America's Best Secret Neighborhoods
Tenderloin, San Francisco, CA
Then: In truth, “then” is now—the TL’s the epicenter of the city’s crack problem, homeless population, and government housing projects.
Now: But it’s got the allure of authenticity, and the TL’s location—between downtown SF and upscale Nob Hill—makes development inevitable. And so it begins: among other hot spots, a swanky speakeasy, Bourbon and Branch, opened last year; and Sean Penn chose the Buddhist-themed Bambuddha Lounge to host the wrap party for his film, The Assassination of Richard Nixon.
Don’t Miss: Sunday service at the “church without walls,” Glide Memorial, where singers of every stripe—all with lungs like Aretha—power through rock, gospel, and freedom songs.