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Year in review: Favorite neighborhoods of 2017

Informed experts and local notables reveal their favorite ‘hoods

Noe Valley.
Noe Valley.
Photo by torbak hopper

As the year draws to a close, Curbed SF asked informed locals in architectural, design, advocacy, and x-factor industries to give us their thoughts on 2017. Revealed here are their preferred neighborhoods.


John King (urban design critic, San Francisco Chronicle):

“The blocks around Transbay, just to watch the obstacle-laden show.”

Allison Arieff (editorial director, SPUR):

“I feel so lucky to live in Glen Park, a neighborhood that allows me to practice (not just preach) walkable urbanism. Have to give a shoutout to Mission Bay, which turns out to be an ideal place to relocate one's elderly parents...everything within walking distance from a market to the doctors at UCSF. We underestimate how well cities can work for seniors, especially those who can no longer drive.”

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↑ Malo Huston (professor of urban planning, UC Berkeley):

“I would have to say the Grand Lake and Lakeshore area of Oakland. Over the last decade the two neighborhoods and surrounding area has really changed with the influx of good restaurants, cafes and the renovation of Lake Merritt. I also prefer to watch the latest movies at the Grand Lake Theatre, one of the best theaters in the Bay Area.”

Mark Jensen (principal architect, Jensen Architects):

Dogpatch. This wonderful, gritty, and diverse neighborhood has become even more exciting as a new hub for the arts.”

↑ Anne Fougeron (architect/founder, Fougeron Architecture):

“I love where I live: the Embarcadero and Syndey Walton Park. Close to everything, beautiful waterfront, super urban and mostly clean.”

Marcel Wilson (founder/design director, Bionic; 2017 Curbed Groundbreaker):

India Basin. It’s a shoreline shaped by industry. But it is beautiful, largely unknown, and an important missing link to an expansion of the city at the Shipyard and Candlestick.”

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↑ Jon de la Cruz (interior architecture and design, DLC-ID):

Hayes Valley has grown up nicely—between the great new apartment buildings and the vibrant retail along the corridor it really makes for great way to spend a few hours walking and shopping and eating.”

Sally Kuchar (cities director, Curbed):

“Every single neighborhood in San Francisco should be celebrated because every single neighborhood in San Francisco is home to San Franciscans. There is no best or favorite, they are all special for different reasons.”

↑ David Baker (architect/founder, David Baker Architects):

“I'm excited about Showplace Square. It used to be a pass-through zone and now it’s becoming a walkable, livable destination.”

Kevin K. Ho and Jonathan B. McNarry (realtors, Vanguard Properties):

“An oldie but a goodie: Noe Valley. The area is still a sunny and charming mix of old, new and old homes ready to be renewed again. Getting around Noe is relatively easy and as is being able to find a dog park for our real estate super dog Raffi to explore and stretch his leg out as Noe is gifted with many dog parks. More relevant, housing prices in Noe, while strong, have held relatively steady over the past couple of years instead of accelerating uncontrollably like they had been. While our developer and flipper clients might not like this steady-as-you-go price trend (it’s probably only temporary anyway), our owner-occupier clients are finding the area accessible again and are once again getting homes they love and can live in.”

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Victoria Fierce (organizer with East Bay for Everyone):

“Another odd question. I'm a polyamorous anarchoqueer; love is not a scarcity economy for me. It’s a bad assumption to think that I could have one favorite neighborhood that ranks above all others. I've got a special relationship with every part of Oakland, and that’s alright. My love for my own Downtown and Lakeside neighborhoods is different than the love I have for Longfellow, Temescal, Eastlake, or anywhere else.”

Adam Brinklow (associate editor, Curbed SF):

“The more new development rises around it, the more and more fond I am of the strange redoubt of floating homes on Mission Creek. Sausalito's marinas are beautiful but highfalutin; Mission Creek is obscure and irreverent, with a pell-mell vibe that recalls an earlier San Francisco.”

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↑ Erin Feher (style and design editor, San Francisco Magazine):

“The Outer Richmond. If you had asked me ten years ago if I would ever live out by the ocean I would have said no way. Honestly, I was saying that six months ago. Then our house hunt took us out there and I fell head over heels on our first date. Embarrassing fact: I have lived in SF for 15 years and I am pretty sure I had never been to the Outer Richmond before June of this year. We made it official pretty quick and now I live right next to Golden Gate Park, a couple blocks from the ocean and a quick walk to Balboa Avenue, which is cute as can be. And I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to tell anyone this, but it's actually really, really sunny.”

Richie Nakano (chef, restaurateur, consultant at ChefsFeed):

“The Sunset. The older I get the more I appreciate how quiet it is, its easy access to the park, the beach. It’s a pain in the ass to get downtown or to North Beach/Chinatown from here, but I can live with that.”