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Which location should I stay at?

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Toronto, Canada
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70 posts
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Which location should I stay at?

Just wanted to get the opinon of you folks to see which area would be better for me to stay at. I'm interested to go to all the touristy locations and plan to walk or take public transit.

Option 1) Richmond District (Just north of Golden Gate Park)

Option 2) Haight Ashbury Area (East of Golden Gate Park)

Option 3) SOMA

Option 4) Lower Nob Hill

I've read that 3 & 4 are near the sketchier areas, but option 1 and 2 seem like I may need to commute further each day.

Thanks

san mateo CA
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434 posts
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1. Re: Which location should I stay at?

I would lean toward the Haight but then I lived there for several years at Paige and Central. An interesting neighborhood with some history. Walking distance if a bit far to all the major attractions in Golden Gate Park and well served by public transit, but then most areas in San Francisco are.

Better data might be gained if more specific locations were mentioned.

Bloomington, Indiana
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2. Re: Which location should I stay at?

For all of these areas I would say, "the devil is in the details."

You've described broad areas (some of which extend for miles) and *exactly* where within one of these areas can have a significant impact on a whole bunch of things: safety, what's nearby, commute times, etc. It's also worth noting that many landlords take liberties when describing locations (as SF neighborhoods generally don't have hard fast borders). Thus, "Lower Nob Hill" might really be considered by many as at best "Upper Tenderloin" and at worst the Tenderloin itself. Similarly, things can change very quickly in SF, just a block or two can see a real change in the character of a street/neighborhood.

Bottom LIne: it's best if you can supply use with a specific address; absent that a street & nearest cross-street. Without that a recommendation can only be based on the *alleged* neighborhood, not the actual location of a property.

All that said, based *strictly* on what you have provided (and with the caveat that any one of these could be "bad" for all the reasons mentioned above), I'd probably rank them as: Lower Nob Hill, SOMA, Haight, and then Richmond. But, again, the devil is in the details and I could easily see me changing the rankings (even 180 degrees) if I had the specifics of each property's location.

That's my $.02,

hlo

Toronto, Canada
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70 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Which location should I stay at?

Here's a more specific location for the places I was looking at:

Option 1) Richmond District (Just north of Golden Gate Park) ~ 25th and Balboa St

Option 2) Haight Ashbury Area (East of Golden Gate Park) ~ Golden Gate & Masonic Ave

Option 3) SOMA ~ 8th & Mission St

Option 4) Lower Nob Hill ~ Leavenworth & Bush St

San Francisco...
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81 posts
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4. Re: Which location should I stay at?

I'd agree with the ranking of hlo above. since you want to do all the touristy venues you'll want to be close to them or to the muni lines to get there. Lower Nob Hill will have lots of bus and rail options, and there really is only a small area that is edgy, so avoid Tenderloin. SOMA has some edgy areas, but probably only late at night, although you'll want to avoid Sixth St corridor. Richmond is very residential although the muni lines are great, it is far from most attractions, except Lands End, GGB and GGP (museums).

San Francisco, Ca
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74 reviews
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5. Re: Which location should I stay at?

If you want to walk or take quick public transit to the touristy things, Lower Nob Hill is pretty much your only choice. SOMA (8th & Mission) would be a crummy area (although conveniently located), and the other two are geographically undesirable for what you want. (The Haight Ashbury location would be the closest in, and the "commute" to Union Square will be about 30 minutes by bus -- less by the N Judah streetcar, but still 20 minutes or so.)

The Leavenworth and Bush location is ok, but I wouldn't walk around after midnight.

Toronto, Canada
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70 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: Which location should I stay at?

Based on everyone's input, it would seem that if I found a place near the subway it would be best?

Bloomington, Indiana
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22 reviews
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7. Re: Which location should I stay at?

Okay, here's my comments on each location now that we have more details:

1. (Outer) Richmond (25th & Balboa), you're talking about a fairly significant "commute" to get to the downtown tourist stuff. Now, if you were to say GG Park stuff was of great interest and/or would be your main focus, or you wanted to live like a local & experience an SF neighborhood . . . I might say go with it.

