Best Alleyway

Macondray Lane

Charming lanes, staircases, and alleyways are tucked away in odd corners all over town, but Macondray Lane is especially enchanting. It links two of Russian Hill's steepest blocks with meandering tranquillity, offering the urban stroller winding brick-and-flagstone pathways limned in gardens and undergrowth. Fuchsias, violets, and poppies sprout from the tumbling, vine-twisted southern greensward, while rock walls and koi ponds offer aesthetic accents. Pots, urns, and window boxes of flowers and saplings front the one- and two-story shingled houses that line the lane, their lanterns and gargoyles gleaming in the dappled sunshine. Legend has it that the young Mark Twain picked this lovely, flower-spilled path-way as the setting in which to romance fellow scribe Ina Coolbrith back in the 1860s.

 
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