Between two hills (For Tricia)

I’m never sure where Nob Hill ends and Russian Hill begins, or where Russian Hill ends and Nob Hill begins, if you’re coming from that direction. The boundary that separates Nob from Russian Hills is generally considered to be Pacific Ave, but the zip code directory that includes Russian Hill extends to Jackson Street. Yesterday was a really pretty day in the Bay Area, so I took a few hours off to drive over to San Francisco with one of the girls who helps out in the office. I let her drive and found out that she’s a maniac behind a steering wheel. I used up my whole day’s supply of Hail Marys getting to and from San Francisco. Tricia also got to drive down Lombard Street for her first time, and I’ve included a silly video of that adventure at the end of this post. She also helped out as a wheel lady, double parking while I took these then and nows somewhere on or between Russian and Nob Hills. The vintage pictures are from a website called the San Francisco Picture Blog, hosted by

MayJacksonPowelluseJackson and Powell Streets, looking west in 1952:

MayJacksonLarkinwestuseJackson Street at Larkin, looking west in 1918:

MayJacksonLarkineastuseThe exact opposite view from the previous picture of Jackson Street at Larkin, looking east in 1920:

MayLarkinUnionuseLooking west down Union Street from Larkin Street in 1948:

MayHydePacificusePacific Avenue, looking south along Hyde Street in 1956: They’re doing lots of road work around San Francisco right now during the coronavirus pandemic, but not here at Hyde Street, like in the vintage picture. That’s obviously work along the cable car track.

MayBroadwayTayloruseLooking east down Broadway from Taylor Street in 1964:

MayVallejoMasonuseMason Street, looking east along Vallejo Street in 1968:

MayUnionGrantuseGrant Avenue, looking west down Union Street toward Russian Hill in 1966: We were geographically starting to climb Telegraph Hill here.

The following video is a rare drive down a practically empty Lombard Street, between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets.









3 thoughts on “Between two hills (For Tricia)

  • Wow, that video makes me cringe without being there.
    Many years ago, my colleague brought his girlfriend up to see the region, and she wanted to drive down Lombard Street. The traffic was so bad on that excellent Saturday that we actually had to wait in line to drive down that section of street. I felt sort of guilty about imposing on those who lived there. After waiting in line to drive down the street, she got out of the car, and ran down the sidewalk so that she could get pictures of us in the car on Lombard Street. Heck! We waited in line to drive down the street, and she got out to miss part of the trip! Well, she got back in to the car eventually. It was a 1979 Electra. I thought a few times that I might need to back it up to get around some of those curves.

      • I remember them only because there was more vegetation there than where there was just paved street, curb and sidewalk in front of the homes. I was not so impressed though. It was obvious that most homes were maintained by gardeners who mostly sheared things and dressed it all up with too many flowery annuals. Although pretty, it was not horticulturally correct. A few gardens had some more personal flair to them, as if someone who lived in the associated home actually appreciated the garden space.

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