Frisco Beat: When They Renamed Monroe

Brian Wallace just sent me the link to an article about renaming San Francisco streets — with a little section about Monroe Street getting the new moniker of Dashiell Hammett Street.

The article writer doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact that I’m the one who pushed for Monroe Street as the lane to rename, because Lawrence Ferlinghetti wanted to mark Burritt Alley for the handle Dashiell Hammett Street.

Nope, not on my watch. Burritt is mentioned by name in The Maltese Falcon. Don’t dink with it.

(The reader is left to his or her own devices to figure out that the 1988 renaming of 12 streets in honor of authors and artists covers both Hammett Street and Jack Kerouac Street, the only ones of that group surveyed in this write-up. And there’s nothing about the sordid era when the street sign was damaged, replaced, and misspelled!)

Anyway, a nice enough newspaperesque tidbit.

But heed this trigger warning: Some renaming action involves racist history.


Tell me, not in San Francisco!

(Or, when will they want to rename the city itself? All that shocking colonial backstory. May I suggest Dashiell Hammett Burg?)

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