Seward Alley is unique because...well...it's an alley.
In most American cities, that wouldn't be very interesting. San Francisco,
however, is built without almost any alleys. Houses here generally
are placed very close to the sidewalk with little or no front yard and
large backyards completely isolated from the street.
Seward Alley consists of a series of small, steep staircases
interrupted by stretches of flat sidewalk. The lower end of the alley
has the steepest and most noticeable staircase. Along the way, the
alley cuts through several backyards and intersects an odd little street
(alley?) lined with garages - another rarity in San Francisco.
Seward Alley intersects 19th and 18th Streets mid-block,
so you won't see it unless you are looking for it, especially on the 19th
You can combine Seward Alley with several local stairways
for a decent stairwalk. I recommend you start at the Douglass
Street Stairs, proceed down Douglass Street to the Seward
Street Stairs, then follow Corwin to 19th Street. At 19th Street,
turn left and watch for Seward Alley on the right side of the Street.
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