Hayes Valley girl that is! A district of San Francisco discovered last year while staying at a quaint boutique hotel (Inn at the Opera) in town to run the Nike Women’s half marathon. Located a short walking distance to the Opera House, City Hall and about a 20 minute walk to Union Square.
A place that surprised me to find out that only twenty years ago was considered a haven for the city’s homeless, drug addicts and prostitutes. In other words quite a seedy location which they cleaned up pretty good. Something reminiscent of New York City’s Meat Packing District.
Since then it has developed into a haven for haute couture. Where the crack houses and tenements once stood, there are now trendy fashion boutiques, SoHo-style funky art galleries, high-end interior-decorating shops, top-notch restaurants and hip nightspots.
Now, tourists also head here specifically for the shopping, for one-of-a-kinds like a buffalo-leather chair or an exclusive Sue Wong Art Deco gown.
Great vintage shops with amazing finds – things like slightly used Louis Vuitton luggage and crocodile handbags for only $350. It was hard to tell if I was in a really great second hand shop or that of a local designer.
In any event it was fun to even window shop, have a bite to eat and just walk around this interesting combination of “old meets trendy” district which reminded me of Palermo in Buenos Aires or Knightsbridge in London.
For hotel info: http://shellhospitality.com