Meet Your Neighbors

When I moved to San Francisco’s Inner Richmond last year, I found a lot of things to like -- Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, even the fog. But when I started telling people exactly where I lived, they only cared about one thing: the turkey sandwiches at the Arguello Market. When I went to check it out, I found that the sandwiches were indeed great -- but that wasn’t all that made the place special. 

Oh, how the residents of San Francisco love their city! So often they’ll say, “We never plan to leave here. Never!” That’s a great sentiment, but the reality is that nearly everyone will someday have to leave this place, because there are no public cemeteries within the city limits.

If you listen to KALW regularly, you might have noticed that every day, we announce the school lunches in the San Francisco Unified School District. What you might not know is that KALW studios are actually located inside a San Francisco High School. In this story from our archives, KALW’s Audrey Dilling followed the former head lunch lady here in the school cafeteria and brought back Gowana Keys’ reflections on nearly three decades of serving school lunch.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user ROSS HONG KONG

The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto is not a grotto, really. A grotto is a cave … or, something like a cave. This is just a floor in a nondescript office building: 31 offices surrounding a conference room, where a few dozen people can sit somewhat comfortably. From the hallways, each office door looks about the same. What makes this place special, though, is what’s behind each door.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mot the barber

To many people in the Bay Area, the city of Burlingame is just a city straddling the 101, just south of San Francisco International Airport. As you drive by, you might see industrial warehouses and business parks- nothing too distinctive. 

Temescal in a time of change

Apr 23, 2012

In many ways, the Bay Area is still struggling to recover from the housing market crisis. Although some housing prices are rising, only a few neighborhoods have returned to the peaks reached in 2006. And most of them are in Silicon Valley. Richard K. Green, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California, told the San Jose Mercury News that, “Oakland is still dead.”

photo by Jen Chien

The neighborhood of Westborough straddles the border between Daly City and South San Francisco. It’s a mostly residential area, with quiet sloping streets full of brown and beige town homes built in the 50s and 60s. Before that time, this area was undeveloped farmland and open space. A frenzy of construction after World War II created the neatly planned housing tracts and shopping centers that make up the bulk of Daly City today.

Photo courtesy of: Ca gov

West Oakland is a neighborhood in transition – more people are moving in, and developers have it in their sights as the next up-and-coming place to live. But the neighborhood’s air quality is some of the Bay Area’s worst. A recent report by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies found that new laws for trucks had dramatically reduced emissions – but there’s still a long way to go.

Margaret Gibson has lived on 10th street in West Oakland for all of her 52 years.

“It's a little tough some times, but it's home, and I love it.”

Jen Chien

San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood has higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and violence than any other part of the city. But its relative geographical isolation – it’s cut off by the 101 and 280 freeways – can make those issues all but invisible to residents of other neighborhoods.