When I moved here in the mid-80s, I learned San Francisco on foot by climbing its hills and counting its blocks. Back then the City unfolded itself to me in a series of unexpected moments as I stumbled across places like the Vulcan Stairs, Sutro Gardens, or the heart-stopping crest of the hill at Filbert and Hyde. At the time, I thought these discoveries were all mine and that no one else really knew about my secret spots.
An early favorite find was the first block of Liberty Street. If you have yet to discover it yourself, I recommend approaching it from the Valencia Street side holding an ice cream cone from Smitten. When you turn the corner, you’ll trade clutter and chaos for a canopy of Gum and Ash trees that frame front stoops and Italianate facades. The 19th Century homes are perfectly sized for this little street and love to show off their bits of gingerbread and clapboard in the dappled sunlight.
One of the best things I love about my job is that I not only regularly visit my favorite nooks and crannies but can also become part of their history–if only for a brief month or two. My recent sale at 22 Liberty was a thrill for me and for my buyers– who love the location as much as I do.