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Tenderloin



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The Tenderloin is not without its charms. But despite its vulnerable reputation, this dense part of the city is home to creative individuals from all walks of life. It’s an enclave of artists, musicians, and young entrepreneurs who have set up shop here in an often ignored part of San Francisco.

The TL has been a residential community since the Gold Rush, a home to several artisans, theater performers, and working class. In those days, the Tenderloin was the center for the arts and culture of San Francisco, and in a big way, it still reflects this today.

Although its history has been riddled with crime, scandal, brutality and mystique, it also was a popular destination during the Prohibition when speakeasies were in abundance, and has since been a cesspool for creativity. One of the earliest gay riots pre-dating Stonewall in New York happened here in August of '66, when cops were trying to arrest a Drag Queen sparking an outburst that spilled on to the streets. Legendary artists recorded albums and performed here, like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk in the 50's and early 60's. It was also home to many literary icons and is the site of California's first Law School, UC Hastings, which is still here today.

Much like any urban area, some streets are more dangerous than others. To survive in the Tenderloin means to be respectful of others, to be vigilant, and to be aware of your surroundings. But the importance of this neighborhood is not to be underestimated. Due to its reputation, rents have remained low, allowing the working class singles and couples to find affordable housing in a city with exuberant housing rates. It also houses several non-profit organizations that assist the displaced. The area has a very strong sense of community, with passionate residents who have chosen to call the TL their home. Many young, forward thinkers also occupy the area, adding to the creative flair that remains with the district.

Because the Tenderloin has eluded the effects of gentrification for decades, it has remained an affordable and imperative part of our city. The Tenderloin's charm comes with adventure, inspiration, and a rich history that many of its natives have grown to appreciate and embrace.