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.

View the map of all published Blocker episodes.

Blocker, No. 23: Ivy St. in Hayes Valley

At one end of Ivy St., the vibrant sounds of Afro-beat float across Octavia from the African Outlet. A single pigeon observes the sidewalks and street from its lofty perch upon a sill of the Ivy Hotel, kitty-corner from the retailer. Nobody knows if the pigeon has taken note of the owl less than ten feet above its head.

At the other end of Ivy St., low income housing strikes a weary pose across Laguna, a relic from the era when Hayes Valley was known as a freeway-slashed slum. Turning 90 degrees to the left, the newly gentrified and boutique-crazy Hayes St. is a 30-second walk to the south. Visible from our vantage point is a corner retailer, Alabaster, that deals in self-styled “treasures for the home.”

Clearly, Hayes Valley remains in a state of transition. Even the pigeons can’t see everything going on here.