Even though it if often billed as the "crookedest street," San Francisco's Lombard Street is, in fact, neither the crookedest nor the steepest street in the city, let alone the world. Oddly, that fact doesn't deter the hordes of tourists who come every year to see this famous street, built with eight switchbacks on a 40-degree slope.
The main attraction of Lombard Street is watching people drive down the crooked, one-block section, or driving down it yourself. On a busy day, a seemingly-endless stream of automobiles and scooters buzz down, their passengers squealing in mock fear at every turn. That was certainly the case when we were there. If you're on foot, you can walk down (or up) the sidewalks and watch the show.
The best place to photograph Lombard Street is from the bottom, looking up. Just as I did in this shot here. I also have one almost the same as this one, only with Mrs. LZ standing about where I took this picture from. (Before you ask) why I didn't post it instead of this one... there is a simple answer... I had to promise her not to post it on my blog (which she doesn't read and never even looks at).
Most of Lomdard street in San Francisco is straight but the "crooked" section of Lombard is between Hyde and Leavenworth, just a few blocks above Ghirardelli Square.
The Powell-Hyde cable car stops at the top of Lombard Street. You can also get there by walking up Hyde (very steep) from Ghirardelli Square, up Leavenworth (one block east, less steep) or by walking west from North Beach on Lombard Street, but the best way to get here depends on where you're coming from.
We actually came from the top (ha! ha!) But really, the crooked part actually starts at the top of that particular hill. You can also get a nice view of the city from many streets in that particular area. But frankly, driving up and even down those hills was a little difficult not only on me as the driver, but also on a couple of my passengers who were perhaps even more acrophobic that I was. It is very close to where those scenes from the movie "Bullit" were shot (for those of you who remember that old Steve McQueen movie).
The flowers and shrubs all along this section of Lombard Street (as you can see by my picture) were just beautiful. I thought how neat it was that all of these folks such nice care of their yards. At almost the same time I was thinking that thought... I was also wondered how it must be to try to get to your house if you did actually live there."I think that wherever your journey takes you, there are new gods waiting there, with divine patience -- and laughter."
- Susan M. Watkins