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Old 04-26-2014, 12:05 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,312 posts, read 108,488,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalparadise View Post
I live on the western slope of Russian Hill, just above the Marina and Cow Hollow. There is quite a bit of new construction in and around my neighborhood, particularly on the north end of Van Ness. As for shopping streets that are clean and well kept with interesting shops, bars, restaurants and cafes, it's hard to beat Union St., Fillmore, Upper Polk (above Broadway), and Chestnut for being clean and well kept, with small hardware stores, bakeries, boutiques, coffee bars, and some of the City's top new and old restaurants.

Also, it's not really crowded or very commercially dense (pluses in my book), but Hyde St., where it runs through Russian Hill, is one of the most charming, uniquely "San Francisco," refined and elegant streets in San Francisco, in my opinion. Just recently, an old parking garage here was redeveloped into multi-$million condos, while retaining its brick street facade. Cafes, bars and restaurants along here are off most tourists' radar. You can sit in a small, cozy restaurant with a large, Edwardian bay window and sip wine while cable cars clang by and trees shade the sidewalk. The apartment houses are well kept and the sidewalks are clean. Farther up, it's the top of Lombard's curvy bit, which is one of the most picturesque areas of the City.

I do think streets like Hayes and Valencia are becoming hipper and more modern as you point out, but I think they may be going too far and are losing their charm. SOMA, to me, is completely devoid of charm as an area to live. It is nice to go to restaurants or bars there, but to live there would be more akin to living in the downtown area of a Sunbelt city like Dallas or Atlanta, than in San Francisco. There's no real fabric of a neighborhood holding it together. Now, once the Transbay projects and SFMOMA finish up and bring more activity that props up dense, full-time residency and pedestrian-oriented attractions, that may change. That's 4-5 years off, though.
Wow! You should write a book, or work for the tourism industry. This is the most informative and intriguing post I've ever read about SF!
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:23 AM
 
370 posts, read 865,054 times
Reputation: 241
Here is a map of stereotypes about neighborhoods in SF..

JUDGMENTAL MAPS: San Francisco, CA by Dan Steiner Dan Steiner...
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:01 PM
 
3,487 posts, read 5,303,421 times
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I agree that the central neighborhoods are hipper than the northern ones, in terms of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, newer housing, modern architecture, etc., but one thing the northern ones have that the others lack is scenery. Having the hills, the bay, and the historic architecture epitomizes San Francisco's unique charm, and some of the others have less of it. I mean, the view from Dolores Park is amazing, Hayes Valley is really quaint, etc, and I love those too, but they all have their good and bad. I spend time in all of the neighborhoods, and sometimes, it's fun to just veg out in the mellowness of Union Street or something. But yes, the cutting edge stuff is in the central/eastern neighborhoods.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 5,149,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
I agree that the central neighborhoods are hipper than the northern ones, in terms of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, newer housing, modern architecture, etc., but one thing the northern ones have that the others lack is scenery. Having the hills, the bay, and the historic architecture epitomizes San Francisco's unique charm, and some of the others have less of it. I mean, the view from Dolores Park is amazing, Hayes Valley is really quaint, etc, and I love those too, but they all have their good and bad. I spend time in all of the neighborhoods, and sometimes, it's fun to just veg out in the mellowness of Union Street or something. But yes, the cutting edge stuff is in the central/eastern neighborhoods.
I agree. I also believe that the neighborhoods in the northern part of the city prefer to lag in hipness, valuing more their Old San Francisco vibe. In fact, we pay a ridiculous amount of money for it.

Like you, I am constantly picking a neighborhood on Saturdays to explore and hang out. Favorites are: Hayes Valley, Lower Haight, Mission, Western Addition, North Beach, Union Square, Cow Hollow, Inner Sunset, Richmond, Noe Valley, Fillmore, Japantown, even the Tenderloin. Each of these is radically different in its neighborhood vibe, hipness (or lack thereof), retail offerings, cultural influences, housing stock, parks and green space, etc. Every one of these is walkable or easily bike-able from my neighborhood of Russian Hill. This is amazing variety in an incredibly small area.

