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Upper Polk/Van Ness
Running along the Western base of Russian Hill from Ghiradelli Square to Pine Street, the northern section of Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue hosts an array of informal bistro style restaurants, organic markets, and quiet cafes. Shopping in the neighborhood is great for small thrift, antique, and novelty shops. Since the Alhambra closed, nightlife is limited to a few bars that are hit and miss in many regards. Generally speaking, which is always a dangerous proposition, the area is a bit conservative in the sense of what you'll find more: frat/sorority, buttoned-up, polo shirt wearing, and less "freaky people" in this part of town. But hey, there are plenty of awesome restaurants in the neighborhood and you make your own party anyways, so who cares about the rest. Right?

The views are great if you can make it to the top of Russian Hill. Fort Mason Center and a couple of cable car routes are nearby. If you want to get to another area of town, you're only a hop away from the 30, 41 or 49 MUNI routes which take you to the Marina, North Beach, Cow Hollow, and the Mission.

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