SANF February 2009 : Page 29

CLICK FEBRUARY 2009 SAN FRANCISCO 29 GUTTER CREDIT HERE WHEN: 5:19 p.m. 12/21/08 WHERE: Stockton and O’Farrell Streets, San Francisco On the Sunday before Christmas, the rain fell as steadily as the Dow, as throngs of last-minute shoppers braved the damp, dreary night to hunt for holiday gifts. Not surprisingly, umbrellas far outnum- bered shopping bags. Like the rest of the country’s financially battered retailers, Union Square stores reported a significant decrease in holiday sales—around 30 percent for some— compared with last year’s. Still, could the glistening pavement and the eerie urban glare be hinting at a light at the end of the tunnel? Fill the glass half-full—and hope for the best. PHOTOGRAPHER: Navid Baraty

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