This is someone i know. One of SF’s earlier DJ’s and has been very successful throughout since he began. Great dance music! Go SF! Go Miguel!


Oh what a night! Critical Mass at 20 years old. San Francisco.

Critical Mass SF 20 years


Tonight was AMAZING!! For all those that know me, know how difficult time I have been having with the changes in the city and general selling out / gentrification of my dear town. Well, all, tonight I was able to finally feel some relief and actual general bliss and total happiness!

Maybe it is the approx. 20 miles I have peddled in and across and back of SF tonight. Could be just exercise high, or it could be the awesomeness that was the people and partakers (that means you two cars on market that were stopped with doors open and music blarin and them dancing while watching a parade of at LEAST 6000 bicycles stop them in their tracks!).

The 2 roommates that went with me were lost right away. It it did t matter. It was not individuals riding but one giant breathing entity that worked with thank you’s, non verbal commands and general dignity of class. The old kind. The kind u cant buy!

Tonight I felt the flicker of the SF I fell in love with growing up but specifically, 20 years ago in this town. It gives me hope that our true spirit still lies within!

On a final note, i do have to say that a little piece of me does feel good taking our place on the roads and making those cars have to wait.  They never see bikes as an equal person in transport on the roads.  They are bigger so they are more important.  Not so on Critical Mass nights.  So, you get 29 or 30 days a month and we get 1 evening.  Seems fair enough.

Angry guy at Critical Mass 20


I haven’t posted for almost a week… I haven’t forgotten you!

On rare occasion, my with drawl from my daily posts are not due to depression.  Instead, i go into this weird… i dont know, study period.  Usually a history research project or genealogy research that has been going on for the past 19 years.  Sometimes it is because i have become obsessed with a musician (Ellie Goulding for example right now) and have to see every posted live performance until i have tired and worn it out of my mind.  Sometimes it is due to socio-political issues going on in San Francisco… regardless to what it may be (today it was near-curent SF fires), i can not seem to get a focus on a specific point that i want to convey to the world.  These days, i feel it is better (although dont get me wrong!  I feel that guilt!  I should be posting every single day.) if i do not post drivel for a few days and instead see what this research dive leads to.  Sometimes it gives me immediate material for a relevant post.  Sometimes, it just sits in the back of my brain, waiting for the punctuation or punch line or whatever (i do not actually know… that is what the waiting is all about).

Lights (Ellie Goulding album)

Lights (Ellie Goulding album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used to post every day in the begining,  but not have huge investment in what i was posting.  If i came across it and i found it cool or pretty or neato that minute, i would post it.  This was about the first two months.  You would get a few writings from me but majority was neat stuff or kinda interesting things that had nothing to do with anything.

One thing i decided early on though was,   I did not want this blog to just be a product pushing site.  I decided shortly after starting it that i needed to figure out what this blog was all about.  What i wanted to tell the world.  Who i wanted telling the world what.  It was decided by me that i wanted the majority (2/3 -3/4) be fully original written content (written by me) about what ever i may happen to want to talk about.  The other portion would be neat things that i feel that is cool enough or unique or funny enough to be passed on and re-blogs.  This way, i am much more discriminating towards the things that i pass on and take more time to have a voice of my own.

So dear readers, First off, let me just say thank you.  I dont need an audience to voice my own thoughts (i do it all the time in my room or walking along, but people usually interpret it as crazy!) but it sure is more satisfying to know that what you are talking about others are listening to too and maybe even commenting on!  It makes it so cool to have strangers from all over the globe (Katiekins in Scotland, John the Aussie etc) getting in on a conversation that is happening strictly due to the fact that all of us have an interest on talking about this or that.

It sometimes boggles my mind to know that more people hear me that are scattered around the world and that i have never actually met, than probably my family and friends! (at least through the blog). (i keep telling them to read it, and they say ok, but i doubt they remember or know how AWESOME my blog is that they are missing!)  Or maybe they dont realize that this is “me to the world”.  100% me to the world.  No product placements (if i ever get popular enough to get adds at the side to actually pay me, i am taking it!) but i wont be pushing this or that.  I wont be saying what every designer of every new thing is.  I wont be posting (many!) of those stupid sayings that are cool but everywhere and dont need to be preaching to my readers about.  What it will be is curent and hopefully funny sometimes and hopefully real all the time.

