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Surfacing: In San Francisco, A Bleak Neighborhood Is Revived

It took the promise of freshly baked bread and recently laid eggs to drag Becky Eaton, 28, out of bed and all the way to Ocean Beach, on the far western edge of San Francisco. Outerlands hadn’t opened yet, but she was first in a long line of hungry locals dressed in hoodies and flip-flops. “This better be worth the half-hour on Muni,” she said, referring to the often slow city transit system. She knew it would be. It’s one of a few spots adding buzz to the Outer Sunset, a once bleak neighborhood home to surfers and families looking for affordable housing. Today, it hosts a cluster of arty shops and cafes covered in swirls of salvaged wood — a sort of Driftwood Alley.

Photos by Lianne Milton