Something there is about a street named after a state that I find pleasing. San Francisco has a bunch, on Potrero Hill and on both its eastern and western slopes. There’s an Illinois Street down by Third. And a Kansas, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Florida. There’s a York and a Hampshire–the “New” dropped from both–and a Vermont and a Rhode Island. And Alabama, and many more.
(And, going parenthetical, this sign illustrates a conundrum for people trying to navigate San Francisco’s multiple clashing street grids. We’re at the corner of 17th and Alabama. Now in Chicago, if you were at the corner of a 17th and Anything, you could be reasonably sure what street numbers you would encounter going either way on Anything; on one side you’d be in the 1600s, and the other you’d find 1700s. It wasn’t always so easy, but that’s the numbering regime the city has today. In San Francisco, though, the numbered streets don’t bear a predictable relationship to the addresses at their intersections. Thus, 17th Street commences the 400 block of Alabama in one place, and some other block of numbers as you proceed east or west. To an outsider, it’s utterly illogical. I believe natives and denizens see it as just another one of the city’s charming quirks.)
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