Grant Avenue stretches all the way from Market Street and the Financial District to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, but it's at its most distinctive in the dozen or so blocks from the Stockton Tunnel to the base of Telegraph Hill. This strip of San Francisco's oldest thoroughfare perfectly exemplifies its binary nature. From Clay to Broadway, Grant is purest Chinatown in all its tchotchke-laden glory -- claustrophobia, cobblestones, chicken feet, and all. North of Broadway, Grant becomes what Kerouac called "The Street," an equally narrow stretch of coffeehouses, blues bars, and Italo-beatnik iconography. By day, Chinatown Grant hustles and bustles with commerce and photo ops; at night the action shifts across Broadway to the otherwise somnolent saloons and pizza parlors of North Beach Grant. For over a hundred years Broadway was the firewall between these two distinct cultures, and it was a mere hundred feet north of Broadway that the House opened its... More >>>