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Outer Richmond

Before 1900, most of the San Franciscans in the Richmond District were the deceased inhabitants of the municipal and Chinese cemeteries. It's taken over a hundred years for the Outer Richmond to blossom from a giant vacant lot into prime (albeit foggy) real estate. At the turn of the 20th century, it was little but sand dunes and potato fields and was dubbed "The Outer Lands" and "The Great Sand Waste" until streetcars opened it up to the public. Early in its history, those eager to sell homes and property in other parts of the Richmond tried to rechristen it "Park Presidio," but the original moniker stuck fast, though the origins of "Richmond" are uncertain. The most common explanation is that an early settler saw in its stark, gently hilly landscape echoes of his old home in Richmond, New South Wales, Australia.

Camera Obscura While the Inner Richmond is a restaurant haven and one of the city's more difficult parking areas, the Outer Richmond retains a neighborhood feel along its main shopping streets. The many waves of immigrants who have settled have put their stamp on it; whole blocks along Geary Boulevard hum with Russian and Cantonese speakers, and you can find Mexican, Russian, French and Italian restaurants with ease, not to mention a plethora of establishments serving food from every corner of Asia.

Like the Outer Richmond itself, Geary calms down considerably after 25th Avenue as it meanders off into the fog and ultimately ends at the Pacific Ocean.

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