Whereas Downtown Flounders, This San Francisco Neighborhood Is Thriving


The succulent-adorned parklet exterior of Hook Fish was stuffed on a current Friday afternoon with prospects having fun with a late lunch of $17 burritos with carrot sizzling sauce. Buyers perused the racks at Mollusk Surf Store and loved espresso within the newly renovated yard of the Black Fowl Bookstore. Others wandered farther down Irving Avenue, suffering from youngsters’s scooters and discarded helmets, to stroll alongside the shoreline.

It might have been Venice Seashore, save for the fog lingering simply off the coast. That is San Francisco’s Outer Sundown neighborhood.

“I adore it,” mentioned Cathy Huang, 45, who moved to the neighborhood two years in the past. “It’s very residential, however on the identical time you’ve acquired entry to essentially nice eating places and bars. It’s a really walkable, very pleasant neighborhood.”

On the western fringe of the town, between Golden Gate Park and the San Francisco Zoo, the Outer Sundown has flourished whereas downtown San Francisco has struggled to rebound after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Town’s enterprise heart is contending with various seemingly intractable problems: the financial fallout from the disappearance of tech employees, open-air drug dealing and a big unhoused inhabitants. However the Outer Sundown, which stretches alongside the Pacific Ocean and is without doubt one of the metropolis’s foggiest sections, feels removed from the bustle of metropolis life. On Irving Avenue, a most important artery within the neighborhood of roughly 50,000 folks, Marge Heard has perched by the window of the Final Straw, her jewellery retailer, overseeing neighborhood goings-on since 1975.

“It was nearly nothing,” she mentioned of what the neighborhood was like when she first moved right here 48 years in the past. “It’s simply grow to be fairly pretty.”

Younger households have gravitated to the Outer Sundown as distant work has negated the necessity for lengthy commutes, mentioned Kathryn Grantham, who owns Black Fowl Bookstore on Irving Avenue. The neighborhood’s success displays the way in which cities have advanced in the course of the pandemic, with folks spending extra time having fun with and spending cash of their communities. In March 2021, The San Francisco Chronicle published an article titled “If San Francisco is dying, they forgot to inform the Outer Sundown.”

“It has the power of parents who’re concerned about investing within the neighborhood and constructing group out right here,” Grantham mentioned. “Being a part of the community of entrepreneurs out right here working small companies is thrilling.”

A type of small companies is Hook Fish, a neighborhood seafood retailer and restaurant that opened in 2017 after working as a pop-up enterprise since 2014. Christian Morabito, one of many founders, mentioned he was interested in the Outer Sundown due to its comparatively low rents and the truth that it was an outpost for artists, musicians, surfers and different outside fans — those that Morabito might get together with and stay alongside, but in addition work with.

The end result was a storefront that captured the vibe of its neighborhood — the native artist Jay Nelson helped design the store and likewise sourced the inside wall paneling from reclaimed redwood timber that had been used as cribbing materials in the course of the building of the Bay Bridge.

“We simply tried to maintain the whole lot having a narrative and sort of particular and distinctive,” Morabito mentioned. “I really feel like there’s positively a giant give attention to that within the Outer Sundown.”

One other huge focus of the neighborhood is the newly pedestrianized Nice Freeway, which runs alongside Ocean Seashore. Closed to vehicles in the course of the pandemic, the Nice Freeway is now permanently open to only pedestrians on weekends, after San Francisco residents voted by a large margin towards permitting vehicles again on the highway. That has made the neighborhood much more walkable, and has drawn folks from different elements of city.

“There’s numerous actually cute cafes and eating places and shops,” mentioned Matt Jagedao, 23, who lives downtown and was becoming a member of a co-worker for a stroll alongside the Nice Freeway. “SoMa doesn’t actually have that. It’s a little bit extra laid-back, which I believe is very nice.”

Claire Fahy is an editorial assistant for The New York Instances who covers breaking information and common project tales. She grew up in San Francisco.

Liberal prosecutors are revisiting police killings, however thus far they have charged few officers.

At this time’s tip comes from Clarice Stasz, who lives in Petaluma:

“With summer time upon us, I look ahead to a live performance on the Green Music Center, positioned on the Sonoma State College campus. Impressed by Tanglewood, the corridor’s again wall opens so attendees can sit on the sloped garden whereas picnicking, ingesting native wines and even dancing. A big display gives a close-up of the performers onstage. These preferring much less nature sit inside to benefit from the distinctive acoustics.

The programming appeals to the range of the North Bay. This season contains Buddy Man, Nickel Creek and Los Huracanes del Norte. I’m enthusiastic about music from all 9 Star Wars films, performed by the resident Santa Rosa Symphony. Inspired to come back wearing character, I count on to affix a bevy of Princess Leias with cinnamon-bun hair additions. The common season options comparable selection, from singer-songwriters to Renée Fleming and the Jazz at Lincoln Middle Orchestra. Because the Inexperienced Middle opened, I not go to The Metropolis (SF) for musical excellence. There may be tradition within the ’burbs!”

Inform us about your favourite locations to go to in California. E mail your ideas to We’ll be sharing extra in upcoming editions of the e-newsletter.

We’re nearly midway by way of 2023! What are the perfect issues which have occurred to you thus far this yr? What have been your wins? Or your sudden joys, huge or small?

Inform me at Please embody your full title and the town the place you reside.

What’s hiding in your Notes app?

My colleagues lately asked readers to share the chaotic, lovely mess saved within the notepads on their iPhones, impressed by a TikTok trend during which customers share their Notes app screenshots to disclose extra peculiar, much less shielded variations of themselves than what they’d sometimes submit on Twitter or Instagram.

I’ll let my colleague Madeline Malone Kircher inform you what we discovered:

Notes is generally an unstructured mind dump, a vacation spot for the random ideas we offload whereas we’re in the midst of one thing else.

A reader named Hillary shared a listing of nonsense phrases overheard at a convention, together with “forethoughtful,” “planfully” and “applicationize.” In his Notes app, Mark wrote a sentence for example the that means of the phrase “fugacious” (adj. tending to vanish): “I had a fugacious take a look at that chook earlier than it dove into thick brush, by no means to be seen once more by me.”

Even probably the most mundane stuff in Notes is usually a sort of time capsule. Probably the most touching notes we acquired was from Janet, who despatched her play-by-play for Thanksgiving in 2020. She had tomato bisque and a salad with a pepper jelly French dressing (yum!) earlier than 5:30 cocktails and a household Zoom. The massive turkey dinner, which was only for two, nonetheless took days of preparation: She made the pie crusts on Tuesday, the bisque on Wednesday and the stuffing on Thursday.

Barbara discovered a notice from six years in the past with the title “REMEMBER.” The listed gadgets have been “Entire order 40, Bus 6402” and “Be blissful be good be grateful.” She mentioned she didn’t have any concept why she wrote the primary two. However the final one, at the least, just isn’t such a nasty factor for all of us to attempt to keep in mind.


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