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Farewell to one of Fillmore’s finest

DAVID JOHNSON, who took the most famous photograph ever taken on Fillmore Street, looking south from Fillmore and Post in the late 1940s, died on March 1 at age 97. Johnson, a Florida native, first came through San Francisco on his way to serve in the navy during World War II. He returned after the […]

Photographer of the Fillmore

IT TOOK A FEW YEARS for David Johnson’s photographs of Fillmore Street during its jazz heyday as the Harlem of the West to be appreciated. Quite a few. But it happened half a century later with the premiere of the highly acclaimed public television documentary in 1999, called simply “The Fillmore,” and the book that […]

Harlem of the West is back

AFTER BEING out of print for more than seven years, a new and expanded second edition of Harlem of the West — along with a companion website and exhibition — will be unveiled at the end of the month. The photo and history book celebrating Fillmore’s jazz era in the 1940s and ’50s was originally […]

Images that tell a story

A CONVERSATION with photographer David Johnson and his old friend and new wife, author Jacqueline Sue, as a new exhibition of his photographs of the Fillmore during the “Harlem of the West” era opens. Jackie: In November we will have known each other for 58 years. Just a few weeks ago we celebrated your 88th […]

Photographer made his mark on Fillmore

A HANDSOME NEW BOOK — melodiously titled A Dream Begun So Long Ago — chronicles the life of photographer David Johnson from his childhood, shuffling through the care of various adults in segregated Jacksonville, Florida, through his on-and-off relationship with the art of photography. Now it’s firmly on again as the 86-year-old relishes his recognition […]

From old Fillmore photos, a rebirth

PHOTOGRAPHY | THOMAS REYNOLDS Singer James Brown may have been the hardest-working man in show business, but David Johnson is surely the hardest-working 84-year-old in the photography business. In recent months he’s had four major exhibitions — mostly photographs from the heyday of the Fillmore’s jazz era — including one in Atlanta and another at […]


“THE FILLMORE” — Opening sequence from the feature-length PBS documentary that tells the poignant story of the rise and fall of “The Harlem of the West.” COOKIN’ THE BOOKS — Browser Books on Fillmore Street tries out its cookbooks, right in the store, on the third weekend of each month. CELEBRATING ALAMO SQUARE — A new […]

The Fillmore meets Japantown, 1946

Then as now, the intersection of Fillmore and Post was also the intersection of two neighborhoods. Japanese-Americans had returned from the internment camps of World War II to find that, in their absence, African-Americans had arrived in record numbers as part of the war effort. What had been Japantown had been transformed into an all-night […]

Mostly British Film Fest returns

FILM | Ruthe Stein Jack Bair — a co-founder and director of the Mostly British Film Festival, which opens at the restored Vogue Theatre at 3290 Sacramento Street on January 17 — leads two lives, at least. His day job is as senior vice president and general counsel of the San Francisco Giants, a team […]

Magic at 1300 Fillmore

HARLEM NIGHTS MEET PACIFIC HEIGHTS A restaurant bridges the divide between upper and lower Fillmore By BARBARA KATE REPA David Lawrence and Monetta White are living a dream. Their restaurant, 1300 on Fillmore, has been packed to capacity since it opened in November 2007. The food has won rave reviews. And the stylish setting attracts an […]