Street Smarts

By Dave Fratello | April 6th, 2008
In our whimsical poll late last month, we tried to determine which MB street might be the least-well-known in town. (See "Where's Homer, Again?" and "Meet Francisco.")

The results told us that Francisco St. is the city's most obscure street. Now we offer the full results of that poll.

It turns out that the rough trigger for the poll, Homer, is pretty well-known, with 60% of readers saying they knew Homer. (Remember, we asked you to vote for all the streets you knew.)

Among the 4 "view" streets, Bayview performed best with 70% awareness. This makes sense, given that the street (kind of an alley) passes through the downtown core, and plenty of homes have a Bayview address.

But essentially the same number (69%) claimed familiarity with Grandview, which is a surprise. Very few homes sport a Grandview address. It runs along the top of the plateau above Ladera School and Sand Dune Park, and there's a separate little street down closer to Marine.

Meanwhile, Seaview, an El Norte ("North Manhattan Beach") alley street between 42nd and 43rd, was pretty obscure at 33%.

Our poll showed that just 23% of MBC readers were familiar with Francisco. That meant that the narrow loser of the "most obscure" street competition was Fisher Ave., with 25%.

Let's give Fisher its 15 minutes now.

Fisher is twice as long as Francisco: almost two full, small blocks. (Not that this helped its recognition.)

You might see bits of some of the homes along Fisher from the front doors of Shade, since it's just up the hill, across Valley/Ardmore, on the north side of MBB. It runs from MBB north to 13th.

Hmmm... MBB, Valley/Ardmore, Metlox, downtown – it must be a pretty busy, noisy street, right? Nope. On our visits, Fisher has proved remarkably well insulated against MBB noise. You're more likely to hear the ocean than the cars. (And we know the difference.) It's a very surprising quirk.

The big news on Fisher these days is all the massive redevelopment. A formerly sleepy street with smaller homes is being transformed into the Land of the Titans. The home at 13th/Fisher (leftmost in this pic) was first, several years ago, then came its neighbor, and now there are 4 new construction projects underway on this short stretch, all pushing the maximum height and square footage.

In the old aerial pictures of MB, you can spot some of the original homes on Fisher, planted like experimental crops in the corners of giant fields. Soon the satellites will show a near-continuous wall of urban beach homes.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's a big change.

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