I am approaching my 1 year anniversary blog in November and since i started this last year, i have developed a really awesome audience that i feel is more like a group than an audience with me as just one of the people in it.  You all give me so much feedback and time commenting on your thoughts.  I think that is just so fucking AWESOME!!  You all are my first followers and that is a really special thing to me.  You will always be the ones to say, “i have been following that blog before she had 100 followers!”.  And that is kinda cool.  It is kinda cool to have my first group… the originals!… as my fellow conversationalists.

I will do my anniversary blog on the anniversary, but i am just going to say now (and again probably in the anniversary blog!) that all of you have really made this year special for me.  This blog is the thing that i feel most proud of this year.  It has been so rewarding to me (thanks to you!) that i can see myself continuing on on this journey for a long time to come….

So… if you dont hear from me for a few days, i am not gone forever.  You have made that impossible for me to want to do!  Just know, the wait should be worth it.  At least i am not just adding bs filler to cover my ass!


Emelie and Arthur! 2012

(ps.. dont mind the mess along side of the bed! 🙂

My day started with a break down and ended with a boom and collapse!

The evil bookcase that attacked me tonight!

I knew today was going to be a challenge when i posted on FB that this had been a rough day and it was only 1:05pm.  It was a tough morning because my depression has been on pretty strong for the past 2-3 days.  I have not been holding it down too gracefully…. I blame the disease!

Mid day actually went pretty well.  Got stuff done, sat in the sunshine, listened to music and read, vacumed my room, cleaned the kitty box and fish bowl, did some writing and talked with my roommates.  Pretty ok.

Just when i thought i was home free…

the shit starts falling from above… literally!

I had a shelf in my bookcase that had lost its little plug stop thing and it was teetering towards the back left corner.  I had removed about 2/3 rds of its contents and had somehow found places to put all those books (i had no idea what i was in for in t-30 seconds!

My entire bookcase collapsed in consecutive shelf fails (just like the twin towers without the squibs!) without warning.  Every book (that did not fall on me!) had to be pulled or dug out from behind and between and on the sides and carefully removed from teetering shelves (without 1 might i add falling into the… phew… clean litter box who’s home is on the first floor of said case.) .

I did not know i had so many fricking books at this one apartment.  I still have most of my books in storage from my last move and i got rid of my entire collection after working at a bookstore for over a year (it was either books or my records… records won!)  i believe i have to say now that i may be addicted to buying books.

(My poor thumb.)

To say the least, it was an unexpected HUGE project that occurred just about the time i was going to take a bath, eat dinner and go to bed.  I guess this is one way to be forced into some major spring cleaning! (i just dont know how both thumbs got smashed in almost the same place while my hands were in very different places! Hmmm…

Well, 2 hours later, a pained back, a trip to the corner store for boxes and some sorting, stacking and boxing and i can sit down on my bed again!  Phew!  I was wondering if i was going to be sleeping on a fresh bed of books tonight.  Tomorrow… part two of the clean up and hopefully the full repair of the bookcase!  It has got to be a better day tomorrow!  It is a half moon after all tonight!  Those nights are always my equivalent full moon… (i am a cancer and this is just something that has become so regular and obvious that i am aware that my half is your full.)

I will say though.  I have some pretty cool ass books!  And i know how to read!  Yippee!


San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento (and many in between), dont forget to keep your eyes on the sky for a once in a lifetime viewing event tomorrow (thurs. 8/20/12)!


Do not disregard it when you hear some loud low flying airplane outside tomorrow San Francisco!  You need to LOOK UP!!  You get the opportunity to  see one of NASA’s planes with the Space Shuttle Endeavor piggy-backed in a once time in history flying over head to give us one last chance to see her before she gets flown to  to be a part of their permanent exhibit at the LA Air and Space Museum. Get those camera phones ready!!

