I’m pretty hard on Noe Valley, but then, I like to complain. I joke that all the things that DPaul and I complain about are the things everyone else wants: It’s clean. It’s full of white thirtysomething couples with their babies and dogs. It’s pleasant. Pleasant took some getting used to.
But as I’ve had occasion over the past couple of months to spend a lot more time in the ‘hood lately, I gotta tell ya. If pleasantness is the worst thing I have to deal with, I can cope. The neighborhood is phenomenally convenient. In one stroll, all within a three-block radius, I can buy groceries organic and otherwise; any kind of beer, wine and liquor I wish; fresh-baked breads and pastries; gelato, espresso and Belgian chocolates; every cheese legally available in the US; every magazine in print (pretty much); garments and shoes, new and vintage, for men, women, children and pets; gifts, toys, cards, stationery and flowers. I can go to the gym; take tai chi, yoga, white crane silat and Scottish country dance lessons; see live music or take music lessons. There’s Italian, French, Mexican, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Middle Eastern. (Maybe not the best representation of each of those, but hey.)
This is precisely why I love city living. It’s this kind of access that has allowed me not to own a car in 14 years. (Though I am a member and big booster of City CarShare!) So the next time you hear me complain about Noe Valley, just roll your eyes and humor me. In my heart, I know it could be so much worse.