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Best Ungentrified Housing 

The "Hotel" Above Zeitgeist

199 Valencia St., 415-255-7505
As beloved dive bars shutter their doors (RIP Pop’s) and new, shiny condominiums spring up all over the Mission District, there is one place left that defies the tech empire’s new, unsullied landscape of luxury: Zeitgeist. Just hanging out on the corner of Valencia and Duboce like a gigantic, broken middle finger covered in chipped black nail polish. Zeitgeist and the residences above it are there to remind everyone what the Mission District was all about: punks, drunks, bicycle messengers, and the kinds of shady characters you used to buy weed from before there were dispensaries. Sure, this 27-year-old joint has been renovated downstairs in recent years, but those mysterious rooms overlooking the back patio remain utterly unchanged by the city’s rising rents and rash of evictions. As other folks in the neighborhood fork out $1,000 a month or more for a room in a shared apartment, and one-bedroom rentals have reached an average of $3,500 per month, the Zeitgeist hotel remains utterly unchanged: blankets for curtains, a serious lack of kitchen facilities, wake-up times of 2 p.m., two toilets to be shared among two entire floors of residents and, yes, rent that’s cheap even by BGB (that’s: Before Google Bus) standards. Don’t bother asking bartenders how to move in, they’ll laugh you out of there.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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