San Francisco has a history of naming its ugliest streets
for famous people. Alice B. Toklas Lane is a scary alley that hosts
drug dealers and hookers, Caesar Chavez Avenue is a run down street that
primarily serves as a freeway onramp, and the Peter Macchiarini Steps are
weather worn stairs fronting a decaying street. *
Located near the Vallejo Street Stairway, the Peter Macchiarini
Steps commemorate a San Francisco modernist sculptor and jeweler known
for his depiction of the Emperor Norton. (The Emperor Norton was
a San Franciscan who declared himself emperor and was known for making
and distributing his own private currency.)
The steps are two staircases that run on opposite sides
of the shabby street. The upper end of the stairs afford a decent
view of downtown. Aside from this one minor note, the Peter Macchiarini
Steps offer little attraction.
(*I suspect should I ever have the misfortune to become
sufficiently famous to merit a street in San Francisco, they will select
a trash-bin lined, sewage-leaking byway somewhere near a bar that discharges
drunks to regularly piss against the walls under the street sign bearing
my name. Of course, that pretty much describes Alice B. Toklas Lane, and
I suspect I shall never garner as much fame as she. In summary, if
Parisians honored artists in the same manner as San Francisco, the Picasso
Museum would be a cattle yard.)
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