Neighborhood Snapshot: Hayes Valley

ghellie pilapil design


Location: As of April 2012, after changes to the district boundaries used by the Board of Supervisors, the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association considers the neighborhood as a whole to be bound by Webster Street in the west, Van Ness Avenue in the east, Fulton Street in the north, and Hermann Street and Market Street in the south, with extensions as far west as Fillmore, between Haight Street and Hermann Street, as far north as McAllister Street, between Franklin Street and Van Ness Avenue, and as far south as Market Street, between Buchanan Street and Laguna Street.


History: Native people in many small bands, now referred to collectively as the Ohlone tribe, lived in San Francisco part of the year, gathering food in the Mission Creek area, which included seasonal Hayes Creek, and other parts of today’s city. Hayes Valley would have been thickly covered with wildflowers every spring.[6] When it was running in the winter, Hayes Creek cut diagonally through the current Hayes Valley.[7] It is now underground year-round.



Commercial: high-end fashion boutiques, classy coffee shops and dining options plus cultural recreation options

Residential: a mix of classic Victorian homes and mid/high-rises

Accessibility: Walking and pretty much all modes of transportation are viable. Street parking can be tricky so a private garage is advisable.




Is it for you? Hayes Valley is a mix of old SF charm and the reflection of our rapid gentrification. Families and single professionals will love this area. Raising a child in Hayes Valley is very common as it’s also one of SF’s “stroller neighborhoods”.

San Francisco and “The Ugly Law”


Most US states have their share of bizarre, borderline offensive and sometimes just very dated laws. Take North Carolina and it’s “Bingo games cannot last more than 5 hours.” law. Or how it’s illegal to sell your eyeballs in Texas. Bear Wrestling matches? Yeah, it’s prohibited in Alabama. Our dear San Francisco isn’t any different. For a decade (1860s-1870s), several major cities had something called The Ugly Law which makes it illegal for “unsightly” or “not-very-pleasant-to-look-at” people to appear in public.  The very first appearance of this law was said to be in 1897 in our very own city. One of the most commonly cited one is that from Paris, Illinois- The City of Paris Ordinance. It states:


No person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object or improper person to be allowed in or on the public ways or other public places in this city, or shall therein or thereon expose himself to public view, under a penalty of not less than one dollar nor more than fifty dollars for each offense.



Although some silly laws are still in effect in a lot of our cities and states, the San Francisco Ugly Law has long been gone from San Francisco. Do you know of other odd old or existing laws? Let us know!

Renting with Pets


Trulia has released a list of America’s Most Pet-Friendly Rental Markets. Guess who made the list? Of course, we did. San Francisco loves its furry residents!

Dogs may be man’s best friend but they’re certainly not the landlord’s.

No truer statement was ever made about renting with pets, if we’re solely looking at potential damage to property. We get it, landlords. It’s totally understandable. Good thing some landlords have found a way to mitigate damage by charging a separate security deposit and rent for pets. You can have Fido live with you… for a price. To most pet parents, it’s a small price to pay in exchange for being able to live with their precious babies.

Now on to Trulia’s list. The criteria included most pet-friendly landlords, lowest pet fees and highest concentration of pet stores and services.

Here’s the full ranking. Note that we’re #1!

25 Most Pet-Friendly Rental Markets # U.S. Metro 1 San Francisco, CA 2 Seattle, WA 3 Denver, CO 4 Oakland, CA 5 Portland, OR 6 Chicago, IL 7 St. Louis, MO 8 New York, NY 9 Dallas, TX 10 San Diego, CA 11 Phoenix, AZ 12 Philadelphia, PA 13 Cambridge, MA 14 Boston, MA 15 Newark, NJ 16 Los Angeles, CA 17 RiversideSan Bernardino, CA 18 Atlanta, GA 19 Orange County, CA 20 MinneapolisSt. Paul, MN 21 Miami, FL 22 TampaSt. Petersburg, FL 23 Houston, TX 24 Washington, DC 25 Baltimore, MD


Rebecca’s Tip: 

According to Trulia, Landlords prefer cats to dogs.


San Francisco’s Best Neighborhood Donuts


A doughnut or donut is a type of fried dough confectionery or dessert food. The doughnut is popular in many countries and prepared in various forms as a sweet snack. Donuts are usually deep-fried from a flour dough, and typically either ring-shaped or without a hole, and often filled.

