San Francisco’s Wikipedia page for neighborhoods is exhaustive, covering everything from well-known destinations like the Outer Sunset, to more obscure and historical areas like University Mound. As the city’s infrastructure and population changes, new neighborhood names come and go. We’ve rounded up four of the worst attempts to re-name an area—most of which have thankfully been abandoned.
Union Square West
The latest move to re-name and re-brand part of the Tenderloin made headlines earlier this year, when commercial real estate company JLL sought to redefine the 16 square-block area bound by Mason, Sutter, Jones, and Market.
“A new area is taking shape, bridging the gap between the newest trade area in San Francisco, Mid-Market, with the gritty, up-and-coming Tenderloin, and it has potential to be one of the hottest retail locations in San Francisco,” reads a powerpoint deck outlining the proposal.
The project could actually still happen, though let’s hope JLL’s creative team has scrapped the idea and gone back to the drawing board.
First coined by Yelp, this unsuccessful attempt sought to create an umbrella term for the area encompassing NoPa, Divisadero and Lower Haight. “DivCo, or now known as Divisadero Corridor, is no longer a divider, but your newest neighborhood that encompasses NoPa and the Lower Haight as one,” Yelp stated in an email to its users earlier this year.
The term thankfully never made it onto their website, and appears to have been logged in the “unsuccessful attempts at being cool” folder by the company.
Back in 2014 Jennifer Rosdail, a real estate agent for Paragon, created her own made-up neighborhood—an odd quadrangle-shaped block that encompassed bits of Noe Valley, the Castro, and the Mission.
“Quadsters are young – under 40 anyway,” Rosdail wrote on her blog. They like to hang in the sun with their friends. They work very hard – mostly in high tech – and make a lot of money…They like to eat really good food, but don’t often have time to cook it. And since they work on “campuses,” and are the millennial version of the Cow Hollow “Triangle” dwellers of the 70s and 80s, the name “The Quad” seems a good fit.
This new neighborhood term, strangely, doesn’t seem to have taken off.
Okay, some people do actually use this, though why on earth anyone would want to name a neighborhood after the worst place in all of San Francisco is beyond us. The term is used to define the odd area that’s not quite Lower Haight, but not quite Upper Haight—say north south from Oak to Haight streets, and east west from Baker Street to Central Avenue.
Hayes Valley bumps into Lower Haight, a fact which realtors love to exploit to increase home prices. And it’s true that there is a bit of a confusion about where one neighborhood officially ends and the other begins. This new neighborhood name, rumored to have originated from a local neighborhood association board member, has yet to make it into colloquial San Francisco speech yet. Should it?
Pointedly not on the list is La Lengua, the area between 24th and 30th streets, and between Mission and Guerrero streets, because we actually kind of like that one (and it’s way better than the alternatives—So Cha or San Jose Guerrero).
What did we miss? What creative neighborhood names have you heard, or made up?
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