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“The houses in the better part of San Francisco, in those days, were all alike and all so ugly it was a wonder even their owners did not know it. (My father called it the better part of the city because he lived there.) Most of them were built on hillsides, with two or three of their corners standing on stilts. From the sidewalk you saw the doors a dozen feet above your head, the stairs leading up to them and a flat, bare expanse of pine sheathing enclosing the stilts. Each crowded against the next without an inch to spare, the houses themselves were narrow and looked taller than they actually were. If one of them had not occasionally been painted a dull brown instead of a dull green, or if a panel of brick had not been set here and there among the panels of wood, nobody could have told where his neighbor’s left off and his own began. All of them rose straight from the sidewalks; there were no lawns, and no trees. A few blocks away there were well-proportioned and attractive houses, but the builders of our street had searched farther for their model—in a box factory, from the evidence. We were moderately rich, and nothing was too bad for us.”

George Albee, Young Robert: A Brief History
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Young Robert: A Brief History Young Robert: A Brief History by George Albee
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