The People's Guide is Curbed SF's tour o' the nabes, lead by our most loyal readers, favorite bloggers, and other luminaries of our choosing. Have a piece to say? We'll be happy to hand over the megaphone. This time around, we welcome Andrew Deming, co-founder and head of product at the city guide platform Mosey and a founding partner at Yield Design Co.
Tell us something we don't know about Tenderloin: The common perception of the Tenderloin as a seedy cesspool of human feces and needles (while not untrue especially in certain blocks) keeps the neighborhood pretty clear of outsiders. For those who have carved out a nice place and lifestyle here, you may actually encounter a sense of haughtiness or a grateful laugh when the tour bus drives through and warns a bus full of tourists to "avoid this neighborhood at all costs!"
Local customs of note: You put an old couch on the street and people will sit on it and then take it immediately. You put old clothes outside and you'll see people wearing them for months to come. No need to go to Goodwill--the sidewalk will do.
Hidden Gems: Great cafes: Farm:table and The Jane. The best Indian/Nepalese food in San Francisco: Red Chilli. More amazing bars than I can even list. A little bit of LA in the DEEP Tenderloin: Chambers Eat & Drink at the Phoenix Hotel.
Are your neighbors "Rotten Neighbor" worthy, why or why not? For years we had neighbors that were completely unseen and unheard, but then again there were those subletter porn star wannabes who sounded like they were filming every night...
Inflate the bubble or burst it: The area can feel overwhelming at times, but in my experience, the people have been harmless, and I actually feel much safer near my apartment with constant street traffic than I do in other areas of the city that can be too quiet and deserted at night. The trick is to escape frequently with day trips and nature hikes, but I think that's true no matter where you are in the city.
The final word on the Tenderloin: Anything goes here and that's what keeps this place interesting. On this city's current course, it seems bound to eventually be the next Mission, and when it does it'll have better buildings and transit.