Best Little-Known Vistas - 2006
Broadway between Jones and Taylor
Lovers of the big picture embrace those Twin Peaks panoramas, but the view from this particular Russian Hill roost is a perfect cameo, an essential snapshot of San Francisco's urban elegance. It's the sort of prospect the characters in S.F.–set movies have out of their apartment windows: bridge, bay, and tumbling hill in tactile close-up. This one's especially dazzling at the purple hour, with Telegraph Hill and the Downtown skyscrapers framing the Bay Bridge's necklace of lights, while North Beach glitters beneath, ablaze in neon. (On certain magical nights, a pumpkin-orange or even blood-red full moon rises out of the East Bay hills and casts its glow on the gathering fireworks.) The locale's one of those traffic-free, pedestrian-friendly dead ends conducive to quiet contemplation, complete with a thick stone balustrade ideal for leg-dangling. Bring your camera and some champagne.