Friday, July 07, 2006


Do you know Elim Street? Elim meets the criteria for small. It's one block long, and you don't need to worry about being hit by a car here.

If you wanted to lay down sideways in Elim--no, on second thought, I wouldn't recommend such intimate contact with the pavement here (it's puddled in the winter, a little stinky when the homeless man has been staying there). Nothing elegant here. OK. So, instead, try standing in the center and sticking out your arms. You'll touch (unreinforced masonry) walls on either side. Basketball players are taller than Elim is wide. Nine of my shoes, placed toe-heel-toe-heel, will span the distance. To Market Street's 120-foot width, Elim is 7.

So how do you find Elim? Walk down 1st St from Market, past Stevenson, past Jessie, almost to the Mexican restaurant. On 1898 city maps, Elim wasn't called Elim at all. It was Lick Alley (but the footprint was the same). Sometime in the century since, the Lick name was transfered to the more important non-passageway of what is now the Crocker Galleria, sitting between Post and Sutter, just up from Market Street. (Map)

I don't know when Lick became Elim, or which Elim it was named for but I'm on the hunt... If you find out before I do, please send a comment.

1 comment:

nmaffei said...

Great start Eileen!

Looking forward to learning more about about San Francisco's unusual streets.

Nick Maffei