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Welcome to Polk Gulch, San Francisco.
This eclectic area of the city is a real melting pot, where every kind of restaurant and store imaginable pops up somewhere along Polk Street. The residents here are far more ethnically and culturally diverse than anywhere else in the city, and while featuring a pretty bohemian stretch, it becomes less gritty down toward the Marina. Ever since the 1800s, Polk Street has been a centralized commercial strip with local businesses and mom-and-pop shops. Polk Street was named after president James Knox Polk, and the neighborhood runs through the Nob Hill and Russian Hill neighborhoods from Geary Street to Union Street. The Polk Gulch area was a vibrant part of the San Francisco gay community in the 1960s, before the LGBT community began to migrate towards The Castro, where the large Victorian houses could be rented for little money and with low down payment. While not the center anymore, Polk Gulch still has a prominent nightlife with many remaining gay, lesbian and transgender bars and clubs. It is much of a landmark for the Pride Community, as the very first San Francisco Gay Pride Parade was held here on Polk Street, in 1972.
"Polk Street" by Allan Ferguson as licensed under CC BY 2.0
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