A little bit late i know, but i still must introduce our newest family member… Introducing…

Finochio!  In true old school fashion of true San Francisco of days past.  He reminded us of the amazing dragqueens at the old classic Finochio’s.  He is so beautiful!  He is a little guy too!  He i think would be the type of fish that would eat any other fish in the bowl (or at least fight the hell out of it!)  We have to only put his “exercise mirror” in his bowl for 5 or 10 minutes a couple times a day.  I dont want him to give him a type A, heart attack candidate type anxiety issues.  He did not sleep for almost 3 days straight the first day i brought him home because i dont think he had ever seen a mirror.  It was a magnified mirror i realized finally and figured he might be on High Alert!! all the time which would be very stressful too… thinking that a fish bigger than you was mimic-ing every move… I’d be aftaid to sleep too!

Anyway, because of his many different colors in different light, i give you Finochio!  (they are all the same fish…just different light:

Finochio our new fish!

…Also Fincohio!

Sitting here holding my breath, enjoying the last moments of the old world.

Sometimes when i dont write, it is because i am not sure how to describe how i feel or maybe where i feel i (we) are right now.  It feels like we are in the middle of two peaks.  The lul if you will.  An in between time.  A pause in the old world right before the world changes.  And i feel that the world is about to really change.

I sit here almost mourning it.  As if it has already come and gone.  It hasen’t, but it will be soon.  This i know.  So i just sit here.  Enjoying, absorbing, living every second.  It is bitter sweet in a somewhat melancholy way.  It shouldn’t be.  But it is none the less.

This is a really hard thing to try and put into words and i dont know if i have been able to in any sort of cohesive way that anybody might be able to understand, but i just tried.  

If i have made no sense to you, chalk it up to another crazy ramblings post.  If you know what i mean, then, sit back and enjoy the time, now, before the world is to change!

My days as a child sure are different than they would have been now, but i am thankful and they taught me a LOT!



Pete and me and my blanky and waldo. circa 1978

I was born in the early half of the 1970’s.  Things were SO different back then.  Not the obvious… I played as a kid, i went to school, i did the family obligations, i had friends, i went to sports practice and games and girl scouts… you get the picture….

What was so different is HOW i played as a kid, and Why i went to school, and What my family obligations were etc.

It was a much slower time back then.  AND a time with SO MUCH LESS unwarranted fear.  So much more communication and planning.

You couldn’t just go by the ATM machine when you got low on cash, you had to make sure that you made it to the bank before 4:30 and if not, you wrote a lot of checks (and probably cashed one at the grocery store!).

You had to have LOTS of patience when trying to reach someone, because, the answering machine had not been invented, nor the cordless phone.  This meant that you let the dang thing ring for at least 30 rings just incase they were in the yard, bath etc. There was no caller ID so if you just missed the call, you would have to just sit there wondering who it was and if and when they might call back.

Back then, we could play unsupervised.  This meant OUTSIDE.  Now, we had markers that were supposed to corral us into not wandering too far (not farther than the field at the end of the Petersen’s lot type thing), but this freedom gave us not only the freedom to adventure and discover, but it gave us an independence that i think carries into the rest of our lives.

Things just moved slower because they had to!  Which ultimately meant we all lived with more patience.  You had to have patience because if you needed to reach someone, you just had to wait, hope and keep trying.

Meals were simple and nutritious.  You know, like a lunch with a pbj sandwich, carrot sticks, cheese and crackers and a milk or juice or something to that effect.

I remember as a kid, you had to get creative (in your own mind!) when it came to playing inside.  We had no video games, or vcr’s or dvd’s.  For god sake, we did not even have any cable tv.  We had 3 network tv channels and 1 public broadcasting station.  THATS IT!  so, tv was not really that much of a deal.

Instead, we had things, like board games, and Light Bright and even musical instruments to have a marching band through the house.  My brother had a chemistry set and an erector set that we would play with and i had Linkon Logs and a tutu!

I would go picking wild flowers and then leave them on the front porch and ring the doorbell and run and hide every May 1 (may day!). And i was sure that my mom couldn’t have known who had done it! lol.

We had a dog and a cat and a bunch of fish, a few hamsters, a gunny pig and a few turtles not to forget a couple of parakeets over the years.  My dog and cat were with me my entire childhood so they were also played with a lot.

