Best Park for Just the Two of You - 2006
Jack Early Park
Finding Jack Early Park can be tricky, because on this perilously steep block of Grant Avenue one might get sidetracked looking for something obvious to indicate its presence. But all Jack Early offers is a stairway, which is easy to mistake for a private entry, despite the unassuming plaque set into a retaining wall. Although it's subdued, the entrance isn't some witty comment on a grand enclave hidden up the path; in terms of total square footage, the stairway is Jack Early Park. Well, nearly: After climbing the 60-plus steps, you're met with a tiny perch on which to sit and consider the grand views of the Wharf. It's like visiting a lighthouse. Jack Early, a longtime Telegraph Hill resident known as an "urban conservationist," single-handedly built his roost after getting a clearance from the city in 1962. It was finally finished in 1987, and has been confounding tourists ever since.