SOMA = SOuth of MArket [Street]. The areas I walked are actually divided into South Beach, South End, and South Park. The boundaries of these neighborhoods are unclear, so let's just lump them all together into the SOMA category. It's a "mixed" neighborhood in that it's got a bunch of this:
...mixed with a bunch of this:
Brannan and Delancy: Good.
Brannan and 5th: Not so good.
(Coincidently, there was a huddled mass sharing a joint in front of this mural.)
Okay, five reasons why this neighborhood is cool:
1. Awesome views of the Bay.
2. Close proximity to the Financial District.
3. Easy access to public transit.
4. Home to a bunch of great restaurants.
5. Easy walk to AT&T Stadium, quite possibly the country's most beautiful ball park.
In conclusion, this neighborhood has more good aspects than bad. My advice - visit during the day.
I'll leave you with this place to check out. Their door and sign are so fascinating, I had to check out their website as soon as I got home. You should too: http://www.limn.com/