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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tourism For Locals: San Francisco's Walk of Fame

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 8:25 AM

On this street corner lay the accomplishments of locals. - JUAN DE ANDA/ SF WEEKLY
  • Juan De Anda/ SF Weekly
  • On this street corner lay the accomplishments of locals.

As we noted last week, San Francisco is boastful of its famous residents and milestones — past and present — with monuments and statues commemorating those individuals and their accomplishments. Although there are notable omissions, there's a spot that recognizes people who may have not been recognized outside our peninsular parameters but remain local legends. It may not be as glitzy as the Hollywood Walk of Fame or as colorful as the Castro's Rainbow Honor Walk of Fame, but the Fourth Street Bar and Deli's Walk of Fame honors the San Franciscans who were ordinary citizens that performed extraordinary deeds for the people of San Francisco.

Although the dining establishment has been closed for years, their public outdoor hall of fame is an everlasting reminder that San Francisco is filled with unsung heroes who do acts of bravery and/or charity without expecting any compensation or attention. 

Each year, this restaurant would select three outstanding Bay Area citizens to be honored in this simple walk of fame located in front of The Metreon at Mission Street. The tradition began in 1990 (when it opened) and it managed to highlight  people who were committed to excellence in fields such as sports, business, and community service. 

There are approximately 12 plaques present and each star has a small biography of the selected honoree.  One honoree includes Ruth Brinker, who dedicated her life to caring for the sick and needy:

"In 1985, while managing the Meals on Wheels program in San Francisco, she founded Project Open Hand, the nation's first service to provide freshly prepared meals to patients with AIDS and AIDS related conditions on a daily basis. Today, this non-profit program delivers some 1,500 meals a day to 750 clients throughout the Bay Area."
Another plaque commemorates the story and accomplishments of Leroy and Kathy Looper, who remodeled and refurbished the Cadillac Hotel as a safe haven and help center for serious drug users and the homeless; they also created Chateu Agape, a safety center for those suffering from schizophrenia. Other San Franciscans include Jesse Knight, business man; Jim Dunbar, broadcaster; and Willie McCovey, baseball legend.

Although it may be in a nondescript location, each one of the Bay Area souls engraved into the ground reminds us that one doesn't really need a plaque to be an amazing San Franciscan — our benevolence toward others is truly more everlasting than a slab of etched copper.  With Thanksgiving approaching next week, let this residential Hall of Fame serve as a reminder  to give thanks to those who contribute to our well being, but also serve as a reminder to give time, funds, and skills to those who are less fortunate than us. And strolling by these sidewalk plaques, we are reminded of a dozen testaments of genuine charity and excellence for us to model ourselves after.
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About The Author

Juan De Anda

Juan De Anda

Juan De Anda is a cultural correspondent with a concentration in tourism, literature, and lifestyle and has been writing for SF Weekly since 2013. As an avid traveler, he enjoys discovering destinations abroad as well as the never-ending hidden gems of San Francisco. #DondeAndaJuanDeAnda?


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