Why the Lower Haight is the Coolest Neighborhood in San Francisco

I grew up in the Mission District. The Mission was dirty and dangerous when I was growing up. I wasn’t allowed to play outside in front of my apartment building, out of fear I would be kidnapped. There were scary homeless people leering at me when I waited for the school bus. It was a rough place. Sometime in the 90s, however, my section of the Mission (17th Street between Valencia and Guerrero) became yuppified. All of our local businesses like Carl’s Bakery, Anna’s Danish Cookies and several other gems closed up shop. Rent was too high and only the dot-comers could afford it. Last year, my sister and I were actually pushed out of our childhood home (we had been sharing our parent’s old apartment) by some rich guy buying my building, threatening us with an Ellis eviction and using other scare tactics to get us all to move so he could turn the place into condos.

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Recently I walked by my old apartment building and saw that they had gutted it. It was really depressing. I was able to catch a glimpse inside of my grandmother’s old apartment. My grandmother moved into the building in 1954 and lived there until 1996, when she came down with Alzheimer’s Disease. My parents got another apartment in the building in 1974. My grandmother’s apartment is the one that I always think of as home.



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A shot of what used to be our living room, through the sliding door into what was once my (and depending on the decade, my mother’s and/or sister’s) bedroom. My grandmother would have NEVER allowed us to keep a bicycle in our bedroom…nor trash cans in the living room, for that matter…


I was pretty broken up about getting booted from the Mission, but luckily, I was able to find a great apartment. I now live in the area of San Francisco known as the Lower Haight. No, not Haight-Ashbury. That is up the street a ways. The Lower Haight used to be a pretty grungy neighborhood, from what I understand, but over the years it has transformed into a cool, laid back place with plenty of amenities. Within 3 blocks of my apartment I have 7 different bars. Within the same radius there are tons of restaurants (seriously…3 Indian places, a Japanese place, a Mexican place, a sausage place, a BBQ place, a french place, a tapas place, a deli, a pizzeria, a cheesesteak place, a creperie, two thai places, a bagel shop, an ethiopian place, three really good coffee shops and I think there is some kind of middle eastern place, too…). I also have a 24 hour Safeway only a half mile away. Moving here was the best idea ever!

The point of all of this? I have found another thing that makes my neighborhood great. While reading Haighteration, a neighborhood blog, I learned that I even have a CSA right here in the Lower Haight! Greenhearts Family Farm has their headquarters only a few blocks away from my house, and from what I can tell, they are awesome. I have been dying to try out a CSA for some time now, but it always seems too expensive. I mean, I know that in the long run, shelling out $200 or so for a subscription is reasonable. I easily spend that much shopping, and the quality and variety of what I get can’t touch that of what comes from a local farm. Problem is that parting with that much cash in one large hunk is really hard for me to swallow. I’m a working class girl, and in a city where a studio apartment in the Tenderloin costs $1,200 a month, I rarely have that much money just sitting around.

Enter Greenhearts. They don’t require a subscription. While they do offer them, you can simply buy week to week. Each box is $33 and they will even throw in eggs and/or grass fed beef, grass fed pork and pasture raised chickens (depending on availability) for an extra fee. They deliver to your house or your job and by golly, the guy was really nice on the phone. You see, I’ve been wanting to try them out for a while, but I hadn’t gotten around to it. Then last night after getting home from the theatre, I see a post on Twitter that they have extra boxes this week. With pluots!!! It was too late to call then, so I waited until this morning. As it turns out, he thought they had filled their quota since the tweet went out. However, he said they were packing the boxes right now and that if there was enough for another box he would give me a call back and hook me up! He took down my info and even agreed to bring it by today (he asked if they could deliver on Friday, but I said that I had today off, and if possible, would prefer to have it delivered to my apartment instead of my job), since I live so close. He told me he would know by noon.

I inquired about payment options, as it is my day off and I don’t think I have $33 in cash in the apartment. He said I could pay by PayPal, and there is a fee. Or I could pay by cash or check. OR, if I needed a WEEK to pay or something, it was no big deal. They will send me an e-mail reminder. They are flexible!

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So now I am sitting at home, drinking my coffee and eating my oatmeal, waiting and hoping that they have a CSA box for me. If they don’t, I think I will definitely get one next week. They sound completely awesome.

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Steel Cut Oats with Chia and Banana, topped with TJ’s Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter, Fage Greek Yogurt, Butterscotch Chips and a drizzle of TJ’s Pumpkin Butter. Pumpkin, how I love thee. Oh, and a cup of coffee with just a smidge of milk.


Do you participate in a CSA? If so, how do you like it?

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4 Responses to Why the Lower Haight is the Coolest Neighborhood in San Francisco

  1. Simply Life says:

    oh so sorry about having to move- looks like you found a great place with a wonderful CSA to look forward to!

  2. Susan says:

    I really enjoy your blog. I first saw your SP blog, which led me here. Is there any way that you could set this blog up so that I can receive updates via Google Reader?

    P. S. I, too, am a fan of Starbucks PSL!

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