SoMa (South of Market)

SoMa (South of Market)

South of Market used to be called “South of the Slot,“ because cable cars ran along a slot on Market. The cable cars are gone and there is a move afoot to rename South of Market, “SoMa,“ no doubt an allusion to New York and London’s SoHo neighborhoods.

The perimeters of the area are bounded by Market, South Van Ness and Cesar Chavez Street. SoMa is a real mixture of residential and commercial. The area is crowded with warehouses, lofts, and business offices. Development is responsible for an influx of professionals and upwardly mobile residents. New restaurants are opening and nightlife in the neighborhood is making SoMa a happening place in San Francisco.

The cultural heart of SoMa is Yerba Buena Gardens along with the Museum of Modern Art. A well-spring of museums and galleries is creatively bubbling within South of Market generating interest in the arts within this expansive area. Yerba Buena Gardens include the contemplative Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and waterfall. The misty, silvered walls of the memorial are inscribed with the civil rights leader’s inspirational words. The east entrance inscription reads: “I believe that a day will come when all God’s children from bass black to treble white will be significant on the Constitution’s keyboard.”

Jack London’s birthplace is at 601 3rd Street, which was the first industrialized section of San Francisco. The famed author of “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang,” was born there on January 12, 1876 in a house formerly located at that site. London died at the age of 40 in Sonoma in 1916.