South of Market in San Francisco

Thursday, 13 April 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, San Francisco Bay Area
Reading Time:  9 minutes

© flickr.com - Pascal Vuylsteker/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Pascal Vuylsteker/cc-by-sa-2.0

South of Market (SoMa) is a neighborhood in San Francisco, California, situated just south of Market Street. It contains several sub-neighborhoods including South Beach, Yerba Buena, and Rincon Hill. SoMa is home to many of the city’s museums, to the headquarters of several major software and Internet companies, and to the Moscone Conference Center.

The area’s boundaries are Market Street to the northwest, San Francisco Bay to the northeast, Mission Creek to the southeast, and Division Street, 13th Street and U.S. Route 101 (Central Freeway) to the southwest. It is the part of the city in which the street grid runs parallel and perpendicular to Market Street. The neighborhood includes many smaller sub-neighborhoods such as: South Park, Yerba Buena, South Beach, and Financial District South (part of the Financial District), and overlaps with several others, notably Mission Bay, and the Mission District. As with many neighborhoods, the precise boundaries of the South of Market area are fuzzy and can vary widely depending on the authority cited. From 1848 until the construction of the Central Freeway in the 1950s, 9th Street (formerly known as Johnston Street) was the official (and generally recognized) boundary between SoMa and the Mission District. Since the 1950s, the boundary has been either 10th Street, 11th Street, or the Central Freeway. Similarly, the entire Mission Bay neighborhood may or may not be counted as part of SoMa, Excluding the entire Mission Bay neighborhood puts the southeastern boundary at Townsend. Redevelopment agencies, social service agencies, and community activists frequently exclude the more prosperous areas between the waterfront and 3rd Street. Some social service agencies and nonprofits count the economically distressed area around 6th, 7th, and 8th streets as part of the Mid-Market Corridor. The terms “South of Market” and “SoMa” refer to both a comparatively large district of the city as well as a much smaller neighborhood. While many San Franciscans refer to the neighborhood by its full name, South of Market, there is a trend to shorten the name to SOMA or SoMa, probably in reference to SoHo (South of Houston) in New York City, and, in turn, Soho in London. Before being called South of Market this area was called “South of the Slot”, a reference to the cable cars that ran up and down Market along the slots through which they gripped cables. While the cable cars have long since disappeared from Market Street, some “old timers” still refer to this area as “South of the Slot”.

© Basil D Soufi/cc-by-sa-4.0 © flickr.com - Pascal Vuylsteker/cc-by-sa-2.0 © panoramio.com - Javier Branas/cc-by-3.0 Sumner Street © panoramio.com -  mlinksva/cc-by-3.0 © Library of Congress - Carol M. Highsmith © Library of Congress - Carol M. Highsmith
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Sumner Street © panoramio.com - mlinksva/cc-by-3.0
The neighborhood consists of warehouses, auto repair shops, nightclubs, residential hotels, art spaces, loft apartments, furniture showrooms, condominiums and technology companies. A major children’s park was also built for the area on top of Moscone South. The park features a large play area, an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, a restaurant, the Children’s Creativity Museum and the restored carousel from Playland-At-the-Beach. The children’s park and Children’s Creativity Museum are joined to the Yerba Buena Gardens by a footbridge. Many major software and technology companies have headquarters and offices here, including Ustream, Foursquare, Cloudflare, Wired, GitHub, Pinterest, CBS Interactive, LinkedIn, Trulia, Dropbox, IGN, Salesforce, BitTorrent Inc., Yelp, Zynga, Airbnb, Uber, Advent Software, and Pac-12 Networks. The area is also home to the few Big-box stores in San Francisco such as Costco, REI, Nordstrom Rack, and Best Buy.

SOMA is home to many of San Francisco’s museums, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the American Bookbinders Museum, the California Historical Society, the Zeum, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The Old Mint, which served as the San Francisco Mint from 1874 to 1937, was restored over an eight-year period and reopened to the public in 2012. The Center for the Arts, along with Yerba Buena Gardens and the Metreon, is built on top of Moscone North. SOMArts, one of four cultural center facilities owned by the City and County of San Francisco, is located on Brannan Street between 8th and 9th streets. Many small theater companies and venues are situated in the SOMA, including the Lamplighters, The Garage, Theatre Rhinoceros, Boxcar Theater, and FoolsFURY Theater.

Due to the area’s gay rights history, the Folsom Street Fair is held on Folsom St between 7th and 12th Streets (now between 8th and 13th Streets). The smaller and less-commercialized leather subculture-oriented Up Your Alley Fair (commonly referred to as the Dore Alley Fair) is held in late July on and around Folsom St. Also home to the annual How Weird Street Faire featuring dancing and costumes, held in early May along seven city blocks including Howard and Second streets. Several Filipino cultural events are held such as Filipino American History Month Celebration at the Asian Art Museum in October and Pistahan Parade and Festival in August. Undiscovered SF, held monthly, promotes economic activity and awareness of SoMa Pilipinas. It supports retail concepts, restaurants, and businesses by giving skill-set building workshops and professional services like accounting and crowdfunding to prepare businesses for growth and sustainability. The Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District was created in SoMa in 2018. The area is bounded approximately by Howard St. on the northwest, 7th St. on the northeast, I-80 on the east and US 101 on the south. There is also an exclave between 5th and 6th streets, Harrison and Bryant. It includes the San Francisco South of Market Leather History Alley, which opened in 2017.

Read more on SFTourismTips.com – South of Market San Francisco: Things to Do in the Thriving SOMA Neighborhood, Wikivoyage South of Market and Wikipedia South of Market (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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