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New Drone Video Shows San Francisco’s Deserted Dining Districts

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The streets of North Beach, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf are eerily empty

In drone video captured on March 22, 2020, the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown are quiet and bare
San Francisco Shut Down: COVID-19 Quarantine/Space Race Studio

A drone video by a San Francisco videographer paints a sobering portrait of how quiet the city’s typically-bustling bar and restaurant zones are during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) shelter-in-place order.

Laughing Squid notes that the video was taken by Dan Denegre, a local filmmaker at Space Race Studio. According to an Instagram post by Denegre, he shot the film — which covers Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Chinatown, Haight Street, and more — at around 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, a time when the spots would typically be bustling with residents, tourists, delivery drivers, and more.

At 9 a.m. most Sundays, Fisherman’s Wharf would be packed with tourists. On March 22, things were different.
San Francisco Shut Down: COVID-19 Quarantine/Space Race Studio

“Driving through San Francisco during the pandemic is jaw dropping,” Denegre writes. “Thankfully few people are outside (I wasn’t even close to a person), but seeing the shops boarded up is tough to see. I made sure the drone wasn’t a nuisance to anyone while shooting this short documentary of this...very weird time in San Francisco.”

The Upper Haight was free of foot traffic Sunday, a day on which it’s usually crowded
San Francisco Shut Down: COVID-19 Quarantine/Space Race Studio
By 9 a.m. on most Sundays, North Beach might expect coffee drinkers and the beginning of the breakfast crowd.
San Francisco Shut Down: COVID-19 Quarantine/Space Race Studios

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