You’ve probably had them every which way- glazed, filled, sprinkled, as holes (munchkins), you name it. Here in San Francisco, you can certainly go beyond popular chains. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts may have a hold on national popularity but you’ll be surprised what some neighborhoods have in store.

The Mission and The Marina- Apple Maple Bacon Donut

Dynamo Donut & Coffee 2760 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110


The Embarcadero- Chocolate Cookie Donut

Pepple’s Donuts 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94105pepples-donuts

The Richmond- Nutella Bamboloni

The Heartbaker 1408 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

o (1)

Nob Hill- Everything.

Bob’s Donuts 1621 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109


SOMA- Chocolate-Covered Donut with Coconut Sprinkles, Regular Sprinkles

Pinkie’s Bakery 1196 Folsom St (at 8th St), San Francisco, CA 94103

The Tenderloin- Beignets

Brenda’s French Soul Food 652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102


Noe Valley- Glazed Donut

Happy Donuts 3801 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

The Sunset- Jalapeno Maple Bacon Donut, Oreo Cream-filled Donut

Twisted Donuts 1243 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122


Dis we miss your favorite spot? Leave a comment and we’ll explore and add your recommendations!

Did you know these foods originated in San Francisco?

San Francisco, mecca of cultures, religions and ethnicities has become one of the best foodie cities in the United States. Although we boast of cuisines and food items we’re best known for, these ones should be on top of everyone’s list as “Very San Francisco”. Why? Because pioneers that we are, they originated here in the Bay Area!


Hangtown Fry

Hangtown fry was an omelette made famous during the California Gold Rush in the 1850s. The dish was invented in Placerville, California, then known as Hangtown. According to most accounts, the dish was invented when a gold prospector struck it rich, headed to the Cary House Hotel, and demanded the most expensive dish that the kitchen could provide. The most expensive ingredients available were eggs, which were delicate and had to be carefully brought to the mining town; bacon, which was shipped from the East Coast, and oysters, which had to be brought on ice from San Francisco, over 100 miles away. The dish was popularized by Tadich Grill in San Francisco, where it has apparently been on the menu for 160 years.


California Sourdough Bread

This is not a stretch! Although one of the oldest sourdough breads was excavated from Switzerland, French bakers brought sourdough techniques to Northern California during the California Gold Rush, and it remains a part of the culture of San Francisco today. The nickname remains in “Sourdough Sam”, the mascot of the San Francisco 49ers. Sourdough has long been associated with the 1849 gold prospectors, though they were more likely to make bread with commercial yeast or baking soda.

pan-fried sand dabs

Pacific Sanddabs

Served only in Californian restaurants, the sanddab is a species of flatfish. It is a popular game fish in northern California, found on menus in the Monterey Bay and San Francisco area, though more difficult to find in southern California restaurants and markets. Usually sold frozen, some regard it as a delicacy, but it is very affordable and quite delicious.


It’s It

In 1928, a celebrated San Francisco tradition began. George Whitney placed a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream between two freshly baked large old-fashioned oatmeal cookies, and then dipped the sandwich into fine dark chocolate. The delicious combination of savory sweetness was declared by all to be “IT!” That how the IT’S-IT Ice Cream Sandwich was born and got its unforgettable name, being sold in droves exclusively in San Francisco’s own legendary Playland-at-the-Beach for over four decades.



In 1895, Italian-born immigrant Charlie DeDomenico moved to California, where he set up a fresh produce store. A successful businessman, he married Maria Ferrigno from Salerno, Italy. Back home, her family owned a pasta factory, so in 1912 she persuaded him to set up a similar business in the Mission District of San Francisco. The enterprise became known as Gragnano Products, Inc. It delivered pasta to Italian stores and restaurants in the area. In 1934, Paskey changed the name to Golden Grain Macaroni Company. Inspired by the pilaf recipe she received from Mrs. Pailadzo Captanian, Tom’s wife, Lois, created a dish of rice and macaroni, which she served at a family dinner. In 1958, Vince invented Rice-A-Roni by adding a dry chicken soup mix to rice and macaroni. It was introduced in 1958 and went nationwide four years later. Because of its origins, it was called “The San Francisco Treat!”.

Do you know of other food items originating in San Francisco? Let us know via comments!

Fort Point San Francisco


From its vantage point overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate, Fort Point defended the San Francisco Bay following California’s Gold Rush through World War II. Its beautifully arched casemates display the art of 3rd system brick masonry and interacts gracefully with the Golden Gate Bridge.

