Walkable to Embarcadero (where op works), low concentration of weirdos living next door and on your way to the office. No feces or piss next door. plenty of quality food and bars nearby. Walkable distance to The Bay Club (expensive, but worth it). Various housing options from tiny classic SF “boxes” to relatively modern apartments, not cheap, but rent controlled for the most part. Plenty of public transportation that is almost reliable and gets you to Bart quickly (if not walkable from your place), and you can lyft/Uber almost anywhere in the city for dirt cheap. North Beach is not the best option if you have a car, family or would rather be next to hippies, drug addicts, homeless, free-spirited, etc. There are plenty of other neighborhoods where you will fit in. For a down to earth person just moving to SF, North Beach/Russian Hill/Pac Heights are all good option to start experiencing the city. North Beach being the closest to FiDi.
It’s a similar deal, but obviously more modern and not as close to the heart of the city. You will need to “get out” more to experience other neighborhoods compared to North Beach where everything is already authentic and walkable. Slightly more bums there, but not to the point where it would be a problem. Also, it’s neighborhood that goes through some development and may change for better or worse. Still a good no-nonsense option to move in to the city. Once you lived there for a year you’ll know what you appreciate the most and can move to a different neighborhood if you feel like it (just make sure you are actually exploring the city) On a side note, I imagine most of the high rise buildings there don’t have rent control.
Check out the more slept-on neighborhoods like Alamo square, cole valley, and Lower Haight. Central, walkable, safe, quintessential SF vibes without all the nasty stuff that I’m sure you’ve heard all about.
Warning for mission bay. Used to live there before all the construction madness started. It’s a mess right now with muni T line not running and have to take shuttle bus instead. Id recommend inner sunset.
Nob Hill, Russian Hill and North Beach. These 3 locations are good mix of pricing with rent control (because houses are super old with thin walls), commute distance to fidi (in-fact any place as these neighborhoods are in the center of everything), safety (btw no part of the city is absolutely safe), yuppie crowd, proximity to bars/restaurants/coffee shops.