Virtual tour of Tenderloin, San Francisco. Panorama of Tenderloin, San Francisco. Maps, travel, photos, videos.

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Tenderloin, San Francisco

POI: 37.783333, -122.416667
The Tenderloin is a neighborhood in downtown San Francisco, California, in the flatlands on the southern slope of Nob Hill, situated between the Union Square shopping district to the northeast and the Civic Center office district to the southwest. It encompasses about 50 square blocks, is a large wedge/triangle in shape (point faces East), and a conservative description has it bounded on the north by Geary Street, on the east by Mason Street, on the south by Market Street and on the west by Van Ness Avenue. The northern boundary with Lower Nob Hill historically has been set at Geary Street. The terms "Tenderloin Heights" and "The Tendernob" refer to the area around the indefinite boundary between the Upper Tenderloin and Lower Nob Hill. The eastern extent, near Union Square, overlaps with the Theater District. Part of the western extent of the Tenderloin, Larkin and Hyde Streets between Turk and O'Farrell, was officially named "Little Saigon" by the City of San Francisco.
History
The Tenderloin took its name from an older neighborhood in New York with similar characteristics. There are several explanations of how that neighborhood was named. Some said it was a reference to the neighborhood as the "soft underbelly" (analogous to the cut of meat) of the city, with allusions to vice and corruption, especially graft. Another popular explanation, probably folklore, attributes the name to a New York City police captain, Alexander S. Williams, who was overheard saying that when he was assigned to another part of the city, he could only afford to eat chuck steak on the salary he was earning, but after he was transferred to this neighborhood he was making so much money on the side soliciting bribes that now he could eat tenderloin instead. Another version of that story says that the officers who worked in the Tenderloin received a "hazard pay" bonus for working in such a violent area, and thus were able to afford the good cut of meat. Yet another story, also likely apocryphal, is that the name is a reference to the "loins" of prostitutes. The Tenderloin borders the Mission/Market Street corridor, which follows the Spaniards' El Camino Real, which in turn traced an ancient north/south Indian trail. The Tenderloin is sheltered by Nob Hill, and far enough from the bay to be on solid ground. There is evidence that a community resided here several thousand years ago. In the 1960s, the area was excavated to develop the BART/MUNI subway station at Civic Center. During the excavation, the remains of a woman dated to be 5,000 years old were found. The Tenderloin has been a downtown residential community since shortly after the California Gold Rush in 1849. However, the name "Tenderloin" does not appear on any maps of San Francisco prior to the 1930s; before then, it was labeled as "Downtown", although it was informally referred to as "the Tenderloin" as early as the 1890s. The area had an active nightlife in the late 19th century with many theaters, restaurants...   ... (English)
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