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Florist at Large

]Vicky, owner of Florist at Large a wholesale flower booth, located in the world famous Flower Mart, on 5th and Brannan Street,in San Francisco’s SoMa district, tells why her buisness is different from the other flower vendors in the mart.

Photo Essay Con’t

City of Refuge

A story of how City of Refuge church on Howard Street, helped to turn around the life of a woman who claims to have tried to kill her self 73 times.

Larry’s Love

Larry tells about his Market street business called, Larry’s Love Oils

Photo Essay

SoMa

Starting at the Embarcadero, bordered by Market and Townsend streets, and ending right at the 101 freeway lies the Soma (South of Market) district. Before being called South of Market the Soma area was called “South of the Slot”, a reference to the cable cars that ran up and down Market along a slot attached to cables.

To someone unfamiliar with the neighborhood, The Soma may appear to be nothing more than a collection of warehouses, lofts and auto repair shops, whose main attractions end at the few blocks that house the Yurba Buena center, the MOMA, the Moscone center, and the nearly vacant Metreon. But once you start to explore you will find that the soma has many hidden local treasures. It is one of the most diverse districts in an already extremely diverse city.

A few blocks from the Embarcadero and the first exit off the bay bridge is the Transbay Terminal, where many commuters from surrounding Bay Area locations find themselves at the end of their work day, waiting for buses and carpoolers to take them to their destinations in neighboring counties.

Keep going west a few blocks from the terminal you find the Moscone center, a large convention center that is home to Mac World among other trade shows and conventions. The Moscone center is surrounded by the Yurba Buena gardens, St. Patrick’s Catholic church established in 1851, the Metreon, and a wide variety of museums as well as a couple of the 31 Academy of Art Buildings scattered through out downtown.

Going further west you may end up in a sketcher part of town where the residents living in single room occupancy hotels or SRO’s, some under the influence of drugs , flee their cramped rooms to hang out and socialize on 6th Street. Going east, towards AT&T Park you will find a much more upscale neighborhood housing many restaurants and bars catering to the ballpark crowd, as well as the remains of what was once a dot com Mecca known as South Park. The park located in the heart of the dot com quadrant was once to techies as Dolores Park is to hipsters, but now the dot comer’s are a rare sight.

A trip further west takes you through large wholesale marts including the San Francisco Flower Mart that currently houses over 60 cut flower vendors and has been in business in the same spot since 1956. This area is also home to the Hall of Justice which serves as SFPD’s operational headquarters, the main San Francisco County Jail, as well as base of operations and headquarters for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department.

Even further West, just shy of the 101 freeway is Soma’s kinkier side; San Francisco’s S&M, leather and kink district. This is home to the Folsom Street Fair, an annual BDSM and leather street fair. You don’t have to wait for the fair to check out the latest fashions in ass-less chaps, just wander into one of the bars between 10th and 12th streets on Folsom and you can find bartenders wearing nothing more than a jock strap and a bar cloth, while televisions everywhere you look, including the ceiling play hardcore man on man gay porn.  A nearby café sells delicious organic lattes and you can enjoy it while meeting openly and having frank discussions with a local dominatrix, or eat your lunch straight off a naked body.

The soma neighborhood seems to be in constant change with new businesses continuously opening up in some nook of the neighborhood but it is also a district that is full of history and establishments that have been apart of San Francisco for more than a century.

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