|San Francisco of my early childhood in the 60s did not look much different. "Vertigo," when I saw it in college, summed up the feeling I always had in San Francisco as a child, similar to the way "Chinatown" hit a familiar mood I had experienced in Los Angeles in my adolescence.
In the film, as in these pictures, there's a sense that the city is almost empty, except for Stewart and Judy/Carlotta. It is, in the mind of the character played by JStewart--All is "Carlotta."
I had the sense--that the city looked like a real city, such as Chicago (city of my grandparents), but scaled down, and with fewer people than buildings. A sense of a deserted city, sometimes: those empty, pretty horizons that look so heroic from afar, are just the bridges to Marin County or Oakland up close.