I still played with dolls (which i would walk down to the creek in their little stroller:) but i also played with Star Wars action figures with my friends usually the boys.

I lived deep in the redwood forest near Santa Cruz, so i was more isolated than most of my friends that lived in town… So, it was somewhat lonely for me out there and what i am sure i would have said extreem bordom… but that ended up being beneficial to me to have lived through, now in modern time.  It allows me to escape into isolation and enjoy it.

We had respect and even a little fear of our parents.  Not because they ever beat or hurt us, but because we did not want to disappoint them!  We had chores.  A bunch of them that we had to do before we could make plans or go out and play.

If we were bored, my mom would say, “well, you could clean your room or read a book.”  …I managed to find something to do…. 🙂

The thing that i think my childhood did for me was, teach me that if you work hard, you deserve to reward yourself but not the other way around.   And that it is up to me to be responsible and reliable and honest.  And if i am, i should feel good about myself no matter what the successes and failures i may encounter.

I was taught to love, and trust (when it is earned) and to show respect.  Not only to myself but to others around me.

I was taught not to be ungrateful for what i dont have because SO many people on this plannet would do anything just to have those same situations… and that things could always be worse so look on the bright side.

Most importantly, i was taught not to take for granted so much that i am so blessed for.   We get so caught up in all the things that we cant have or didnt get or achieve…

That is not the way to see the world.  If you are healthy and have people who love you and do not have to live in constant fear and have the freedom to make your own decisions, then …LIFE IS GOOD!!

Take that with you today.. It is so easy for us to get bogged down and feel the weight of all of the bs of life on our shoulders, but for one day, dont.   Dont let it get you down, because you have got it REAL GOOD!!  Enjoy it for a day for a change!  All that bullshit will still be there waiting for you tomorrow… take a day off and enjoy this beautiful planet with all of its beautiful life and colors and forms.  Simplify.  Life really is good even if you have a bunch of bills that need to be paid!


How Much Is This Cute 1BR For Sale on Powhattan Really Worth?

This house i have been watching for about a month and a half, patiently awaiting it to finally go on market. It is at the top of my block and i walk past it every day when i do my workout. From what i understand, the square footage for this single family home is a mere 463sqft on a slightly over 1500sqft lot (which does back right up to Bernal Heights park). You never see a single family, stand alone house that is smaller than some studio apts. i have lived in! It makes me wonder if this is the framework of one of the original earthquake shelters that were put up all over SF in 1906…. Looks like i might just have to go through the open house!


Miss Sally, our real estate-obsessed friend at the tony CurbedSF blog, directed our attention to a new listing for a home at 9 Powhattan that just hit the market. It’s a rather adorable 1BR, 1BA , and the realtor propaganda says:

High on the Hill – Bernal Hill, you will find this one of a kind & rarely available view cottage with fantastic outlooks & great light. Perched high in a secluded & private setting, on a quiet street, yet just steps to the heart of Bernal Village, & all that makes this neighborhood so great! Cute beyond belief, this 1 bedroom house has tremendous views over Bernal to the Southern Hills, a large & protected deck, & an expansive yard with gardens featuring native grasses, trees & shrubs. The yard backs up to the very top of Bernal Hill itself, so you can exit your back gate to walk…

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An Open Letter To: The Executives At HGTV

This is just too funny… and i can somewhat relate (without admitting any guilt!).

The Wordslinger

Dear HGTV Execs,

You have ruined my life.  That may seem a bit harsh and over-dramatic, but that’s how we do it here at The Wordslinger, so get used to it.  The hypnotic power you have asserted over me began to take hold about 6 months ago and has slowly tightened its icy grip with every passing day.  It began innocently enough, as my desire to purchase a new home in the near future led me to channel surf my way over to your network from time to time.

It didn’t take long for your programming to pique my interest.  I watched as Average Joes like myself searched for and found their dream homes, and with every “3 months later” ending-credits-scene, I basked in their glory as if it were my own.  Subconsciously I found myself drawn to channel 229 like a moth to a flame and before long, I…

View original post 446 more words

An Open Letter To: The Executives At HGTV

This is just too funny… and i can somewhat relate (without admitting any guilt!).

