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Neighborhood Spotlight; Hayes Valley, Western Addition, Deco Ghetto

July 18, 2008

First American Title is helping us in defining each neighborhood in the city.  As a first time homebuyer where do you want to live?  Here is a brief overview into the “Emerging” areas in the city by the bay.

As amazing as it is to long-time opera and symphony patrons who used to carefully avoid its crack houses and prostitutes on their way to the theatre, Hayes Valley has emerged as one of the most stylish neighborhoods in San Francisco. 

Food and fashion have found their footing in the area behind the Opera Plaza.  There may be no finer show shopping that in Bulo or Gimme Shoes.  The same patrons of the arts now enjoy pre-theatre dining at Absinthe, Jardiniere and the Hayes St. Grill.  Our personal favorite is still Suppenkuche, a German restaurant with a venison gnocchi that’s top-notch and a selection of imported German suds guaranteed to transport you to a Munich beer garden.

Hayes Valley housing still varies widely by block and becomes more unpredictable as the neighborhood merges into Wester Addition.  A geographically large and economically and ethnically diverse area, Western Addition encompasses the famous “painted ladies” of Alamo Square, the busy commercial district along Divisadero, the lively African-American neighborhood of lower Fillmore, and the shopping and dining enclave of Japantown.  Compared to other neighborhoods in San Francisco, building and flats in this area are moderately priced and many are ripe for restoration.

Extending south form Hayes Valley and crossing Market Street down as far as 14th Street is a very new neighborhood loosely referred to as Deco Ghetto.  The name comes from a cluster of art deco furniture stores that have converged on upper Market Street.  Although the area is new and unknown at present, with the widening of Octavia Street and the dismantling of the Fell Street freeway ramp, the neighborhood is one to watch.  If nothing else, it’s worth a trip for dinner at Zuni Cafe.

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