Mum (mom) and dad came to visit me from England within 15 seconds of my moving to SF from LA many years ago. Within 16 seconds (including the 15 seconds of them arriving i.e. 1 second later or 60 seconds, take your pick), they’d unpacked half of the UK in my guest bedroom and were already planning what they’d be sightseeing for the next 8 days. This was all well and good until they got out the Stair ways of San Francisco book. This resulted in a good 45 minutes of trying to test me where I thought the millions of stairs were, hidden all over the city. As only a visitor to SF prior to moving, I barely knew which stairs led to my front door, never mind in the 7 mile radius around me. I just drank wine and nodded.
So as I started my new job, they trundled off on a walk with the intention of looking up and down alleyways until they got a sore neck. They schlepped my dog up and down streets, down side streets, streets that weren’t even on Google map and headed on a mission. A friend told me to check Google Earth (GE) for more info of steps near my home. In my excitement, I actually thought GE was like a live cam so raced outside my front door and started waving my hands madly in the air, hoping my pal 5000 miles away could see me. I galloped back to my laptop to see if he’d noticed me and it was at that point, he informed me it was not live and nope, he couldn’t see my new haircut so had no verdict on it. I then spent 10 minutes describing my new haircut. I think he disconnected Skype and blocked me. I was too busy talking to notice.
Yet over the years of living in SF, every time I see stairways down alleys in SF, it reminds me of my parents hunt for the best ‘stairs’ in the city. I saw one the other day just off Market Street where Romain Street (I remember that name because it reminds me of the lettuce) looks down onto the north side of Noe Valley. The view was incredible (see pic attached).
Over the past near 7 years of living in this incredible city, I’ve seen some really cool views from stairways. My favorite is actually not a stairway but more steps. At Pacific Avenue heading towards Cow Hollow on Fillmore Street, there are a bunch of steps. The views overlooking Marin County are just mind-blowing. My dog (Muppet Bundle Cundle – I’m into rhyming and it’s also amusing when she gets mail addressed to her full name from her pet insurance) have spent many an evening sat on the steps taking in the views. Actually I love the views, yet Muppet just sits and picks at her paws but with the best intentions. The funniest thing about these steps are that they’re too close to each other so even the coolest guy bouncing up them has to do a bit of a pretty girl dance. I call these steps the ‘ballerina.’ It’s not for the heavy footed.
So…the best steps in San Francisco? Check these out! The Iron Steps (Market St and Corbett by Castro), Filbert Steps (you can crack walnuts with buns of steel after going up these steps), Greenwich Steps (always a bar nearby for a breather), Vallejo Steps (which I fondly pronounce as ‘veyjjo,’ the same as I believe Arkansas should be pronounced phonetically – Ark’and’sass) and the finale? Tiled steps at 16th and Moraga. We’re all aware Lyon Steps are amazing but the best steps ever…the ones you go up to go home after traipsing around the city.
Everyone knows SF is the best city on the planet, maybe also on Pluto and Mars, but not Uranus. With the steps waiting for us every few blocks, I’ve got to say that each is a little stairway to SF heaven. Get that butt into gear, start walking the steps and I guarantee you that by October, your butt will be nearly as high as your shoulders! And if not, you’ll not get a money back guarantee but you’ll get an A for effort. Which is why people who live in SF truly have SF butts. No ifs, ands or butts about it.