The Wordslinger

Dear HGTV Execs,

You have ruined my life.  That may seem a bit harsh and over-dramatic, but that’s how we do it here at The Wordslinger, so get used to it.  The hypnotic power you have asserted over me began to take hold about 6 months ago and has slowly tightened its icy grip with every passing day.  It began innocently enough, as my desire to purchase a new home in the near future led me to channel surf my way over to your network from time to time.

It didn’t take long for your programming to pique my interest.  I watched as Average Joes like myself searched for and found their dream homes, and with every “3 months later” ending-credits-scene, I basked in their glory as if it were my own.  Subconsciously I found myself drawn to channel 229 like a moth to a flame and before long, I…

View original post 446 more words

The sky was on fire tonight with even a double rainbow!

San Francisco was host tonight to the most electric rainbow i have ever laid eyes on!  In fact it was a double rainbow!  I did not know that that was actually anything other than ice cream!  It looked like it was on fire.  I have not seen a weather event bring more people out of their houses to witness.  They were everywhere… at least the smart ones were!  It was just spectacular!  I hope you enjoy!








San Francisco was host tonight to the most electric rainbow i have ever laid eyes on!  In fact it was a double rainbow!  I did not know that that was actually anything other than ice cream!  It looked like it was on fire.  I have not seen a weather event bring more people out of their houses to witness.  They were everywhere… at least the smart ones were!  It was just spectacular!  I hope you enjoy!

wow… i think sf has truly gone to a crap town now!

Aaron Endré ⋈ Marketing Communications

And San Francisco taxes pay for discrimination

Last week my boyfriend and I went to a fantastic tech networking party and afterward, around 11pm, we flagged down a Yellow Cab (#605) on the corner of Kearney and Market in downtown San Francisco. We got in and gave the driver our destination. We soberly chit-chatted and laughed about the party from the comfort of the back seat and then—without thinking—pecked on the lips. And that’s when the driver immediately pulled over and demanded that we get out of the cab.


When my boyfriend and I went to visit some family in Michigan in August, we were reminded of homophobia by the slurs that were tossed our way by folks when they saw us holding hands as we walked by. Growing up in Michigan and having experienced it before, I probably should have expected it. But I’ve been living in San Francisco for the…

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What needs to happen in San Francisco for the rental market to ease…. (or at least a place to start!)



This rental market is too far spinning out of control!! This is becoming a huge blith on the lives of all that have to be here. Some drastic measures are going to need to happen soon by our city officials before the rental rises are going to keep charging up like a freight train. I personally right now, without an act of god, see it reversing any time soon let alone level off.

Bottom line, we need to get more rentals infused into our city

…. Where oh where are we going to find them? Lets see, we can build more cheap ugly high rises, we can force out our minority and low income residents,

OR… We can start cracking down on ALL of the illegal leased rentals being rented out at insane prices for a weekend as vacation housing on sites like AirBNB. Not only are all of these rentals that are being included in the numbers for the city being paid for in 2-4 nights for the month rent and sitting empty most of the time, they are not being charged any of the hospitality taxes that a regular-on the grid- bnb or hotel is. It is a massive loophole that is definitely an invisible factor to the lack of available rentals. The landlords should crack down about this stuff too. If a landlord finds a tenant sub leasing their apt. out, and it is not written into the lease, that is just cause for eviction i believe. I am sure the landlord would rather be making the money off of the people needing a place than a tenant!

And.. i think we need some city sponsored and funded low income housing built. Fast. But not cheaply! That is just my observation of a couple places we could make a few adjustments to try and help ease the strain a little.

The city made a LOT of hidden deals with a LOT of companies within the last year to have them bring their businesses here. They can not do that and bring in all that new revenue without providing necessary basics. Sometimes it takes money to make money and they need to take that cash out of their pockets and build some more housing for all of these people that they just enticed to come live here. It seems very corrupt down in city hall these days, because this is really the city’s problem and the city is the only single source that can fix it.

Can you name the steepest street in San Francisco? I bet you are wrong!!

I found this GREAT article (here is the original link… about San Francisco’s true steepest streets!  I know we are known for our steep streets, partly because my grandma lived on Jones at Clay my whole live and going over california every single time proved a rush! (almost as much as going up on the roof of her building and pushing the buttons in the elevator!).

