is the way in Dirty Harry films, the protagonist is not shot, bumped, or even yelled at when he removes an oversize gun from his jacket and proceeds to offer a tutorial on what he will do with that gun. 

And then he does it. 

But, that was then and this is now. And another luxury hotel may soon grace this city. 

Go ahead. Make my day. 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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