Alta Picks: Street-Level Art

Small-town artwork on unexpected canvases.

ruth bader ginsberg

We’re used to seeing gardens, walls, and even pavements claimed as public canvases. But fire hydrants? Where most cities say no, the town of Brisbane (population 4,647) has for decades said a resounding yes. Citizens of the little enclave on San Bruno Mountain, situated just south of San Francisco, gather biennially to paint whimsical, eye-catching designs on more than 50 hydrants. Grab a bite at the local coffee shop—easy to find, as there’s only one in town—and treat yourself to a few hours of hydrant spotting along the hilly streets, which boast panoramic views of the entire Bay Area.

This article appears in the Fall 2021 issue of Alta Journal.

Sarah Stodder is Alta Journal’s editorial operations & research director.
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