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In answer to my listing of great American neighborhoods, some of you have disputed North Beach. I am not arguing. I do like to eat at the restaurants and drink in the bars and just walk around — but I don’t do it much, anymore. I mostly stay in the East Bay. So here’s what I want to know. In what sense, has North Beach fallen down. And please name some great San Francisco neighborhoods, ones that can stand up to, say, Greenwich Village which is great. Steve kindly and helpfully made a case for Bernal Heights.

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10 Comments

  1. Capts

    North Beach is similar to Little Italy in NYC. The vast majority of the people that made the neighborhood such a vibrant place have moved on to other areas and the immigration pipeline has closed off. Sure you see Italian flags on the poles and there are remnants of what once was, but it’s mostly just for the tourists. Now you are more likely to see strollers and sweater vests in North Beach instead of hand made gnocchi. Although, truth be told, while I go into SF to see family, I much prefer the East Bay. What is your favorite neighborhood in Oakland or the East Bay, Lowell?

    November 23rd, 2012 7:26 pm

  2. CohnZohn

    Capts, In Oakland I very much like Rockridge, Piedmont Avenue and Montclair Villiage. I live near Montclair Village. Lots of sportswriters do.

    November 23rd, 2012 7:52 pm

  3. Steve

    I pretty much second capts’ synopsis of North Beach and will add that it’s simply not worth the parking hassle. The Mission District has become restaurant central in SF, especially along Valencia and Guerrero. The Mission still has vestiges of the original Italian influence with Lucca’s Deli and Dianda’s Bakery (worth a trip just for the almond torte). Mitchell’s Ice Cream and St. Francis Soda Fountain are two other Mission District institutions. And Carnaval is the best street fair in the Bay Area!

    November 23rd, 2012 10:58 pm

  4. ga's

    Growing up as a kid in the City you could not ask for a better neighborhood than Presideo Heights, imho

    @ Steve…i just moved away from Bernal Heights, I lived there for 35 years. And yes BH can be like a little Village within the City. But I got tired of the parking situation in BH, and dealing with crabby neighbors who would park in your drive-way, so that you can’t park your car in your garage. I loved the diversity of Bernal, but slowly, but surely that is fading away. And crime is an issue in BH, we had a classic 67 Ford Mustang stolen from us, lots of breakins of houses, & shoot outs…I got the hell out. and before U say I must have lived near the Mission, No way, we were near BH Hill, on the south side.

    November 24th, 2012 2:57 am

  5. Brian in Oakland.

    The Temescal neighborhood in Oakland is a fantastically vibrant entrprenurial area of Oakland that is still very up and coming. Lots of great new restaurants mix with an established ethnic scene. Also Uptown (basically 17th st to W Grand Ave btw Boradway and Telegraph) is an exploding creative area. Ever since the Fox reopened as THE premier live music venue in the Bay, a ton of bars and restaurants have poured in. In addition, galleries have sprung up and the neighborhood’s “First Fridays” where once a month the whole neighborhood has an art themed street party, makes this neighborhood as exciting as anything going on today in, dare I say, Brooklyn

    November 24th, 2012 6:49 am

  6. glenellen

    I live in heaven, but the zip code is glenellen.

    November 24th, 2012 2:18 pm

  7. Steve

    @ga’s: I guess I’m lucky. I live on the northeast foot of Bernal Hill – very steep street with parking limited to one side straight in. I have a garage, never had a problem with people parking in my driveway and there is usually plenty of street parking. Relatively good neighbors, too. I was concerned that we were going to become Noe Valley light when the neighborhood began to gentrify, but it has remained a villagelike oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the areas surrounding it.

    @glenellen: good one!

    November 24th, 2012 5:04 pm

  8. Brotha Tuna

    Its been said above, but North Beach isnt what it used to be, but neither is Greenwich Village. Parking remains such a hassle that I need a specific event to draw me to San Fran.
    I’m from North Bay. We’ve got places to park and Napa-Sonoma has restaurants to rival The City, but bring a friend or a book, ‘cuz there’s not much Nightlife after dinner!

    November 25th, 2012 7:54 am

  9. Tony Johnson

    I still think North Beach, the Mission, Upper Fillmore, are great. I always liked the non-traditional spots there, some of which remain. And most popular places in tiny 49 sq mile will have parking issues. I live in SF so usually take Muni bus. The Haight’s cool for some street fairs and for taking East coast cousins to Amoeba Music.

    November 25th, 2012 12:24 pm

  10. KauaiRobert

    Mission and Haight-Ashbury were fun when I was growing up.
    .
    What’s Pier 39 like these days?
    .
    There was this Chinese place that had some of the best pork buns (char sui bao or manapua as they are known as here) I’ve ever tasted.
    .
    Loved to eat the chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf.
    .
    And the candy store that made their own peanut butter cups…wow!
    .
    .
    .
    *ALOHA*

    November 26th, 2012 11:55 am

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