I think the differing levels of hipness in various neighborhoods is a great attribute of San Francisco.
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:27 PM
 
2,145 posts, read 5,083,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CirclingLogan View Post
The perception of SF from outsiders is that the northern end is the nicest end: Telegraph Hill, Marina, North Beach, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Pacific Heights. That's where the money and old charm is... right? I've been noticing that much of the north end looks a bit shabby and worn down, tired and past its prime. Aging restaurants sit empty at 8pm on a Saturday and the bars appeal more to clueless tourists and suburbanites than savvy locals.

Meanwhile, the southern end is booming. Hayes Valley, Mission Dolores, Castro, Lower Haight, Divis/NOPA: the housing stock seems fresher and better kept, the boutiques, restaurants, bars and coffee shops are trendier and packed, the people walking the street are hipper and younger.

Obviously, the northern neighborhoods still appeal to a certain moneyed set (they're still expensive afterall), but there does seem to be a massive shift in the culturally relevant neighborhoods of SF.

Anyone have a perspective on this?
actually, north end and fisherman's wharf have been more popular with tourists than residents for quite some time. I lived in SF in the mid-late 1990's and that was the case then. Though, the Marina district was actually becoming more fashionable as a destination at that time, as well. Mission and NOPA were on the rise and gentrifying, so yes I'd say that part of the equation is true to what you say. Castro and Hayes Valley were already destination places and thriving, when I lived there. Why do you assume, though, that 'hipper and younger' means 'nicest'? [ie, you seem to imply that tourists have a perception that is incorrect, as though they are missing the part of SF that actually counts?] I don't get the logic of your post or what you are trying to communicate or correlate, exactly? The 'certain moneyed' set is a viable factor of most cities, not relegated to some subset. It's all relative to which group or context you perceive yourself within. I mean, that 'certain moneyed set' probably eyes the younger, hipper crowd as a passing phase or trend and as part of an outlying subculture. Most people view their strata or worldview as the center point. ESPECIALLY 'young/hip' folks. Youth and all....Yet, one day the young and hip will be not so young and aging hip. Question: Will they move to the 'certain moneyed set' areas, or remain as relics among the latest young and hip cultural attributes?

Also, why do you believe that simply having cool cafes, etc that your demographic likes, means that the other areas of the city are not 'culturally relevant'? I don't get the logic train that you're on....Cultural relevance is not simply young people spending money and believing they are the center of the universe. Nor does it mean having money to spend b/c one works for a dot come or google. I'm pretty sure people find their own demographic and cultural interests to be 'culturally relevant' to their lives. Just b/c they are not written about in the NYT or Time magazine, etc doesn't mean their neighborhoods are culturally irrelevant or less relevant than the hip and trendy areas. Ya'll are super funny on this forum!

Last edited by lrmsd; 04-27-2014 at 02:40 PM..
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:35 PM
 
2,145 posts, read 5,083,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalparadise View Post
I agree. I also believe that the neighborhoods in the northern part of the city prefer to lag in hipness, valuing more their Old San Francisco vibe. In fact, we pay a ridiculous amount of money for it.

Like you, I am constantly picking a neighborhood on Saturdays to explore and hang out. Favorites are: Hayes Valley, Lower Haight, Mission, Western Addition, North Beach, Union Square, Cow Hollow, Inner Sunset, Richmond, Noe Valley, Fillmore, Japantown, even the Tenderloin. Each of these is radically different in its neighborhood vibe, hipness (or lack thereof), retail offerings, cultural influences, housing stock, parks and green space, etc. Every one of these is walkable or easily bike-able from my neighborhood of Russian Hill. This is amazing variety in an incredibly small area.

I think the differing levels of hipness in various neighborhoods is a great attribute of San Francisco.
Why would anyone watn all of san francisco to be exactly the same on a hipness scale that is determined or qualified by a small % of the population, anyway? Such a bizarre concept with a completely myopic way of looking at the city/world, IMO. How are these areas 'lagging'-lol. Really strange to me when I read CD posts in SF anymore. Who determines hipness and what is 'up to date' with regards to personal and lifestyle interests? Sure, some small town in the midwest may still feel like the 1990s, or portland, oregon might, too! [lol portlandia-and yet portland is considered one of the hippest spots in the country]....But, has it occurred to those who deem themelves worth of the hipness moniker, that perhaps people have different interests and tastes?

