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Concrete mix-ups make for sidewalk typos

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Street Concrete Typos
Typos on some silly website are ealisy fixed. Typos in concrete — not so easy. (Alexandra Kenin/UrbanHiker SF)

One beauty of the Internet age is that we can undo almost everything we create. With the simple click of the delete button, our mistakes are erased and forgotten.

Unfortunately, concrete pre-dates the Internet age, and the evidence of this is all over our city streets.

If you haven’t noticed, you’ll find the name of the street stamped into the concrete at most San Francisco street corners. The DPW contracts the stamping job to a third party, and, while they get it right most of the time, there are some laughable typos cast into the concrete.

One of the first sidewalk typos I remember seeing was on 22nd and Church. On the southeast corner of the street, I found “22ND” stamped with a backward N. Just one block later, I found “23RD” with a backwards and upside down “3.”

Since spotting those, I’ve been scouring the sidewalks for typos, and I’ve found a number of gems.

There was “Buchnana” where Buchanan was supposed to be. There have also been the two-typo stamps where “Sacarmneto” was written instead of “Sacramento.”

Typos are scattered throughout The City and come in a few varieties: mixed up letters, missing letters, numbers replacing letters (1 for I is a common one).

I’ve started collecting typos in a Pinterest board, and one Flickr photoset has over one thousand typos.

I would love to see any concrete mixer-uppers you’ve found. Email me at alexandra@urbanhikersf.com if you uncover other gems of imperfection.


Alexandra Kenin is the founder of UrbanHiker SF. You can reach her at her website, UrbanhikerSF.com, or follow her on Twitter @UrbanHikerSF.

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