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Noe Valley Neighborhood Profile

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Noe Valley Neighborhood Profile

Small restaurants and shops and well-maintained Victorians characterize the Noe Valley neighborhood.

B. Koh

Noe Valley Overview:

In San Francisco's geographical center, Noe Valley is a neighborhood of upper-middle class liberals, young families and independent small businesses. It's nicknamed "Stroller Valley"; the sidewalks of its main drag, 24th Street, are commonly a gridlock of families with baby strollers and dogs. Every block has well-maintained Victorians, vestiges of when Noe Valley was the edge of the city and populated by Scandinavian and German immigrants, dairy farmers, longshoremen and teachers. With Twin Peaks blocking the ocean's fog, Noe typically basks in the sun while the Richmond shivers.

Neighborhood Boundaries:

Noe Valley is bordered by Grand View Avenue on the west, 21st Street on the north, Dolores Street on the east, and 30th Street on the south.

Demographics:

Noe Valley has about 21,000 residents, mostly yuppie singles and young families with a sprinkling of retirees. The median age is 36, according to City-Data.com. Whites comprise about 70% of the neighborhood's population, Hispanics, 15% and Asians, 7%. Almost 37% of the residents are California-born; nearly 44% were born in another state.

Rent & Real Estate:

Because Noe Valley is one of San Francisco's most desirable neighborhoods, it’s not unusual for a seller to receive multiple offers and bids above the asking price. In May 2011, houses sold for an average price of $1.48 million, as reported in the Noe Valley Voice, a monthly paper. For condominiums, the average sales price was $931,100. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $3,046 per month.

Noe Valley Restaurants, Cafes & Food:

24th Street between Church and Douglass streets has everything from bagel shops and Starbucks to French and Thai restaurants. On Church Street between 26th and 30th streets is a smattering of eateries as well. Here are a few Noe Valley favorites:
Eric’s, Church Street at 27th, 282-0919. Northern Chinese; expect a wait.
Firefly, 4288 24th, 821-7652. Cosmopolitan Californian.
Fresca, 3945 24th, 695-0549. Modernized Peruvian.
La Boulange, 3898 24th, 821-1050. Friendly, authentic French bakery.
24th Street Cheese Co., 3893 24th, 821-6658. Global cheese.

Neighborhood Nightlife:

Except for a few bars, Noe Valley is sleepy after 11 p.m. Head to the Mission or the Castro for more action. A few local bars:
Bliss Bar, 4026 24th St., 826-6200
The Dubliner, 3838 24th St., 826-2279
Noe’s Bar, 24th and Church, 282-4007
Valley Tavern, 4054 24th St., 285-0674

Shopping in Noe Valley:

Noe Valley is a small-business mecca where you can find baby toys, nail salons, San Francisco-designed dresses, gifts galore, wine, Persian rugs, jewelry, roses and realtors, stained-glass windows and wrenches. Twenty-fourth Street is shopaholic heaven. Some of Noe's specialized stores:

Government Services & Essentials:

  • SF Board of Supervisors representative for Noe Valley (District 8): Scott Wiener

  • Police: Mission Station, 630 Valencia St., near 17th St.

  • Post Office: 4083 24th St.

  • Public Transportation:
    MUNI streetcar: J-Church(on Church St.)
    MUNI buses: #24, 35, 48
    BART: 24th & Mission station
  • Pharmacy: Walgreens, at Castro & Jersey streets.

  • Banks:
    Bank of America, 4098 24th St.
    Chase, 3998 24th St.
    Circle Bank, 3938 24th St.
    Wells Fargo, 4045B 24th St.

  • Library: Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Memorial Branch Library, 451 Jersey St.; 355-5707. Closed Mondays.

Noe Valley Schools:

Active, involved parents have been indispensable to Noe Valley's public schools.
Alvarado Elementary School
625 Douglass St., at Alvarado; 695-5695
Strong arts curriculum, with an artist-in-residence.
James Lick Middle School
1220 Noe St., at 25th St.; 695-5675
Spanish-immersion classes. Alumnus Carlos Santana has left his mark in front of the school.

Neighborhood Churches:

  • Noe Valley Ministry (on Sanchez near Elizabeth St.), a Presbyterian church, also serves as a community center that hosts a pre-school, music series, senior lunch program and Scottish dancing.

  • St. Paul’s (Church and Valley streets), a century-old, American Gothic Revival giant and the neighborhood’s oldest Catholic church, runs an elementary school.

  • St. Philip’s (Diamond and Elizabeth streets) operates a pre-school and an elementary school.

Noe Valley Issues

Tech Buses: Giant buses shuttling Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and other tech employees between Noe Valley and the Peninsula cause congestion and noise, some 30th Street residents complain. The tech companies say the buses save money and the environment. The SF County Transportation Authority is studying the situation.
Empty Storefronts: Even yuppie Noe Valley has been hit by the recession, as evidenced by the handful of empty shop spaces on 24th Street. In the good old days, no storefront was vacant for more than a month, if that.
Grocery Shopping: Noe Valley was supermarket-less for most of 2009 until Whole Foods opened in September, taking over the 24th Street site of the 41-year-old Bell Market. Whole Foods, popularly dubbed "Whole Paycheck," is relatively pricey, driving many residents to continue trekking out of the Valley to the nearest Safeways, on Diamond Heights Boulevard, on Mission Street, and on Market near Church Street.
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