The Tenderloin (otherwise known as the "TL") neighborhood in San Francisco covers roughly 50 blocks and is perhaps the most densely populated part of the city. The area itself is bounded by Van Ness Avenue to the west, Market Street to the southeast, Taylor Street to the east, and Geary Boulevard to the north. Drugs, street prostitution, homelessness, and poverty are everyday realities which define this neglected neighborhood. Although the neighborhood itself is fiercely steeped in degradation the surrounding areas boast the highest rents in the entire city. You have Nob Hill to the Tenderloin's north, the Pacific Heights neighborhood to the west, and the Financial District directly to the east. The Tenderloin has historically been the gateway to more affordable housing for immigrants and other downtrodden types, but typically is a haven for the dispossessed. The origin of the name "Tenderloin" stems from the graft collected by the vice squad who patrolled the area, and who were thus able to buy the choicest cuts of beef. There are many other ideas for why the neighborhood was given this peculiar moniker, but regardless of the explanation they invariably tend to emphasize the neighborhood's seediness and depravity. Supposedly the neighborhood today is undergoing gentrification, but tell that to the crack dealers on the corner and they'll give you a befuddled look because they're mostly Spanish-speaking immigrants from South and Central American countries. But organizations--like rental kingpins Skyline Realty and their subsidiary Citiapartments--are attempting to "improve" the Tenderloin by buying out old apartment buildings, driving out the tenants, and raising the rents astronomically so that only people who can afford pure uncut cocaine can live in them. If this trend persists then the Tenderloin's boundaries may eventually contract to those 10 blocks that radiate from Market street and include St. Anthony's, Boedekker Park, Chez Paree, and the public toilet across from the New Century. God bless America.
Sandra limped to the Empire Market in the TL on the corner of Leavenworth and Eddy to purchase a gauze bandage for the suppurating sore on her ankle.
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