Now almost 20 years later, i find myself living on the steep slopes of Bernal Heights.  Now, i started this exercise thing a couple months ago by walking every day around the steep streets of bernal and around the rock.  I have intimate knowledge of these steep hills as i find myself losing a lung trying to get up these SUPER steep grades.  So much to the point that in about 7 weeks, i have lost 9 lbs by walking 2-3 miles a day 6 days a week.  

I am getting stronger but do not ever see a marathon on my future!  I just enjoy being out in my beautiful town breathing the cool sea air and catching views of the whole bay.  Life while hiking, aint too bad i tell you!…  Enjoy!


The Steeps Of San Francisco

In Search Of The City’s Steepest Street


A Steep San Francisco Street

A Steep San Francisco Street

Ask a San Franciscan about the City’s steepest streets, and four out of five times, he’ll say something like “Great for scaring the bejeezus out of tourists!”

Or, sweat beading upon his brow, he might recount that Damp Morning when he drove his Manual Transmission up the Impossible Grade, and was forced to stop, just below the top! In frantic pantomime, he’ll pull the emergency brake and disengage the clutch. Crane his neck to peer anxiously at the car sniffing his downhill bumper. Bulge his eyes. Gun the engine. Pop the clutch. Release the brakes. Lay down some rubber with a piercing squeal. Float his steed slowly onto the flat. Wave the smoke from his eyes. Pump his arms in brief celebration. And finally, grouse about that sadistic driving instructor who got him into the pickle in the first place. What a jerk!

Flush with the desire to frighten out-of-town guests, or to take the aforementioned test of motoring skill, you’ll need a suitable road with hill. Google the “steepest streets in San Francisco” and you’ll find this:


The Steepest Streets in the City, Purportedly
1. (tie) Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde (31.5% grade)
1. (tie) 22nd between Church and Vicksburg (31.5% grade)
3. Jones between Union and Filbert (29% grade)
4. Duboce between Buena Vista and Alpine (27.9% grade)
5. Jones between Green and Union (26% grade)
6. Webster between Vallejo and Broadway (26% grade)
7. Duboce between Alpine and Divisadero (25% grade)
8. Jones between Pine and California (24.8 grade)
9. Fillmore between Vallejo and Broadway (24% grade)
Source: San Francisco Bureau Of Engineering.

Impressive? Most certainly. However, might I register a beef, please?

The grade measurements look okay, but the locations overlap the traditional haunts of hipsters and sightseers, seemingly to the exclusion of the rest of town. Hills dot the entirety of the City, so a similarly-steep street must lurk elsewhere within its 49 square miles. Right?

At the exact moment of that realization, my inner Chivalrous Knight rose from slumber, knowing that he must canvas every corner of San Francisco, no matter how nondescript or unpleasant, for its steepest thoroughfares – if for no other reason than the Defense Of Equitability and Advancement Of Knowledge.

A Map!

Frisco encompasses some 1,400 miles of paved roads, so the first step was to narrow my search. Combining the National Elevation Dataset’s 1/3-second data with the Open Street Maps grid, I created the following map of the City, with streets colored by slope:

A map of San Francisco with streets colored by slope.

A map of San Francisco with streets colored by slope.

Despite the map’s warts – and a geography geek will find more than a few – it served its purpose: to pinpoint areas of interest. After scouring the associated topos, I’d assembled a dozen candidate intersections, ripe for inspection.

The next day, I loaded my crude surveying rig – a level and builder’s square – into the car, checked the brakes, changed the oil, kissed my wife and kids goodbye, mumbled a prayer toSaint Christopher, and embarked upon the Steepest Search.

High Grade

Most people naturally describe steepness with an angle. However, road builders speak ingrade, the ratio of vertical rise to horizontal run, expressed as a percentage, allowing them to quickly perform useful calculations without resorting to Troublesome Trigonometry. Angle and grade are not synonymous: for example, a slope that rises one foot per two feet of run is about 27 degrees from level, but has a grade of 50%. With that in mind, let’s continue!