Fort Point is located at the south anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge at the end of Marine Drive on the Presidio of San Francisco. The days that Fort Point is open change on a seasonal basis. So remember to check here to plan a visit!


With a breathtaking backdrop and historical significance, Fort Point has been the subject of photographers around the World just like this one.

What To Do

Cannon Loading Demonstration Experience how soldiers came together to defend the Golden Gate following California’s Gold Rush.

Fort Point, Guardian of the Golden Gate View this award-winning 30-minute video program about the history of Fort Point, from 1776 through World War II. Shown throughout the day in the Fort Point theater, located adjacent to the bookstore.

Building the Golden Gate Bridge View the compelling story behind the construction of this national civil engineering landmark in a videotape made by Bethlehem Steel Company.


Rebecca’s Tips

Layer up! It’s is almost always cool, damp and windy.

Dogs are allowed on leash on Fort Point lands but are not allowed inside the historic fort.

There is a small bookstore in the fort where you can buy souvenirs! 


rebecCAREaltor series: San Francisco SPCA

One of Rebecca’s favorite institutions, The San Francisco Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is the 4th oldest (oldest in the West) humane society in the United States and the founders of the No-Kill movement. The SFSPCA has always been in the front lines when it comes to animal welfare. Today, the it is an animal shelter, a spay/neuter clinic, adoption center and a full-service public animal hospital.


We imagine a community where every animal has a loving home. Where animals don’t need the support of San Francisco’s rescues and shelters. And we know how to get there.


The SFSPCA was founded on April 18, 1868 by a banker named James Sloan Hutchinson. He intervened in the inhumane behavior of two men against a squealing boar. The incident inspired Hutchinson to call together a group of fellow humanitarians, 15 to be exact, leading to the foundation of what is now known as The San Francisco SPCA.


No Kill Movement

The history of no-kill goes back more than half a century ago when independent civilians began the shelter and rescue of homeless animals fully intent on keeping them alive. This was in reaction to most humane societies and government animal control services of the time whose standard operating procedure was to kill stray and abandoned animals. In the early 1990s, there was a radical example set by Richard Avanzino, then president of The San Francisco SPCA, to reverse a 100-year policy of traditional methods in handling unwanted strays, by establishing a working model between the SPCA and animal control to save animals’ lives. In a nutshell, The SFSPCA will keep any cat or dog under its roof until a home is found for it. The only time an animal will be euthanized is if it is determined to be suffering medically or behaviorally.This model made San Francisco the first “no-kill city” in the United States.

Vision 2020

In 2012, the SF SPCA created Vision 2020—a road map to end animal abandonment in San Francisco by 2020. By addressing the 3 key issues in animal homelessness, SFSPCA aims to make San Francisco the first city in the nation to end animal homelessness.

Overpopulation Prevention

Through, free/low-cost spay-neuter, comprehensive behavior services,charity veterinary care, expanded trap-neuter-return, The SFSPCA seek to stop overpopulation at the source.

Barriers to Vet Care and Pet behavior Issues Rescue

The SFSPCA will rescue every healthy, adoptable and medically treatable pets by increasing adoptions, expanding foster programs and most importantly, exposing puppy mills. We can expect high-volume adoptions, post-adoption support, comprehensive veterinary care and increased foster and hospice programs.


The SF SPCA will provide information and support to San Francisco to encourage advocacy; therefore creating the next generation of animal advocates. After-school and summer programs, animal assisted therapy training, visitation programs and an advocacy department that identifies critical animal welfare issues are all set in motion.

Interested in learning more? Follow this link to see volunteer and donation opportunities.

The rebecCAREaltor brand aims to give back to the community through Rebecca’s work and your support. A portion of your real estate transaction commission will be donated to one of Rebecca’s favorite charities or to one of your choice under your name. Contact us for more information on how you can help.

rebecCAREaltor series: Glide Foundation San Francisco

One of Rebecca White’s favorite charitable institutions, GLIDE Foundation San Francisco has been around since the 1920s- beginning with Methodist philanthropist Lizzie Glide purchasing a parcel of land at the intersection of Ellis and Taylor Streets in San Francisco.


The construction of what is known as GLIDE Memorial United Methodist Church was completed two years later. It is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Since then, its contributions to the community have been recognized by renowned figures such as Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Clinton, among many.



A radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate
suffering and break the cycles of
poverty and marginalization.


