Why I Choose to Raise My Family in San Francisco

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Photo: Joan Meyer and family

When I moved to Potrero Hill in 2006 I was single. I didn’t know much about the neighborhood other than the Bottom of the Hill music venue.  I certainly had no idea I’d still be here 17 years later living happily with my husband, Matt, and two children, Collin, 10, and Audrey, eight.

Matt and I were both raised on the Peninsula, where our parents still reside, but we knew that we wanted to raise our kids in the City. We wanted them to grow up in a diverse, exciting place with exposure to the arts, food, culture, community, as well as real world issues, to enable them to have empathy, compassion, understanding and life skills you just don’t get in the suburbs. 

What we didn’t know was how lucky we were to be in Potrero Hill when we had children. We were afforded all the benefits of living in a large city with the comfort of residing in a small-town community. Hanging out at McKinley and Jackson parks, attending Friends of Potrero Preschool and the Spanish Immersion Program at Daniel Webster Elementary and utilizing the incredible San Francisco Recreation and Park programs have introduced us to many other families in the neighborhood and have given our kids the foundation and perspectives we wanted.

Events like the Bring Your Own Big Wheel race, Potrero Hill Festival, Halloween and Piano on the Hill are amazing opportunities for the kids to hang out with their friends and us parents to connect with our neighbors. Just walking down 18th or 20th streets on a typical day usually ends up with us running into someone and stopping for a chat. 

Supporting local businesses is a family affair. The kids love sauntering into Chiotras Grocery and being greeted by name as they pick out an after-school treat. We’ve had so many great experiences with neighborhood restaurants handling our kids with patience when they were younger and now respecting them as burgeoning foodies as they learn to order for themselves.

We’ve enjoyed becoming involved with our neighborhood. Matt has served on the Starr King Open Space board for the last five years, working to maintain a neighborhood treasure.  Two favorite aspects of my career in real estate is that it allows me to show off our City to recent transplants and to advise families on the many programs available to enable them to stay in San Francisco and build equity.

We try to show by example that San Francisco can be a wonderful place to raise kids. We look forward to our family’s next phases of tweens and teens learning to make their own way in a city that truly has something for everyone.