Frisco Beat: Dashiel Hammet Stret

On Tuesday April 19 I did a tour by appointment for the folk who run the Black Dahlia walks in Hollywood — and more on that in the next post. The usual fun ensued, always happens when you have people deep into film noir putting gumshoes down on the mean streets. Yeah, it’s a cheap thrill, but cheap thrills are among the best, right?

Big news as we ambled along occurred as we reached the corner of Bush and Dashiell Hammett Street (formerly Monroe). The street sign got a huge bend in it a couple of years ago — I presume a delivery truck or something of that sort clipped it. Even in the shot used in the new tour book, you can see the bend. Well, there is a bend no more.

Between the last time I paid attention and April 19, The City has replaced the sign — maybe another truck clipped it and broke the damn thing, maybe someone just ripped it off for their terribly private collection of cool street signs. I don’t know.

I do know that whoever supervised the new sign can’t spell. They left the final “l” off Dashiell. They left the last “t” off Hammett.

Come on. It’s no skin off my nose, it doesn’t matter to Hammett, who is long gone and whose fame cannot be touched. But it makes San Francisco look kind of illiterate, which isn’t good. I wrote The Literary World of San Francisco, and I know better.

Powers-that-be, fix the sign.

Dashiell. Hammett. Street.

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