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Curbed Cup 1st Round: Hayes Valley (2) vs. Mission Bay (15)

Which neighborhood should advance to the second round?

Photo by Tim Riley

Hayes Valley

As we close out the first round of our 16-neighborhood round, our two final competitors are both moneyed and prosperous neighborhoods insofar as new money goes. First, we have Hayes Valley. A neighborhood where landmark Victorian, Queen Anne, and Edwardian townhouses mingle beautifully with contemporary homes and scores of boutiques and restaurants.

Transportation here is excellent, with several buses running through it as well as close proximity to the Van Ness Muni station. It’s also home to the chic and art-filled Patricia’s Green, the park that reinvigorated the neighborhood a few years ago. (Today you can find these dazzling geometric light sculptures at the park.)

Rent is on the steep side here, but the occasional gem can be found. And the SFJazz Center cements its reputation as a burgeoning hub of arts and creativity.

A photo posted by Andrew Koines (@andrewkoines) on

Mission Bay

Mission Bay is like that guest who arrived to the party wearing the wrong attire. It’s different, new, doesn’t quite get the joke yet, and eager to ingratiate itself. This area, so new it still has that new-paint smell, has made quite a name for itself in very little time. And what it lacks in bold and thoughtful aesthetics—parking garages should not bear the best designs of any neighborhood—it more than makes up for in much-, much-needed housing.

Heaps of new condo units have seemingly sprung up over night in Mission Bay. Which is good news for the entirety of San Francisco. And the people here are some of the friendliest folks in town. (Urban cynicism needs at least a couple decades to take root.)

But what could pull this neighborhood to the top spot is all of its development. From USF and the impending Chase Center, which will bring the Golden State Warriors back to SF, to the many new condo complexes with sleek names, this will be the hood to watch over the next couple years. (They even have their own new Reveille Coffee to boot!)