The leading streets of San Francisco commemorate the pioneers of State or place. A newer series adopts the names of the States of the Union, and simple numbers, which are carried already to Forty-fifth, for avenues, and Thirtieth for streets. The fast-growing, tough, fragrant, but scrawny, eucalyptus is much in use as a shade-tree. In the door-yards grow cypresses, the Spanish-bayonet, and the ordinary flowers, needing a great deal of sprinkling to keep them in good order.
The San Francisco school of writers, developed in the successful days of the Overland Monthly, have not made much use of the city itself in their literature. Bret Harte confined his local range to the doings of certain small boys, some "Sidewalkings," and the disagreeable features of the climate, in "Neighborhoods I Have Moved From." It was from Folsom Street that the adventurous Master Charles Summerton, aged five, set out for his great expedition to Van Dieman's Land, by way of the Second and Market Street cars. I had occasion to visit Folsom Street sometimes, and even this slight incident such is the potency of the literary touch has given it a genial interest which many others, as good in appearance, and even stately Van Ness Avenue, on the other side of town—very much better—by no means share.
San Francisco offers, in my view, the advantage of saving a trip around the world. Whoever, having seen Europe, shrinks from farther wanderings may derive here from a compact Chinese city of 30,000 souls such an idea of the life and doings of the Celestial Empire as may appease curiosity and take the place of a voyage to the Orient.