started in the Civic Center, walked through the Tenderloin, and ended my walk in Hayes Valley at Alamo Square.
The Civic Center is located a few blocks north of Market Street and Van Ness Avenue. This area contains most of the government and cultural buildings in the city. Many of these buildings are in the classical architectural style and make big impressions when you first see them. The atmosphere of the Civic Center is busy and noisy - especially on days when there is a Farmer's Market. Because it is a large, open public area, the Civic Center is also a favorite resting place for the homeless residents of San Francisco.
When you walk through the Tenderloin today, you see loitering, beat up cars, run down buildings, and general disorder. You smell marijuana, urine from the sidewalks, and lack of hygiene. The architecture is not what you'd think to see in San Francisco for the most part. The buildings are co-ops or projects and are not well maintained. In other words: The Tenderloin is not for tourists. The Tenderloin is not for most people. I probably shouldn't have been in there by myself. I didn't take a ton of photos because I was walking quickly in order to not be obvious.
My advice, go to Hayes Valley, eat at a cute cafe, walk to Alamo Square and have a coffee while sitting in the park. You can skip the Tenderloin and Civic Center.