Exploring San Francisco through the lens of individual city blocks, Blocker is a weekly series by Charles Hodgkins. Look for it on SFist each Wednesday, around the lunching hour.
Blocker, No. 9: 20th St. in Potrero Hill
In a city as spectacularly hilly as San Francisco, 20th St. in Potrero Hill may well be the finest roller coaster ride on offer. Of course, the speed limit is only 25 mph (as it should be through a neighborhood), so you’ll have to resist the temptation to get on your bad motor scooter and go roaring up and down 20th’s undulations all Evel Knievel-style.
Aside from Potrero’s most obvious geologic property – it’s a real tall hill! – what’s most striking is how self-contained it is. (All that’s missing is an old-timey single screen theater, and anyway, who wants the hassle of having to clean spilled soda and Junior Mints anymore?) It may lack the restaurants strung along 18th St. down the hill, but 20th St. between Missouri and Connecticut speaks to Potrero Hill’s autonomy as well as any block in this eminently pleasant neighborhood.