In the comments to our brief on yesterday’s mugging at 23rd and South Van Ness, commenter blooms notes, in part, that he feels that:

There exists a common misperception that the Mission is some sort of hipster utopia, when that it is an illusion. While you are enjoying that cappuccino after a nice meal at Delfina, four blocks down and five blocks over (10 minute walk), gangsters are killing each other. Gangs control the blocks south of Mission St to the freeway, and from 14th to 23rd. So, as the Valencia corridor becomes “gentrified” (so to speak), the rest of the (outer) Mission remains a gangster’s paradise.

This is an interesting point! The Appeal office is at 18th and Treat, and we frequently assume we have nothing to fear but the overly earnest Capital Jay Journalists around the corner.

So we gaily skip up to the 22, laptops on our backs and iPhones in our hands. Which must make us idiots, or entitled douchebags, or both?

How about you — do you truly feel safe walking the streets of the Mission (or any streets in the City?), or are you wary? What measures, if any, do you take to keep yourself safe?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • fsharp

    After living in the Mission a few long decades and walking by this very intersection every day, I’ve still not been mugged (yet). My Kryptonite is that I’m a big lug. But my Kryptonite becomes weaker with every drink I have. Everyone I know who has been mugged or jumped was damned drunk. I’m not insinuating that was the case here. Walk with a friend or 3 if you’re drunk at night. It’s more fun and a lot safer.

  • pat94103
  • sfboogie

    I have fond memories of staggering home drunk at 4am from Universe near the now PacBell/SBC/AT&T park (seems like forever ago) when I lived in the Western Addition. Not smart by any means, but I didn’t know any better as I had only lived in SF (from the Midwest) for less than a year. It wasn’t until my 5-Fulton got re-routed on the way home from work one day due to a shooting that I realized what I had been doing. It didn’t make me feel any less safe though. I am definitely more aware of my surroundings when I visit more sketchy areas of SF. And, as a white, gay man I’ve been warned by residents of some sketchy areas that I shouldn’t go there day or night- primarily the Hunter’s Point area. I have never been there so I can’t speak one way or the other. Sometimes I joke that since I am a white, gay man walking through sketchy areas by myself that people leave me alone cause I must be some sort of crazy. In reality I’m just naive.

  • Jeff D.

    here’s some newz: “hipsters” (adventurous, but privileged and guilty folks?) are attracted to areas with an “edge.” that means shady, ethnic activities that may reach out and bite you. when they do, you move to a safer area and squirt out some spawn. until then, you secretly feel just a little bit of your classism relieved while you tell crazy stories about the wackiness and DANGER of your ‘hood.

  • Eve Batey

    sfboogie, I know exactly what you mean! In 1997, I moved here from a pretty tough part of Indianapolis (shut up, we do have them! But, seriously, more people were murdered in my nabe in Indy in 1995 that in all of SF that same year. STREET CRED.) to the Western Addition, and would stroll through there at all hours on my way home to Fulton/Divis.

    Something that didn’t occur to me until years later was that when I lived in Indy I never walked anywhere in my neighborhood there, except to my car, parked right in front of my house. Looking back now, I’m floored and my inane, arrogant hubris in assuming because I was safe there, I somehow would be here? I don’t even remember my logic, if I had any.

    I don’t know that in my case, as Jeff D. notes, that I was attracted to the area because it had an edge (but I’m also by no means a hipster), No, I was just too fucking stupid to realize an edge was there.

  • sfboogie

    I moved to the Western Addition (GG/Divis) in 1999 simply because it was the only place I could “afford” while working retail. I seriously don’t know how I did it. I was only making $10/hr. and paying $875/mo. And I was not working 40 hrs/wk. Somehow I still had enough money to have fun. Go figure!

  • Neo Displacer

    Going totally pedantic I know, but El Corazn is not the outer Mission. The inner Mission is roughly bounded by 13 St to the north, Potrero to the East, Army to the south, and Dolores to the west. Outer Mission is south of Army otherwise known as sanazay.