2. "Haight" (Golden Gate & Masonic). A good example of (perhaps) creative stretching of a neighborhood, I personally wouldn't say this was in the Haight. Not sure if it would be considered to be "officially" in the Haight or not, but when I think of the Haight I think of things on the *south* side of the Panhandle. (Is this location maybe NOPA, North of PAnhandle? Seems like I've seen that term used lately.) Again, semi-significant commute and I'd say you'd want to take a bus as it's a fairly long hoof to get to the N Judah (nearest stop @ Carl & Cole is about a mile away).

3. "SOMA" Another example, while technically SOMA (as it is south of Market), I think of this a more Civic Center location. I'd absolutely give this one a pass. Not an area to "live in" in my opinion; access will be okay to good, but there are so many other reasons not to be around here, especially at night.

4. "Lower Nob Hill" Again, a little bit of a stretch in my book, but not as much as the others. I think some might call this Upper Tenderloin, but it's not in the heart of all that is the Tenderloin. As previously pointed out this one is going to offer the best access to most downtown tourist attractions. It's only a couple of blocks (uphill) to the California Cable Car which can actually be used for transit (as it's not crowded with tourists like the other two lines). A few blocks walking (to the east) starts to get you to the Union Square area and all it has to offer. I agree that late at night the location can be problematic and I would suggest avoiding an approach from the south once it starts getting past later afternoon (not that there is any real reason you'd want to go to the south from here). Also, do be aware this is very close to a hospital so you are likely to get ambulance sirens at various times of the day/night.

That's my $.05,

hlo

san mateo CA
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434 posts
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8. Re: Which location should I stay at?

For the first thing the people who told you which neighborhood the rentals were in were playing rather loose with their neighborhoods. The so called Haight location is no more in the Haight than I am now and I am a county away. The Richmond location is at the best on the cusp of the outer Richmond. SOMA a contraction of the south of Market area is currently usually referring to the area around the Convention Center and the Museum of Modern Art, not 8th. and Mission. Leavenworth and Bush is more like the flank of Nob Hill than lower. That little screed done with I will try to give you my impressions.

I will retract my first post. The so called Haight location is in an area of mostly apartments and with exception of good access to the bus on Geary isolated from anything else. The so called Richmond location is also in a primarily residential area but with less apartments. There are places to go on Geary near 25th and also on Clement St. a block further. It also has good access to the Geary bus but one is further away from most attractions. It is also a bit of a walk to anything a tourist wants to see in Golden Gate Park. The so called SOMA location is convenient to public transit for the whole City. It is also in a neighborhood that can be a little difficult at night. I did work in the area for at least 5 years and I was never threatened or any thing it just is a little flaky. There is a major theater at the corner of 8th. and Market and just around the corner is the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The so called lower Nob Hill location is not as well known to me as the others. I will say this you will be near the top of Nob Hill and unless there are new buses I do not know about will have somewhat steep walks to catch one. Also the only street with activities nearby is somewhat the heart of the older homosexual neighborhood if that might trouble you consider it.

I personally would not be fond of any of these four location but if my feet were held to the fire it would be between the Leavenworth and Bush location and the 8th and Mission location with my nod going to the latter.

San Francisco
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9. Re: Which location should I stay at?

1. Way too far out.

2. Masonic is a very busy street. Too far out for a first time visitor.

3. Very dumpy neighborhood.

4. I don't consider Bush to be a bad street. However, this is one block from St. Francis hospital which does have an ER room so you may hear sirens.

Of this list IMO it's #4 by a mile. But I probably would keep looking also.

san mateo CA
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434 posts
24 reviews
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10. Re: Which location should I stay at?

I have to give a little bit of a nod to hlo, I neglected the proximity of the "lower Nob Hill" location to the Cal Cable Car and if you buy a MUNI pass you avoid the onerous $6 with no transfer charge.

I might wait for others to chime in but at least you may have reduced your choices to 2.