Where Exactly IS The Heart Center Of San Francisco

Having recently done a post on a property that is “in the heart of Noe Valley“, we not only saw a few comments questioning the accuracy of that statement, but received a great email quote from a reader saying, “I think it is closer to the kidney than ‘in the heart’ of Noe.” So we got to wondering…if we can’t even come to a conclusion as to where the heart of Noe Valley lies, can we, the residents of San Francisco, definitively say where is the heart of San Francisco?

From what geographical location does the life and blood of this city pump? If someone were to travel to this great city and say, “I want to go to the heart of San Francisco”, where would you send them?

Feel free to comment, discuss, debate all you want, and we’ll even throw in a little poll to get you thinking: (To fill in your own answer click “other” and write it in the green rectangle directly below.)
Where IS The Heart Center Of San Francisco?
( polls)

9 thoughts on “Where Exactly IS The Heart Center Of San Francisco”

  1. The poll is flawed IMO. The heart is pretty much all of the above. What isnt’ the heart are:

    Noe
    Bernal
    Castro
    Sunsetn(I/O)
    Richmond (I/O)
    Potrero
    Bayview
    Oakland
    Glen Park
    D4
    D3
    D10

    I smell a fight coming.

  2. I wouldn’t presume to know where the heart of SF is – not being that familiar with the city. I do know it’s not just SF that has this identity problem. I wrote a post a while back on where the heart of Berkeley might be. I had about seven different suggestions. And that’s a city of barely 100,000 people.

  3. I seem to remember that there’s a plaque atop the Upper Terrace street roundabout that denotes the geographic center of the city. But “the heart” of the city? Hayes Valley feels very central, and it is the centermost pocket of commerce.

  4. Eddy..marina..the heart of SF?
    really?
    i lived there for 8 months -it did not feel like the heart of sf.
    id say its most of those places but certainly less the marina and mission plus nob hill, hayes and maybe pac heights. and the tenderloin, arguably, right?
    also living in the heart of sf isnt nesessarily desirable anyway in my opinion.
    i mean, i would hate to live in SOMA, or chinatown for example.

  5. You can live in Brooklyn, Queens, SI, etc.. and you still live in NYC. But you don’t live in the Heart of NYC. That is Manhattan. Harlem also isn’t the heart of NYC either.

  6. Fluj, the geographic center of the city is grandview @ 22nd (+/- 1 block) (definition depends on inclusion or exclusion of water body, treasure island etc)

    define the word “heart”.
    for me, it’s where the pump is pumping, pumping blood carrying energy, sugar, caffeine, oxygen etc.
    So I’d vote for Mission – which has been pumping energy into San Francisco for over 200 years.
    Then you have some brain neighborhood, some spinal cord ‘hood, some muscle and bones ‘hoods, some fat rich ‘hood etc.

    now define the word “center”.
    Center is defined by the peak (or low point) of a colored map. it all depends on the scale. distance, elevation, money, brain, power, wealth, property taxes, population density etc etc.
    and the “heart center” doesn’t make any sense because a heart is HOLLOW!

    last. the “heart of NoeValley”. easy. it’s the triangle bernie, starbucks, farmer’s market. That’s where the pump is working. But NOBODY is living there beside a rare overnight stay of a homeless – because it’s a street! not a block!

  7. so funny because I was just preparing a post with this same question posed. I think you must first define “heart” to accurately answer. The heart isn’t by default the center;you could hardly say it’s the center of the human body, a position occupied maybe by the stomach (?), but not the heart. So what do we mean when we say “heart of the city”?

  8. I voted for North Beach. Why? Well, I guess it goes back to what brought ME to San Francisco six years ago, which was the little dream I had as a little girl of drinking coffee with Allen Ginsberg.

    So yeah, SF has this long, rich history since even before the Gold Rush and blah-de-blah, but I really feel like the soul of the City as we feel it today came here in the 40s and 50s.

    I’m an artist, so I’m pretty biased toward art/thinking/intelligentsia being The Place of the Heart.

    I can see successful arguments for the Mission in this regard, today…but I also think one needs to be close to commerce and Chinatown, too. And I’ll stop rambling…right about…here.

    [Editor’s Note: We like rambling, and hope you do more of it.]

  9. Thinking about it from the perspective of someone who had just a day to spend in SF, I think the heart is Powell St. It runs through Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach and ends at the wharf near Pier 39. Also, it has a cable car line.

    If you look at old maps of the city, you can see that the NE corner of the present city is the heart. Larkin St. was once the western boundary, Market St. the great dividing axis and California & Montgomery the epicenter of gravity. The “heart” of that Victorian era city would also have been Powell St.

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