GLIDE operates with a radically simple methodology: love, acceptance, and compassion, which we apply through programs in Wellness, Growth, Spirit, and Leadership.


Here are some of GLIDE’s existing programs:

“Meeting people where they are” means that change begins with healing. Working with empathy, preserving dignity, and practicing mutual respect, our Wellness programs lift people’s bodies and spirits.


What does it take to transform the world? In developing initiatives from youth education programs to our innovative urban rooftop garden, GLIDE is encouraging people to make our world better, imagine possibilities, and overcome obstacles on the path to self-sufficiency, self-respect, and personal success.


Whether you are dancing at GLIDE’s Sunday Celebrations or working with our Social Justice Team, GLIDE invites you to affirm our shared humanity and a common need to give and receive. We celebrate beauty, imagination, spirituality, and hope.


GLIDE’s communities are at the forefront of what is happening now – culturally, socially, and politically. Our Leadership programs connect individual actions with a profound impact on the world. Glide leaders take risks to break down boundaries. We allow our own personal transformations and drive innovation tuned to the needs of real people.


Interested in learning more and donating? Follow this link.

The rebecCAREaltor brand aims to give back to the community through Rebecca’s work and your support. A portion of your real estate transaction commission will be donated to one of Rebecca’s favorite charities or to one of your choice under your name. Contact us for more information on how you can help. 

Fall in San Francisco


Okay, okay. Our leaves don’t turn.

The -ber months are here! Fall is in its early stages. Did you know that San Francisco is actually listed as one of the best fall destinations in the United States? Our leaves don’t change colors, there’s barely a change in temperature (except those token days where there’s some drizzling) and climate. We found out why and the answer is… events! There’s so much more than Oktoberfest, too! We compiled some of the best ones to go to for both tourists and locals. Click on the links to be directed to the event website and learn more.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass  

This free festival is an annual staple in San Francisco.


When: Fri Oct 3rd (Noon – 7pm, plus kids program 10:30am – Noon), Sat Oct 4th (11am – 7pm), and Sun Oct 5th, 2014 (11am – 7pm).

Where: Hellman Hollow (formerly Speedway Meadows), Lindley & Marx meadows in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA. Read below for a map.

Castro Street Fair 

The free annual event is always the first Sunday of October.


When: Sun Oct 5

Where: Castro Street. Follow the rainbow… flag.

Fleet Week 

This annual Marina Green event features live music too!


When: Oct 10 & 11

Where: The festival and fleets are at Marina Green but you can see the air show from any clear sky-view closeby.

Burning Man Decompression 

Because both Burning Man attendees and those who missed it need this event.


When: Oct 12

Where: 19th and Minnesota

Treasure Island Music Festival 

And more music festivals. This one is outside the city.


When: Oct 18 & 19

Where: Treasure Island

Stay tuned for the second part of this list. or you can make it YOUR list this Fall.

A Tale of Two Chinatowns

One Chinatown. Two realities and not one better that the other. One is the Chinatown we locals know and love. The one where our familiar and beloved privately-owned businesses passed down from generations of Chinese immigrants thrive. The other, a tourist attraction where one will enthusiastically walk up and down expecting to be dazzled and to find something they cannot find elsewhere- be it a small chachki, a silk robe or just the perfect golden lion statue.


Chinatown the Tourist Attraction:

For something not very large in area, you will need to plan a whole afternoon to truly experience Chinatown. Just ask the over 75% of tourists (+- 2,000,000) who visit Chinatown annually.  People come not only for random finds from ethnic shops but also the Chinese-style architecture and good food!

Chinatown the Local Gem:

This 20-block neighborhood is remarkably packed not only with tourists but residents as well. As the densest part of the densest city in California, over 15,000 people call these 20 blocks home. Who can blame the residents? Inexpensive housing is preserved here. Well, inexpensive for San Francisco. It serves as a cultural “Capital City” where many maintain bonds with such institutions as Buddhist temples and regional family associations.

2 Chinatowns Unite:

There are of course times when both realities collide and it’s usually magic. Chinese festivals like Chinese New Year are an example of when both locals and tourists go out of their way in this packed neighborhood to be dazzled. Dragon-dances, parades, floats- you name it.

There’s also neighborhood darlings and tourist stops like The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company, Old St Mary’s Cathedral and the not-to-miss alleyways!


Whichever Chinatown you know, there is no question that there’s something for mostly everyone here.