Exploring San Francisco through the lens of city blocks, Blocker is a weekly series by Charles Hodgkins. Look for it on SFist each Wednesday, around the lunching hour.
Blocker, No. 1: Fair Oaks St. in the Mission
Here where the Mission melts into the Castro to the west, and Noe Valley to the southwest, it’s a bit unclear in which neighborhood we’re wandering around. If the shiny new brown sign at the foot of the hilly 000 block of Fair Oaks St. is to be taken seriously -- and frankly, it’s not -- then we’ve landed in the Liberty Hill Historic District. Crafty, real crafty. San Francisco needs more fictional "sub-neighborhoods" whose names reek of realtor-sponsored specificity, with the express intention of spiking property values, like it needs another earthquake.
But since we’re still east of Dolores, let’s just go with the safe bet: this is the western edge of the Mission. Too general? Can we keep a straight face by upgrading this leg of Fair Oaks to tony-sounding Dolores Heights? What’s next? Pinning the "Amoeba Gulch" tag on the westernmost block of Haight?