Thursday, November 20, 2008

The (Crooked) Road Not Taken

As a San Francisco resident, I’ve picked up all kinds of fun facts: the city is built on 43 hills; Coit Tower is the result of a New Deal program; the first electronic television was invented on Green St. by Philo Farnsworth; street cleaning on my block is from 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. on Tuesdays.

It’s even better when my out-of-town friends visit and I get to march them around to areas they haven’t heard of. The aspiring docent in me beams at the chance to regurgitate the tidbits I had read three hours before their arrival. No Fisherman’s Wharf. No downtown shopping areas. Imagine how city I feel when taking them to Clarion Alley, a fortune cookie factory, or the Grateful Dead house (or maybe seeing the people outside the Grateful Dead house is a bigger draw).

Whatever the case, my tours tend to include a little spiel about the crookedest street in S.F. – Vermont! Oh, are you not from around here? While Lombard has the benefit of the red bricks (compared to Vermont’s drab, concrete pavement) and being in a nice area convenient for tourists, the strip of Vermont between 20th and 22nd has the advantage of science. A Travel Channel show determined the sinuosity of Vermont is 1.56 compared to Lombard’s 1.2. Chew on that, Russian Hill.

So drop another quarter into your City jar, grab your son’s big wheel, and enjoy the crooked fun. When you’re done, you might as well grip on a burrito – since you’re in the area and all.

[Note: I still took my friends to the Full House house].

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