I walk around San Francisco a lot, from 2-10 miles everyday, and every time I enter the Fillmore District, something strange and wonderful happens: people say "Hi" to me…
Most of my strolling is done in the Mission, with frequent jaunts around SoMa, the Financial District, Hayes Valley, and the Tenderloin, but a few times each week I head to the Fillmore, and every single time at least one person greets me warmly. This doesn't happen to me anywhere else in San Francisco. The other day on Steiner three people said "Good morning" – three! Each of these interactions has been straightforward and sweet, just a friendly word in passing. My favorite greeting was definitely "Hi neighbor – I like your boots!", and since I was wearing my Spring Foraging Boots this made me very happy.
In this way, The Fillmore District reminds me of the residential neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon, where almost every person you pass gives you a smile or a hello. When I go to visit I feel like everyone is welcoming me back, or that my dear friend there has shown my photo around, telling everyone to be nice to me. I don't really go for chitchat with strangers, but a smile or a hello is a lovely thing. It says, simply, "I'm glad you're here".
Is your neighborhood friendly/too friendly/unfriendly/openly hostile? Do you wish it was more or less friendly? How important is this to you when deciding where to live?
(San Francisco neighborhoods and micro-neighborhoods being what there are, it's tricky to define any neighborhood. Wikipedia defines the Fillmore District as "roughly bordered by Van Ness Avenue on the east, Divisadero Street on the west, Geary Boulevard on the north, and Grove Street on the south", but areas I consider the Fillmore might also be part of the Western Addition, NoPa, Alamo Square, Lower Haight, etc!)
Image: Google Maps