Most everyone that I take to San Francisco wants to see Lombard Street “The Most Crooked Street in the world.” I do admit that it is a pretty neat thing to see, but all the real action is on Market Street. Market Street is the hub of the city. Most of the shopping is there, or near by. This street is where the cable cars end up and turn around. The gay pride parade marches right up this street and you can find a protestor, or two, or 20 at anytime there. When I visit San Francisco I often just find a nice place to sit on Market and watch the world go by. The street runs right down the middle of the city and is very easy to find on any picture.
Market Street down the middle of San Francisco.
Well, when I was in San Francsico this last week, I stopped by a little cafe right on Market, just south of Montgomery. I went in and ordered my usual, a Egg Salad sandwich with pickles and mustard all on a Sour Dough Roll. Yummy. I took one of the seats outside the cafe and just ate my food and took in the scene.
When I was sitting there on Market Street, there were hundred of tourists walking up and down. Trolley cars, busses, street trains and taxis covered the streets. Cars were darting back and forth across market street (as just about every street in San Francsico passes across Market.) They looked like little mice when they run across your kitchen floor from one hole to another. poking their noses out from between building, disappearing as fast as they appeared. Giant buildings on both sides with so much style in each one makes Market Street like a giant hallway full of life.
As I was sitting their enjoying my sandwich, the giant hall started echoing with loud sirens. There were cop cars racing down market. They were going way faster then I imagined. I would guess about 40mph (down a street that was VERY crowded and very confusing) I was just waiting for an unexpecting car of tourists to poke their car out, and BOOM! But that was until I noticed something that was just so cool to me.
As the police cars were rushing down Market St, all of the busses (and there are always quite a few of them) would make their way towards intersections. they would stop right in front of the perpindicular intersections, leaving enough room for the cop to turn their if they needed to, but but being present enough that cars couldn’t pass thru them and across Market. This happened three times in front of my eyes. The busses just naturally took their spots in some kind of unspoken rule of harmony. i just thought it was the neatest thing.
I quickly finished my sandwich and jumped on the first bus I could find. Ignoring the “For Safety reasons, please do not talk to the driver” signs and asked if he knew anything about the rule. Just my luck, he didn’t speak English. So I hopped off and jumped on another one (thank goodness for transfer slips). I talked to this man, Jerry, for a while. He told me that all bus drivers try to do it. I told him, “That is sure admirable. What a neat rule of existing together.” but he corrected me saying, “No, actually it is selfish. If there is a wreck right in the middle of Market street then we all get held up. Our bus schedules get off on timing, and we go home late. You got to watch out for yourself brother!”
well, that kind of took the chvalry out of it for me, but oh well. Let the rest of the world go watch cars go back and forth down a very crooked street. As for me and my time, we’ll spend it on the Market.