Portrero Hill

Portrero Hill


Potrero Hill is basically a sunny, clean and green, quiet residential area, a little oasis with no nearby freeways or congested streets. Because of the hill’s location, the fog lifts faster and the sun shines more here. Or maybe it just seems that way because it’s such an appealing, charming place. This was San Francisco’s first suburb. The houses are colorful and small but well kept, with planted trees and gardens. Potrero Hill was where former football great (and now vilified convicted felon) O.J. Simpson grew up. In fact, there are several murals on the hill of Simpson during his playing days from the late 1960’s and early ‘70’s. There was a football stadium here at one time, too. From 1932 to 1959, Seal Stadium was home to the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. When the Giants moved west, they played their first two seasons there, 1958 and 1959, until their permanent home, Candlestick Park was built.

McKinley Square at 20th and Vermont is a sparkling gem of a park that unlike a lot of San Francisco, is almost always bathed in sunlight. Spectacular views of Twin Peaks, Mount Davidson, and the Golden Gate Bridge from the hilltop summit are just part of the attractions. A picnic area, playground and well-tended community flower and vegetable garden make this lush little park a great place for families. There is also an off-leash dog area fenced off from busy Highway 101 below. Vermont Street, locally considered to be more crooked than Lombard, was famously featured in two films: Clint Eastwood’s 1973 Dirty Harry movie, “Magnum Force,” and “Bullitt,” with Steve McQueen. Lombard has the reputation, but Vermont is the real deal.

There are restaurants, little cafes and shopping along 18th Avenue, but the atmosphere is pretentious than other parts of the city.





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