90 degree only transfers were indeed the rule. Even that could be difficult. As a teenager I lived in the Sunset, 47th Ave. Sometimes I'd ride the Fulton #5 streetcar from downtown, west to LaPlaya, and transfer (or try to transfer) to the #7, going south, just to ride through GG park. Conductors were loathe to accept my transfer, thinking that I was trying to sneak a ride back downtown. (The #7 turned east at Lincoln Way and went inbound.) Presenting my transfer invariably resulted in: 1. An argument between me and the conductor, or 2. My having to stay in the back of the car, the conductor with his eye on me, making sure I climbed off as soon as we hit Lincoln Way. Methinks the transfer situation is much more accommodating nowadays.
And, you talk about beer. Yes indeed. Much better choices these days. But, don't forget bread. The French breads, Larrabaru (sp?) et al, were wonderful, only in San Francisco type creations, but, outside of that, the bread of the day was plain white. Kilpatrics, Langendorf. Someone on this site mentioned the Ukraine bakery. If you were lucky enough to go there, you could enjoy their pumpernickel, dark, dark wheaty bread. Much like the variety of breads available today. Again, a vote for the good things of the present.