Friday, May 15, 2009

Potrero Hill continued

"We Potrero Hill boys gotta stick together." - From the movie "Dirty Harry".

Potrero Hill at one time was known as “Russian Hill” among the locals, (not the current Russian Hill which was so named because of a Russian sailor being buried there) because there was a large settlement of Russian families in the neighborhood: Russian Orthodox and Molokon religions were the majority of the families. Their strong cultural roots also colored the streets.

I had one aunt who would always talk about the wedding processions of singers escorting the bride to church on foot.

Several generations of families stayed in the area until real estate prices began to escalate in the 80's and the economy changed, so there are now only tattered remnants of these families remaining amidst the newcomers who have mostly come from out of State which has resulted in the demise of the tenuous San Francisco “accent”.

(Speaking of real estate, the neighborhood had Ray Cicerone and later, his former employee opened Peterson Realty as the two Realtors on 20th St.)

A typical Hill property currently on the market

I guess my point is, San Francisco like other great cities, is known around the world for the flavor and history of its neighborhoods: North Beach, Haight/Ashbury, The Castro, Noe Valley, The Richmond, Pacific Heights, Polk Street, etc. Each of these evokes an image and a feel for the retail and living spaces that help to define them.

Although “The Hill” is not a tourist neighborhood on the scale of North Beach, Montmartre, The French Quarter, etc. There remains a distinctive flavor and mood that keeps it unique.

This is a tradition that should be fostered in our cities, embraced incorporated into change that comes with time. The history and ambiance should be honored and emulated as these areas evolve, and it will continue the rich, local tradition of The City.

Newer Hill property in with traditional flavor

Another classic Hill property

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