San Francisco's steep hills

Håkan Dahlström got this delightful shot of one of San Francisco's steeper hills, turning his camera so that the road (and not the houses) were at level to convey the extent of the slope.

Crazy hills of San Francisco (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)


  1. It’s funny how the cars are tilted in the other direction because of gravity. My mind is blown for the day :)

  2. Holy crap, that picture makes my head spin…hahaha

    At first you think it’s one of those funny Dutch houses again, but then you read the text, but “does not compute”, and then you notice the trees also growing skew. Then it does compute, but your mind still plays tricks on you…

    Such a cool picture, good find!!!

  3. You get a similar feeling if you ride the cog railway up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. You go by a house that seems to be at a 45° angle.

  4. I wonder about the life expectancy of the car engines… it seems that all the fluids would build up in the wrong places from sitting like that all the time.

    1. Hey yeah…How come cars aren’t designed to be more like people, for whom gravity is not essential for physical well-being – not for even one bio-function?

      I wonder…what would a gravity-dependent physiological function look like, and how operate?
      OTOH I suppose that such a limitation would not become apparent until that organism tried to change its gravitational environment.

      Those early astronauts were pretty brave, eh?

      1. This was a great worry for the early astronauts, and is discussed at length in Mary Roach’s book “Packing For Mars”.

      2. Actually, most birds are dependent on gravity to swallow. Their throats don’t do peristalsis, so they are just gravity chutes. Apparently NASA wasn’t aware of this for some of the early test flights, and so the birds that had gone up in an early experimental rocket died of thirst.

        So that’s an example of a gravity-dependent physiological function.

  5. This works, if you aren’t used to noticing trees. Those trunks ought to get photoshopped out.

  6. Damn, that looks a little like upper Lombard (Russian Hill).
    Between Hyde and Van Ness. I swear you should be able to tip over those cars single-handed. I watched a firetruck crew actually safety block -every- tire on the rig. Wondered why they didn’t tie out to a couple of big rock climbing pins at the same time…

  7. By brain can’t handle this. I come from a town where the biggest hill used to be a garbage dump and there’s no other road surface than “flat, but with potholes”

  8. What is so strange is getting in a car at this angle. You get the real feeling that you could easily roll the car over since the passanger side roof is directly above the drive side wheels

  9. I once installed a Chevy 350 V8 and overdrive transmission into a Jaguar XJ6, a fairly common engine swap. Since the Jags have two gas tanks (one behind each rear fender), and you switch between the two with an electric solenoid once one of the tanks gets low, the conversion manual recommends you eliminate the sometimes-flaky solenoid and just tee the tanks, so they drain simultaneously, thus preserving side-to-side weight balance and eliminating one more electrical doohickey (or dingus) that’s apt to go bad sooner or later in a Jag.

    However, the manual specifically recommends that residents of San Francisco do not tee their gas tanks, because of parking situations like the one pictured above. If both tanks could flow freely to each other, when parked in front of that building a Jaguar with full gas tanks would begin leaking copious amounts of fuel from the driver’s side gas cap, since the passenger-side tank would be substantially higher.

    So. Be warned, y’all.

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