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History Lessons

For your Throwback Thursday amusement, the Chronicle looks into the history (and sometimes just folk history) of San Francisco street names. James O'Farrell, the engineer who surveyed the city in 1847, named Market and Sansome for prominent streets in Philadelphia. Several SoMa alleyways are rumored to be inspired by SF's old red-light district and named for ladies of the night (with apologies to all the Jessies and Harriets out there). Per the Chronicle, Precita is Spanish for "damned, condemned to hell"—or maybe just the diminutive of "presa," for dam? Anyway, next time someone asks you to go to Precita Park, be sure to ask them what they mean. [SFGate; SFNHS]