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Curbed Reports: Plugging In to SoMa

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Embedded Curbed SF operative Andy J. Wang weighs in with a firsthand account of last night's goings-on at the SoMa grand.

A methadone clinic, the homeless to"people like us" ratio, and gated alleys: such was the fodder at last night's SocketSite-sponsored soiree at the SoMa Grand. Editor Adam Koval hosted several dozen plugged-in peeps on the fifth-floor terrace for some light schmoozing and boozing, followed by a SoMa-centric panel discussion.

If we may, a quick and dirty rundown of the evening:
1) "Big plus": The Federal Building.
2) Still blows: Methadone clinic, "illicit activities," and hypodermic needles — "totally uncool for my dog Toby," in the words of one concerned resident.
3) Keep all eyes peeled for: That new SoMa Grand eatery from Slanted Door chef Charles Phan (ETA: fall 2009), plus gates on Stevenson to keep out those nighttime activities. No nabe talk is complete without a shot at the Board of Supes— from a disembodied voice in the crowd: "I personally like the gates at Stevenson Alley, if only for the irony of having Chris Daly living on a gated street." Respect.

Bottom line: how will SoMa ever become a "real" nabe? It's wishing real hard, that's for sure. The panel came to at least one conclusion— no one's gonna sweep the transients away with a SoMa Grand-sized broom. Instead, said one panelist, it's more about "how many non-homeless" there are in the nabe — how to, in the words of another, "activate the space." Um, good question? These things always end up with talk of chickens and eggs.

"I don't think it could get worse," said one resident. That's the funny thing about rock bottom, isn't it? 'Cause we've hit rock bottom here in SF— totally. Right up there with Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland... [Curbed SF Intel]

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