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Curbed Comparisons: What $2,100 rents you in San Francisco

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Studio living for two grand and change

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a regular column exploring what you can rent for a set dollar amount in different neighborhoods. Is one person's studio another person's townhouse? Let's find out.Today's price: $2,100.

↑ Over on Nob Hill in the big, fancy black-and-white building at 840 California, studios like this one run you $2095/month. What you get is a petite, sweet, white little cupboard of a studio without a lot of room to stretch out, but tasteful and seated right on the California Street Cable Car, a block from the Fairmont Hotel and Huntington Park, and right up the hill from Chinatown. Pets are welcome as long as they're under 40 pounds; woe betide the poor, 41 pound dog who has to amp up his workout before the move.

↑ Now we transition into a theme of unflattering apartments in fantastic neighborhoods. Which is not always the most encouraging course to chart, but do you want to live in North Beach for $2,100/month in this day and age? It can be done, via this "oasis" on Margrave Place a tiny alley barely visible even when you're standing right at its Vallejo Street entrance. No pets allowed, and the interiors are not encouraging, although there are one or two details with promise, like the built-ins. And you're right around the corner from Columbus Avenue, Washington Square Park, and Coit Tower. There are worse places to rub shoulders.

↑ This studio in Dolores Heights for $2,000/month has a similar story to tell. The boxy red Somerset Apartments building is a letdown (beautiful courtyard fountain aside), and the 400-square-foot studio itself is unspectacular and somewhat poorly laid out. But it's right in the middle of Dolores Heights, on Church Street, a few yards from Dolores Park and everything in its orbit. (Your pets can even come along too.) Is it worth it? Someone will surely end up saying yes.

↑ We close with an oddball, a forest-green studio in Sherwood Forest, San Francisco's smallest, most obscure, most famously difficult to find (Herb Caen once wrote a column about not being able to get there for a dinner party, which was about as close to an emergency as Herb Caen ever experienced most years). The tiny place is $1,950/month, a few blocks from Mt. Davidson.