My first target was 10th Avenue above Quintara, a straight shot to the top of Forest Hill. On approach, it looked mighty indeed, and measurements showed 4.75 inches of rise per 20 inches of run: a respectable, but not record-shattering 24% grade. The subsequent procession of streets – on Mount Sutro, below Twin Peaks, in Diamond Heights – clocked in likewise: at 23%, 24%, and 25%, but nothing steeper!

A century ago, when San Franciscans began swapping their goat-drawn carriages for automobiles, some wise authority must have decided that these new-fangled mechanical animals could not safely climb more than one foot in four. And issued a proclamation: no new street shall exceed 25-Percent!


In support of that theory, the Parade of One-In-Four Grades continued for two more hours, until abruptly terminated by this extremely-steep ribbon of pavement atop Frisco’s Sunnyside:

The 400 block of Baden

The 400 block of Baden

Was it a public street? The local postman didn’t think so, but the city signage, as the dead-end 400 block of Baden, indicated otherwise. However, it was stubby, one lane wide, textured like a lava flow, and if it wasn’t a driveway, it certainly ended at one.

Baden’s lumpiness raised a pertinent question: how to determine the maximum grade? Consider too short a stretch, and potholes, bumps, and gutters skew the numbers. Too long, and the flats drown out the steeps. My eminently-practical compromise defines maximum grade as the most you can tilt your car, axle to axle, driving the road while keeping the wheels on the pavement and avoiding damage.

Measured accordingly, upper Baden topped out at 34 percent: worthy of breaking out the champagne, if it were a bonafide street other than by technicality!


In the Hollywood Adaptation of the Steepest Search, I had reached the dark part of the script, wherein Circumstance tests my Mettle. Sure, I’d assembled the Twenty-Five-Percent Collection and discovered a Heavily-Tilted Single Lane Road With Asterisk. But, despite my best efforts, a full-fledged specimen of truly extreme slope eluded me!

Frustration cast a smug grin in my direction, and I winked back, for I had an Ace Up My Sleeve: Bernal Heights!

In any sane city, a superlative hill like Bernal would have been left completely bare. However, San Francisco was crazy before the 1906 temblor, and a basket case afterwards. Bernal escaped the brunt of the damage, so, to house refugees and the workers who would rebuild the city, the powers-that-be hastily completed and populated its network of narrow streets. These charismatic thoroughfares persist to this day: arranged in a grid here, a jumble there, with dipsy doodles everywhere! Given the chance, don’t miss the staccato ramps and flats of Prospect Avenue. Or, to experience the sensation of being One Hair Shy Of Tumbling Off The Edge Of The World, drive Elsie Street from Virginia to Coso!

Bernal oozes good, funky karma, so poetically, upon its northern flanks, I found Redemption.


At first, I didn’t know whether to believe it or not. Could this be an illusion? A dream? I rubbed my eyes, pinched myself, and looked again. Still, it persisted: Ripley Street, a beautiful, continuous grade, paved in the tell-tale concrete, jutting bravely skyward! With the hallmark, mandatory parking perpendicular to the slope, lest the ever-tugging hand of Mother Gravity transform one’s hapless vehicle into two-thousand-pound Battering Ram Of Rolling Carnage.

Thiebaud's "Ripley Street Ridge"

Thiebaud’s “Ripley Street Ridge”

I jumped from my auto, ran hurriedly to mid-grade, and took a measurement: 31.5 percent! The same pitch as Filbert and 22nd Streets, but with longer sustain, and drivable both ways!

On the topic of Ripley, the Internet Dot Com is more-or-less mum, with one notable exception: renowned painter Thiebaud’s evocative, spot-on, and sought-after Ripley Street Ridge, recently sold at auction for a cool $1,022,500.

More coarsely, if San Francisco’s other steep streets are Boys, Ripley is The Daddy: a broad-shouldered, dominating 400-foot stretch of peeling tires, boiling radiators, and grinding brake pads! Lose control on lesser inclines, and via the proper application of wits, reflexes, hedges, curbs, side streets, and other cars, you just might be able to negotiate a Happy Ending. But screw with Ripley, and you will certainly endure a most Severe Punishment upon the Bottom!

