It is crystal clear why the perfectly picturesque “Painted Ladies” adorn so many
War II. 301 Van Ness Ave. (at Grove
St.). y 415/621-6600.
7 Louise M. Davies Sym-
phony Hall. This curved, modern
structure, named for one of its bene-
factors, was completed in 1980. The
design did not inspire great enthusi-
asm, and a $10-million renovation
was required in 1992 to improve the
acoustics. 201 Van Ness Ave. (at
Grove St.). y 415/552-8000.
8 Hayes Valley. This vibrant, hip
neighborhood was once best known
for its homeless population, but the
1989 earthquake destroyed two
noisy, unattractive freeway on-ramps
here that kept businesses and
pedestrians away. Now, the area is a
haven for new designers and gal-
leries, and restaurants and bars.
details on stores in this area). Or stop
by some of the galleries, including
Octavia's Haze Gallery (498 Hayes
St.; y 415/255-6818), with hand-
blown art glass from Italy, Seattle,
and the Bay Area; and Polanco (393
Hayes St.; y 415/252-5753), which
highlights Mexican art. Hayes St.
(between Franklin & Buchanan sts.).
! Alamo Square Historic Dis-
trict. San Francisco's most remark-
able Victorian homes perished in
the 1906 post-earthquake fires,
which swept through downtown.
To prevent the fires from spreading
westward, firemen dynamited the
mansions along Van Ness Avenue.
Although the fire did cross Van Ness
in some places, many homes west
of the thoroughfare were spared. A
small area around Alamo Square has
such a great concentration of these
homes that it has been designated
a historic area. Historic District
between Divisadero, Webster & Fell
sts. & Golden Gate Ave.
@ Postcard Row. SF's ornate Vic-
torians are fondly referred to as
“Painted Ladies.” Of these, the most
famous lie on the south end of Alamo
Square, with a backdrop of the San
Francisco skyline providing a striking
contrast. Take a look at (and your
own shot of) the oft-photographed
view from atop Alamo Park. Hayes
St. (between Steiner & Scott sts.).
9 Frjtz. This funky spot dubs
itself a “DJ Art teahouse.” Try their
tasty Belgian fries served in a paper
cone or their sweet and savory
crepes. 579 Hayes St. (at Laguna St.).
y 415/864-7654. www.frjtzfries.
0 Hayes Street. The area's main
shopping drag features eclectic and
unique shops carrying everything
from antiques and clothes by local
designers to fine Italian shoes (see
the shopping chapter, p 67, for