San Francisco’s SOMA Neighborhood Introduces A Cool Friend In Hotel Via

Walking past a friend on a crowded street that you haven’t seen in twenty years may allow for both of you to completely miss one another without recognition because you’ve changed so much.

A receding hairline, graying hair, growing waistline and a different fashion could all be contributing factors.

Walking around a city that you grew up in but haven’t been to visit for decades can have the same effect.

It looks and feels so entirely different that you barely recognize it.

That experience can describe how a former childhood resident can feel about so many neighborhoods in San Francisco as the real estate rich metropolis continues to undergo a massive make over.

South of Market, otherwise known as SoMa, is one of those neighborhoods. writer,photo via Bay City Guide

South of Market (or SoMa) is a relatively large neighborhood which is located just south of Market Street, and contains several sub-neighborhoods including: South Beach, Mission Bay, and Rincon Hill.

SoMa is home to many of the city's museums, to the headquarters of several major software and Internet companies, and to the Moscone Conference Center.

Before being called South of Market, this area was called "South of the Slot", a reference to the cable cars that ran up and down Market along the slots through which they gripped cables. While the cable cars have long since disappeared from Market Street, some "old timers" still refer to this area as "South of the Slot".

In terms of transition, of all of San Francisco’s neighborhoods over the last decade, the one that has undergone the most change, and is poised for even more enhancement is South Beach, the area south of Market Street nearest the bay.

The great travel site weighs in on this. “South Beach’s once dilapidated waterfront warehouses have been transformed into shining towers packed with modern apartments and luxury suites. Respected for its salty sea breeze and picturesque views of the bay, South Beach’s stark cleanliness presents a distinctly different side of San Francisco.

South Beach's sleek style reflects in the glass facades of its towering apartment complexes and contemporary office spaces.

A petite oasis in an urban jungle, South Beach's park borrows a little wisdom from Great Britain–South Park is modeled after an 18th century park in London.”

Many in our circle grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and remember the days when South of Market had a very gritty industrial feel to it and not only did few want to live there, even fewer wanted to visit this section of San Francisco.

Here are a few pictures of who she was by the penetrating photographer Janet Delaney.

We sense you will see what we mean. writer, Janet Delaney photo credit

Another one. writer, Janet Delaney photo credit

As always the global travel leaders at Lonely Planet have a feel for the neighborhood. “Tour the home of Giants. Sensational AT&T Park, "Baseball's Perfect Address." You'll take in sweeping views of downtown San Francisco and the Bay, and go places only the players go- Giants' Dugout, Visitors' Clubhouse and the Field.” writer, By Bspangenberg - Own work wikimedia

AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants opened in the year 2000. It was certainly a fantastic addition to the local economy and neighborhood.

Here are two views of the area from the street appropriately found at

“I was just in South Beach this weekend while rollerblading, which I recommend highly. This area is a fitness junkie's paradise. There are long paved paths that go along the edge of the water and around the stadium (AT&T Park) in the area. You get great views of the East Bay and the Bay Bridge. It's also fun to see all the large boats that dock. Right next to the stadium, there is also a cool harbor with sailboats that you can gawk at.

This are has the perfect mix of ingredients. It has the water and the public areas, but it avoids becoming a tourist trap like the northern part of the Embarcadero. The great thing is that you can hop up to the more crowded areas easily by public transportation.”

Perhaps one more.

“West of South Beach is a lot to do, and I’m speaking truthfully, there is so much to do that you won’t be able to do it all in a day. Just a bit west of South Beach, you will find several museums, such as, Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco. I’ve only been to the Museum of Modern Art, which I really enjoyed. In the same area, you will also find the Yerba Buena Gardens or center. There you have bowling and ice skating. Lastly you have the Westfield Shopping Center, which is the most trendy and hip place to go shopping nowadays for San Franciscans, it’s still relatively new compared to other shopping centers.”

With an office here in Nor Cal, you can understand why we love visiting San Francisco so much.

As great as it is, guess what? It has gotten even better with this latest addition.

The informative group enlightens on June 20, 2017, “San Francisco’s newest hotel, the 159-room, ballpark-adjacent “beyond boutiqué” Hotel VIA officially opens on King Street this month. And with the neighborhood’s first new hotel in a decade comes a swanky new hotel bar to add to the roster. The focus group-named Bar VIA is now open on the ground floor space between Second and Third Streets. From a marketing perspective, Hotel VIA claims to be defining South Beach.” writer, photo

Sounds exciting. Given the often full hotel occupancy situation in San Francisco, another upscale hotel is a welcome sight.

The fun site adds with pizzazz, “Nothing announces the arrival of a neighborhood like a sleek new boutique hotel, and boy did South Beach get a gem. The just-opened Hotel Via sits right across from AT&T Park and boasts the city’s best new rooftop bar, with views of the skyline and the bay.”

Sounds so fun and vibrant.

There appears to be a room available. Why don’t we travel over to Via Hotel and meet them. They are very good at announcing their intentions at, “South Beach, San Francisco’s chic independent hotel has arrived. Hotel VIA’s dedication to the environment, technology and the highest level of personalized service creates a guest experience beyond boutique.

With amenities as inspired as its unique location, Hotel VIA offers unparalleled spaces and services. From breathtaking views to cutting edge technology, Hotel VIA ensures a memorable guest experience.”

We believe.

How about a tour. First the roof top. writer,photo

They continue, “Exclusive access to breathtaking views you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in San Francisco. Chic yet comfortable, Rooftop at VIA is the perfect place to unwind, sip a cocktail and take in incredible panoramic city views. Learn More.”

Sounds spectacular. How about the bar?

They add, “Whether you’re staying at Hotel VIA or just looking for a great place to unwind with a cocktail after a long day, Bar VIA has everything you need. Catch a game with friends, try a delicious signature cocktail or enjoy some small plates with the family.”

We’re impressed. Aren’t you? Former guests certainly are. Here are three reviews found at Trip Advisor:

I have a great experience at Hotel VIA. First off the customer service was perfect. Vonna, Stephanie and the rest of the hotel crew was absolutely perfect. They provided me with great information about the city. They made me feel like I was at home.

This hotel has many excellent qualities and features. I enjoyed the most restful sleep I've ever had on vacation at this hotel...The hallways must be sound proofed VERY quiet in the rooms. Plus the mattresses are so comfy. The rooms were spotless

I wish we stayed more than one night at this gorgeous place! The last night of our vacation spent at a Giants game and Via is the only option, but oh what an option. Super comfortable bed; nice finishes & kind staff.

An upcoming hip and cool neighborhood just received a dynamic friend that everyone seems to be falling in love with.

So you see, you need to keep visiting San Francisco.

It keeps changing.

For the much better.

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Opening photo,_San_Francisco




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