When I hear this phrase, I think of Carl Malden and car chases. San Francisco, with its steep hills, may have the most famous “streets” in the U.S. Sure, there are other cities with steep hills, but none that have the cache of San Francisco.
Those hills are real. I know; I walked some of them. During the first 4 days of my stay in San Francisco, I estimated that I walked about 35 miles. Some of those miles were uphill, up some of those streets, including the “summit” of the famed “Nob Hill.” On the way up, I was reminded of my age. But once at the top, it was exhilarating to look downhill in all 4 directions and see San Francisco Bay, the Bay Bridge and the city skyline.
It is easy to see why the cable cars made living on these hills possible. Because of the hills, most of the streets do not continue all the way from one side of the city to the other. They end. They jog. The most famous of them all is Lombard Street, which zig-zags with tight switch-backs. Unfortunately, I did not get to Lombard Street this trip (but it is on the “bucket list” for the next trip).
Only one street continues in a straight line throughout the city: Market Street, which can be plainly seen from the view up on Twin Peaks.
And of course, the Embarcadero, which skirts San Francisco Bay from near the Bay Bridge all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf, may be one of the city’s most famous streets and perhaps most interesting.