Sunset views

Lauren Ponder

On a clear day,  the Sunset District in San Francisco is a desirable neighborhood to live in because its hills boast views of the Pacific Ocean stretching beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a neighborhood composed of diverse populations and longstanding locally owned and operated businesses. The 2010 population census of the Sunset is 84,145, which is comprised of 49.2% Asian, 28.8% Hispanic, 27.9% White, 3.8% Black and .6% Native Indian.

Its cardinal borders are Golden Gate Park to the north, Sloat Boulevard to the South, Stanyan Street to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Businesses such as the Animal Connection on 31st avenue and The Brothers Papadopoulos Flower shop on the corner of 19th avenue and Quintara have weathered the storms in the Sunset because they have been established in the community for over thirty years. The main streets, Irving, Noriega, and Taraval are lined with traditional Asian restaurants, massage parlors, and other beauty and nail shops. New restaurants, like “Grubbin,” open up shop, but corporate restaurants and shops are minimal. T-Pumps, a Boba drink shop is almost always packed with high schoolers on the weekends.

Musical history is made in the Sunset during its free annual festivals. This year, the Sunset will celebrate its 80th year of music festivals at Sterne Grove. The neighborhood is sandwiched between Sterne Grove and Golden Gate Park which host the Sterne Grove Festival and Hardley Strictly Blues respectively. Iconic performers such as George Clinton, Emmy Lou Harris and Chris Issak regularly performe at the festivals. Both parks offer many other various activities and attractions, including crafts and exercise classes.The Academy of Sciences, the deYoung, and the Conservatory of flowers are the four large museums in Golden Gate Park. 

Though the Sunset is a quiet neighborhood, there are hot issues in the community. The Sunset is one of the least gentrified neighborhoods, but commuters who park in the neighborhood and ride the Muni downtown are problematic. “One time I counted 150 cars on one street,” said Kingman, a concerned local.  Jen, the manager at, Animal Connection, the 30 year old pet store, explained how apartment buildings have also encouraged people to covet parking places.

The homelessness crisis in the city is also represented in the Sunset. In fact, the Outer Sunset is notorious for its drug trafficking and vagrancy. Starbucks on 19th avenue attracts many transients who come from the park and the outer reaches of the Sunset. In a single week, there were multiple emergency calls to address health issues, including drug overdoses and violence, from transients that frequent the area.  There are several sober living, and mental health and behavioral homes scattered throughout the Sunset. Edgewood and Pinehurst Lodge buildings date as far back as the Great Depression.

The Sunset Beacon is the neighborhood’s monthly community newspaper that details events and crime in the neighborhood.


About the author

Lauren Ponder

Lauren Ponder