Duboce Triangle, which is often considered a part of the Castro, is a micro-neighborhood bound by Market Street, Castro Street, and Duboce Avenue. It is a beautiful and desirable area in San Francisco due to the architecture of many of the homes, the location, and access to Duboce Park just off of Duboce Avenue. It is also a relatively quiet neighborhood, which can feel like an urban oasis, especially compared to the neighboring communities of the Castro and the Mission.
The naming of the neighborhood makes for interesting trivia. Victor Duboce (1856-1900) was an army officer who fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war. After his tour of duty, he returned to San Francisco and was considered a war hero. He then ran and won a seat on the Board of Supervisors but served a year barely before he died of some unknown illness. The area where the local neighborhood park now stands was vacant at the time, so the City decided to name it Duboce Park and rename Ridley Street, just south of the park, Duboce Avenue, in honor of Lt. Victor Duboce.
Duboce has a balanced ratio of single-family residences and apartments. However, since this micro-neighborhood is only 5.5 acres in size, there is usually not too much inventory for rentals or home sales. Therefore, finding the idyllic home in this area might pose a challenge, but, like many other parts of San Francisco, diligence and patience can eventually pay off. Also, because of its size, wherever you land within Duboce will be a great location for all your needs.
Duboce is a safe neighborhood, though there might be the occasional car or home break-in, which is unfortunately normal for most urban cities. Still, there are typically few if any reports of other crimes, and its residents feel safe walking around. The neighborhood is usually not frequented by tourists since it does not offer any special attractions. Therefore, you mostly find locals going to and from work here. This aspect adds a safety level to the neighborhood, which other busier and more touristy parts of the City do not have.
You can visit www.spotcrime.com for up-to-date criminal activity in the Duboce Triangle.
Again, due to its size, you can walk all over the neighborhood, as well as the adjacent ones, for all your shopping, dining, strolling, and entertainment needs. Even though Duboce is relatively quiet with few businesses, on-street parking is tough to find since many Castro residents and visitors, from just south of Market Street, drive over and park in Duboce. Also, visitors to Duboce Park, especially on weekends and holidays, can add to the usual traffic and parking space demand. Therefore, I strongly recommend not using a car.
Busses, streetcars (aka trolleys,) and subway trains are plentiful on all three streets that demarcate Duboce: Castro Street, Market Street, and Duboce Avenue. Furthermore, there are two subway stations at either end of this neighborhood. One is the Castro Street Station, and the other is an above-ground stop at Duboce and Church from where the J-Church line dives into the underground system if you are traveling towards downtown or else emerges if you are coming back from downtown.
Cycling is still the best option, and you have the Market Street bike lanes right next to you, which are the most popular for cyclists since they connect you to downtown, as well as to the rest of the City’s biking network. In addition, there are bike lanes, though not as well-demarcated as on Market Street, on Sanchez Street, and Duboce Avenue. Since Duboce is flat, as are the neighboring areas to the east (downtown) and south (part of Castro and the entire Mission,) you can casually and easily commute on your two-wheeler.
Visit www.sfmta.com to plan and schedule your commute to and from Duboce.
Shopping, Dining, Entertainment
Although there are a few corner stores and small shops scattered around the neighborhood, most of your dining, shopping, and entertainment options will be on Market Street or in the Castro, just south of Market. There you will find all kinds of dining and shopping options, plus, on the corner of Church and Market Streets, you can buy groceries at Safeway and Whole Foods Market right across from each other.
Parks and Recreation
Duboce Park on the northern edge of the neighborhood is a great park. There are wide green open spaces, sit and/or lay down in the sun and relax, as well as a large playground for your kid(s) and a place to let your dog play, although you usually see dogs everywhere in the park. The Harvey Milk Center for the Arts, basketball courts, and a hilly cork-paved area for kids are located at the far wet end of the park, and, just north of here, is the Scott Street labyrinth, which is just a concrete paved circle with demarcated lines representing a labyrinth; not that exciting, but fun for smaller kids.
Schools and Libraries
Though not located within the neighborhood itself, McKinley Elementary School, Sanchez Elementary School, and Everett Middle School are the nearest public schools to Duboce. Visit the City’s website for public schools at www.sfusd.edu for more information. Also, Mission Dolores Academy, a private Catholic School, is nearby. Their website is www.mdasf.org.
The nearest library, Eureka Valley Harvey Milk Memorial Library, is located in the Castro at 1 Jose Sarria Court. The building is not very large or impressive. Still, it has a good selection of books, videos, and periodicals, plus it offers a nice respite if you want to sit and relax while reading or working on your laptop.