12 January 2009

Urban Adventure Walk

In the 96 Hours section of the SF Chronicle one day, I saved an article about an Urban Outing in Russian Hill. The name is from the Gold Rush era when settlers discovered a small Russian cemetery here at the top of the hill.We went on this fun, little adventure which on a beautiful Saturday morning. These are some highlights. The info can be found here.

It begins at Vallejo & Mason where you climb the Vallejo Steps, leading to some great city views.

At the top there is a little park to the right - Ina Coolbrith Park, California's first poet laureate who happens to be the niece of Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon church). She was born Josephine Donna Smith, 3/10/1841 - 2/29/1928. She moved to the Bay Area in 1862 and shortened her name to Ina Donna Coolbrith (Coolbrith was her mother's maiden name). Ina also mentored young Jack London when she worked as a librarian in Oakland.

At the top you enter the historic Vallejo Street Crest District, where a dark-brown shingled duplex was once owned by the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder.

At the south side of Vallejo is the narrow and quaint Florence Street with Pueblo Revival stucco's and a small Mediterranean villa.

You get this view of Alcatraz at Jones & Green Streets.

The 1000 block of Green is called the "Paris Block," containing 12 houses on the National Register of Historic Places. Including the Octagon House built in 1859, and Engine 31 firehouse built in 1907.

Down the stairway, then at Taylor you walk up a small flight of wooden stairs to Macondray Lane.

In Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" novels, this secluded oasis is Barbary Lane.

Near the end of this lane we found some last remnants of Christmas.

We skipped the last stop at Swensen's Ice Cream and walked through North Beach.
We ended our adventure walk at an Italian Bakery where we shared a cannoli.

Because this is San Francisco, we happened to catch the Gaza protest going down Market Street as we were leaving downtown.

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