Most cities have what we oldtimers and the 'real world' call 'multicultural attributes'. You know, the idea that one could travel a short distance and find japantown, chinatown, enclaves of immigrants from any given area on the planet. This is not unique to SF and the idea that we should still value this [even though it's not 'hip' o r 'up to date'] b/c it's kind of quaint and makes SF to great, is quite a provincial attitude actually. It's a bit naiive and shows a lack of exposure to life experience and the greater world. I think this seems to be the greatest attribute of the new SF transplants-very young and insular and with a classic youthful mindset that does not quite get that in ten years, both the 'new SF' and the new transplants will themselves be very different adn not so new. But, don't take my word for it-just wait a decade and see for yourself.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 5,149,912 times
Reputation: 3145
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrmsd View Post
Why would anyone watn all of san francisco to be exactly the same on a hipness scale that is determined or qualified by a small % of the population, anyway? Such a bizarre concept with a completely myopic way of looking at the city/world, IMO. How are these areas 'lagging'-lol. Really strange to me when I read CD posts in SF anymore. Who determines hipness and what is 'up to date' with regards to personal and lifestyle interests? Sure, some small town in the midwest may still feel like the 1990s, or portland, oregon might, too! [lol portlandia-and yet portland is considered one of the hippest spots in the country]....But, has it occurred to those who deem themelves worth of the hipness moniker, that perhaps people have different interests and tastes?

Most cities have what we oldtimers and the 'real world' call 'multicultural attributes'. You know, the idea that one could travel a short distance and find japantown, chinatown, enclaves of immigrants from any given area on the planet. This is not unique to SF and the idea that we should still value this [even though it's not 'hip' o r 'up to date'] b/c it's kind of quaint and makes SF to great, is quite a provincial attitude actually. It's a bit naiive and shows a lack of exposure to life experience and the greater world. I think this seems to be the greatest attribute of the new SF transplants-very young and insular and with a classic youthful mindset that does not quite get that in ten years, both the 'new SF' and the new transplants will themselves be very different adn not so new. But, don't take my word for it-just wait a decade and see for yourself.
I can't really tell from your post to me if you're aware that I agree with you or not, but I do.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:51 PM
 
339 posts, read 517,086 times
Reputation: 424
Just walked through Russian Hill and Nob Hill today and confirmed they're looking a bit shabby. While they do have the incredible charm and views they're known for (and, for the record, I think I prefer them to other parts of SF) many of the buildings are ugly plaster and brick and fading/dirty paint. For the hype they get and money people pay, I'm just amazed how many buildings are in that condition. Meanwhile, huge swaths around Dolores Park, Castro, Hayes, Noe, Haight and Duboce are rows of immaculately restored intricate wooden Victorians. They are both nice areas in general, I've just been surprised at how much better kept many of the central neighborhoods are vs their northern counterparts.

The dining and drinking scene is just sort of apparent. It's not just young people. Read any industry publication and relevant/good restaurants and bars are much more likely to be on Valencia or Divis than Union or Polk.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 5,149,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CirclingLogan View Post
Just walked through Russian Hill and Nob Hill today and confirmed they're looking a bit shabby. While they do have the incredible charm and views they're known for (and, for the record, I think I prefer them to other parts of SF) many of the buildings are ugly plaster and brick and fading/dirty paint. For the hype they get and money people pay, I'm just amazed how many buildings are in that condition. Meanwhile, huge swaths around Dolores Park, Castro, Hayes, Noe, Haight and Duboce are rows of immaculately restored intricate wooden Victorians. They are both nice areas in general, I've just been surprised at how much better kept many of the central neighborhoods are vs their northern counterparts.

The dining and drinking scene is just sort of apparent. It's not just young people. Read any industry publication and relevant/good restaurants and bars are much more likely to be on Valencia or Divis than Union or Polk.
So, why ask for perspectives if your mind is made up?

Please explain your concept of "relevant" dining and drinking, because I'm not sure what you mean.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
14,746 posts, read 14,735,660 times
Reputation: 15500
SF may very well end up like how Berkeley has been for years, in that there is no incentive for landlords to perform unnecessary upkeep on their rental properties because there will always be huge competition for any rental property when it opens up due to high need and limited supply.
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