So.. I’ve moved into my new digs here in SoMa, and it’s very exciting.. Andy has now graduated from being my housemate, to being my downstairs neighbor, so that’s pretty awesome. The new neighborhood is a bit different than Hayes Valley. The streets are a lot bigger here, with multiple lanes of one-way traffic running down many of them. That, and the bigger city blocks, makes the hood seem a lot less vibrant than my old hood. However, I’ve found that impression to be only skin deep — the neighbors that I’ve met so far are super friendly, and more people seem to stop and chat on the street than in the old hood (and not just to spare change you), so that’s kind of nice.
Also, there’s a ton of new development going on around this hood that will probably affect change in the coming years. Some notable developments in the new hood:
- The SoMa Grand is open now.. so maybe an influx of fancy people will bring some cool new shops and restaurants to the hood..
- Right next door to the SoMa grand, 1188 Mission is well under construction — it will eventually replace the old Trinity Plaza building next door (current residents of the Trinity are given the option to move into the new building with their rents staying the same). (Sidebar: Joe wrote a very interesting post about rent control the other day.. it’s worth a read.) The fate of the Moonstar Buffet is TBD, I believe. When it’s done, there’s going to be 21,000 square feet of retail and and nearly 1,900 housing units. More people = more stuff to support said people = good for the neighborhood, I hope.
- There seems to be a lot of vacant lots/unoccupied space around here… A lot more than in other neighborhoods. Given the super central location of this hood, it seems like an obvious place for people to start moving to. I’m just here a little early. What are the three most important things about real estate? Location, location, location — I’m told.
- Finally, there are some ambitious plans to turn Folsom into a more pedestrian-friendly retail zone. As these renderings show, changing Folsom from a 4 lane one-way through way to a 3 lane two way street would make it much, much nicer. We’ll see if it actually happens, but the plans look pretty cool to me.
So yah, I’m long on SoMa. Hopefully I’m right.
The food options in this hood are seemingly sparse, but actually is turning out to be not bad. There’s no “main drag” in this part of town, so there’s not like a critical mass of retail/food establishments. Then again, union square, the sf shopping center, and the new mall are like 3 (albeit, big) blocks away.. So, the food that I’ve found around here tends to be more pedestrian fare, which is good, cuz I’m actually looking mainly for places that I can grab a quick, cheap lunch. Coffee Mine and Harvest Urban Market are my two current favs, both within a block of my house. Woot. Finally, Bossa Nova is right around the corner, and I’ve heard really good things, so I will be checking that out soon. More food posts will come in the future, as I find the hidden food gems of SoMa.
Anyway.. pictures of the new place will come soon. I’m still buried in a sea of boxes.