A few months ago I made sweeping generalizations about the various neighborhoods one can move to in this glorious place called San Francisco. You may have read it
. If you did, this is a rough estimation of what your reaction was:
1. I love this! How fun!
2. DIE IN A FIRE, WHERE IS THE RICHMOND? THIS AUTHOR IS THE WORST AND PROBABLY LIES TO CHILDREN IN DAY CARE CENTERS FOR SPORT.
While I wish everyone would just love me all the time blindly like my mom promised me would happen when I was growing up (side note: Mom, call me. You're a goddamn liar. Love you!), I am aware that sometimes, people are going to say you messed up, and/or kindly disagree with you.
And, hey, I messed up. San Francisco may be 7x7, but it turns out there are 19,429 different neighborhoods to discuss within those miles, and 398 more were just created while I wrote that last sentence. Turns out I missed a few in my roundup. I'm very sorry.
So. To fix that, here's a look at the best of the rest of “where you should move” if you are moving here, including a few huge omissions I made before.
If you're moving anywhere new, it's probably not a great idea to move to a place with the word “outer” in it. Just a heads up. Because that's what this is: way. the fuck. out there. Are you a hermit? Boom. Nailed it. Live here. It's practically a different city, though maybe that's your thing.
- A name that sounds mysterious.
- Sutro Baths aka automatic 30+ Instagram likes even if the photo is out of focus.
- Louis' restaurant, because only in SF is there diner food on a cliff.
- That “Pacific Ocean” thing.
Let's just put it out there: If the Inner Richmond and Chinatown had a knife fight for naming rights, the Inner Richmond would barely lose. It’s a highly underrated part of town, and absolutely a great place to start. Rent won’t set you back 400 billion dollars like the Mission, but you get plenty of the same perks: really good food and a whole lotta not-uphill-both-way streets. You also basically live in Golden Gate Park. If you moved to San Francisco because you just love that kitschy fog, you just won the lottery, my friend.
- Pho! Dim Sum! More Pho! MORE DIM SUM! PHO INSIDE THE DIM SUM!
- Golden Gate Park, Central Park's hippie cousin.
- Fog. God. So much fog.
Hayes Valley. So hot right now. Every time you turn your head, 14 new trendy and talked-about restaurants or boutiques have opened. Somehow it still manages to feel intimate no matter how fast it's growing. Here's the rub: Get ready for the worst traffic of your entire life and/or being way too close to the not-good part of the Western Addition. It's like a seven-year-old was playing SimCity when he designed Octavia St. The worst.
- The restaurant that someone is probably talking about that is so hot right now.
- The boutique that someone is probably talking about that is so hot right now.
- Traffic that has its own traffic.
- That one kinda sketchy guy from the Western Addition, staring at you. Yes. You.
Do you want to live in the Marina, but don't want to say you live in the Marina because then your friends and family think you're just partying all the time? Just say Cow Hollow. It's still basically the Marina, but a little classier. It's like partying hard, but with tons of Pinot Noir, bro.
- It's technically not the Marina, if that was your worry.
- Tons of cougars. So many cougars.
- It's totally still the Marina. Just go with it.
Russian Hill is like graduate school for the Marina. Four years into that lifestyle you were living over there, you'll want to grow up a bit and move here. It's a little less fratastic, but it still likes to go out every now and then on a Wednesday. Because, why not. It's 30 years old but still a little Greek.
- Nick's Crispy Tacos. Have one and we'll talk after that.
- The perks of Polk Street without the perpetual “please don't stab me, sketchy guy” feelings.
Polk Gulch is a place in between a hodgepodge of other districts that's a blast on a Friday night. Tons of amazing bars and good food. Those “other districts” it's near, though? They're into heroin and stabbing people because of that heroin. Whoops. Have the best time of your life at your own risk. Maybe just visiting is a better idea.
- A lot of Fernet. Like, an unlimited supply of bars that offer Fernet.
- Some of the best local live music bars, like Red Devil Lounge and Hemlock.
- The occasional “watch out I might stab you” bum.
Are you a corporation? Do you live in office buildings? Weird questions, right? That's because no one lives here.
- Tall buildings you don't live in.
- The Transamerica building that no one lives in, but it looks neat.
- A Starbucks next to a Starbucks inside of a Starbucks. Who is planning this, Starbucks? There are too many here now. Move on.
It's cute the first time you go through this place. Then you realize you may suffocate on one of the 1,309,876 pink bags floating around next to the birds that are for sale that you can eat. No. Just…no.
- A surprising lack of good Chinese food.
- All of the pink plastic bags your heart has ever desired.
- Fireworks that are illegal, so just look at them and don't buy them and use them. Wink, wink.
Glen Park should just be renamed “The last BART station in what is technically still called San Francisco” Park. It's the stop you wake up on when you commute on BART and go, “God dammit, I missed 24th St. again?” So take that for what it's worth. It has a killer pizza place and a nice farmers' market. Still, if Noe is two-kids-and-a-dog-Landia, maybe wait to move here until you're pregnant with the third.
- It's got a BART station – and it's pretty bum-free, to boot.
- It's got a farmers' market so you can check that cliché box off your list.
- I mean, that BART station is actually a pretty big win, new guy. You'll understand that more after living here for a bit. You're pretty far out there.
The Fillmore district is weird. It has a whole lotta gentrification on one end and a whole lotta a-little-bit-sketchier on the other end. It’s a historic jazz district and houses one of the most iconic music venues in the entire country, as well as a movie theater where you can drink booze. In a weird way, it's classic San Francisco: a little bit of everything. And if we're being honest, it's got racial diversity. San Francisco could use a little bit more of that.
- Robert Redford's Sundance Kabuki Cinema for the snobbiest of film snobs.
- So many places to buy fancy greeting cards. Do we need this many greeting cards?
- A music venue that gives you a free concert poster every time you go.
- Racial diversity. You know. That thing a lot of other districts lack that we’re scared to talk about.
You just passed Bernal Heights and went even further. As I explained last time, Bernal Heights is about as far as you can go before you don't really live near the city anymore. If you're just moving here, think about that.
- People keep on saying it's the next “something something.” So, I dunno. Maybe it'll stick one of these days.
- It's not South San Francisco.
Speaking of which.
You don't live in San Francisco. I feel like a dick to be the one to break this to you.
Just live in Daly City already.
I'm sure I missed a ton of neighborhoods again. And I'm okay with that. It's one of the best features of living in San Francisco.
You can't ever call us boring.
Yes, these are actual postcards
The postcards from the first Moving to San Francisco story were so popular in our store, we decided to make this second batch of illustrations mailable too. Check 'em out, in our Shop!