Nevada and Prentiss

Finally satisfied by my discoveries, I headed home to dine with family. Alas, in transit, slightly below Bernal’s rim boulevard, I lost my bearings. The steering wheel of fate guided me into a vaguely-rural area – so steep that half of its lots are vacant.

There, I encountered Nevada, a stripe of loose, dirty asphalt that cascades downhill at a lunch-tossing 36 percent. If you have a heart condition, serious back problems, frequent motion sickness, or are under 48 inches tall, do not attempt to drive it, for a local resident informs me that unlucky motorists lock up in fear and/or careen by on a weekly basis.

Thirty seconds after gingerly exiting Nevada, I rendezvoused with a sassy, petite, curved, concrete street by the name of Prentiss:

Prentiss Street above Powhattan

Prentiss Street above Powhattan

Drive downhill along the inside edge of the turn, and your car will briefly tilt at an astounding 37% grade. Hubba hubba!

Congratulations, Prentiss Street between Chapman and Powhattan, for you have officially earned the title of San Francisco’s Steepest. You soundly trounce your Californian competition, and cross the finish line nose to nose with Pittsburgh’s Canton Avenue, tied as the two most-tilted urban thoroughfares in the world!

New And Improved

Now, with that and some other discoveries in hand, let’s finish the job. Fire the pyrotechnics in five, four, three, two, one…

The Steepest Streets In San Francisco, For Real
1. Prentiss between Chapman and Powhattan (37% grade)
2. Nevada above Chapman (36% grade)
3. Baden above Mangels (34% grade) *
4. Ripley between Peralta and Alabama (31.5% grade)
5. Filbert between Hyde and Leavenworth (31.5% grade)
6. 22nd between Vicksburg and Church (31.5% grade)
7. 24th between Grand View and Fountain (30% grade)
8. Kearny above Broadway (30% grade) **
9. Holyoke between Karen and Woolsey (30% grade)
10. 25th above Grand View (30% grade)
11. Jones between Union and Filbert (29% grade)
12. Dwight above Goettingen (29% grade)
13. Folsom between Chapman and Powhattan (29% grade)

Source: Stephen Von Worley.
Notes: Ties are broken by the length of maximum slope.
* Crude, single lane pseudo-street, 
** Grade unconfirmed.

Mission Accomplished. Inner Chivalrous Knight, time for beddie bye!

Please do read the sequel: More Steeps Of San Francisco!

I can’t wait until in like 20 years, this shirt will be one hilarious novelty!


Until then, I will wear it to clean house! :). Note* I found and did not, repeat, DID NOT buy it! 😉

And you thought it was tough to find an apartment to rent in SF? …here is the ultimate add for a room!

Found originally on Cl.  Then in’s site, here is (a presumed fake, but i actually can totally picture the room and situation and basically, that is the most honest post i have ever seen, so it should be real!).  Here is a little taste of what it is like finding or trying to find a place to live when the city you are in has less that 3% vacancy!

I have a shitty room available that no other people in the house want, hence the ad on CL.
I figure I can charge you more so the existing roommates can all pay less. I’ve actually been here for 8 years, so I’ll be making money off your rent.
It’s about 8×6, has a window facing a brick wall, and has no closet. The closet is down the hall, down a flight of stairs, … ah hell it’s in the garage.
Also, the room is not really a room, it’s half of a double parlour and your door is a sliding one that doesn’t close all the way. You can hear your roommate on the other side think.
We’re having an open house, so if you really like talking about yourself and giving us your life story while other strangers are present, you’ll be in your element.
One of our roommates is out of town, we would like you to skype with him a few days from now when we’ve picked some people out. Then after that we will narrow it down again to a select few (10) and meet next week for round two. We don’t have a life so we welcome the chance to have people over that show interest in us and praise our wonderful abode and everything about us, whether it’s sincere or not. Hey, a couple of us guys are single, so this could be a chance for us to score some dates. I don’t think that’s creepy at all.
We’d like your facebook and linkedin info. We feel that we can tell what kind of person you are and what you’ll be like, just from looking at how many friends you have online. There’s never been a better way to get to know someone.
Send us an email or go buy a lottery ticket – chances of getting the room are roughly the same.