In City Hall, South-of-Market is spoken of in optimistic tones, as "improving." That means that alleys formerly fit only for truck deliveries and sleeping men are now inexplicably filled with people waiting in line. Rents are going up. Sculptor Aris Demetrios, who has kept a studio South-of-Market for 20 years, is watching the warehouse space in nearby buildings go for $1.50 a square foot--a jump straight up from 25 cents. [...]
The Ramrod is a headquarters for this riding-crop set. At Eighth and Folsom, it was formerly nestled comfortably between wholesale foam outlets and welding companies. Now that the neighborhood's gone Yuppie, the Ramrod shares the block with four new restaurants and a conceptual art gallery. [...] Inside it's homier than one might imagine, with a piano bar and a mural that looks like the weight room at the YMCA. The black-leather cowboys, still here though their numbers are diminishing, bar-hop on Folsom, looking fearsome and jingling their chains and spurs.
The Center Of Strange In San Francisco