I mean, guys. Guys. Every once in a while, it is a good to have a hope-renewing experience wherein something is JUST AS AWESOME AS YOU KNEW IT WOULD BE AND MORE. This place is a Wonderland of Food, all of it so gorgeous and beautifully presented that I thought I might cry. I went back three times, wandering around with my camera, looking every inch the tourist, which was fine because I was a tourist.
It is rad enough to be able to sip a chicory-laced cold brew New Orleans style iced coffee from Blue Bottle. It is additionally more delicious to accompany that with a macaron from Miette (I tried both chocolate lavender and rose geranium). But in addition to being able to grab a coffee (the most delicious coffee) or grab a treat (the most delicious treat) it is also possible to stop off and grab an oyster. Yes. You go to the lady, you give her $2, and she gives you an incredible oyster. You top it with all the fixins (cocktail sauce, Atomic Hotsauce, horseradish), slurp it down and you’re on your way. Just stoppin’ off for an oyster lalala.
The Gold-Colored Light Everywhere
Surprisingly poignant! Not sure why!
I heard about this place from Heidi Swanson’s San Francisco Guide, thought it would be cool to check out, forgot out it, then stumbled upon it while looking for coffee. So many beautifully bound, hard-to-find periodicals, plus all of the usuals. A handful of good literary journals. Smells like very fine paper. I found both Kinfolk, which I’ve been meaning to check out, and Cereal out of the UK, which seems equally awesome.
The Fillmore Jazz Festival
Highly recommended, but also obviously time-sensitive.
A little grove of redwoods in the middle of the Financial District. No biggie.
Subway tiles. Old fashioned private banquettes. Gregarious bartenders wearing lab coats. A huge bowl of cioppino, dark-crusted sourdough and a plastic bib to protect your outfit. Since 1903, of course.
A Highly Recommended Walk
A long stroll from the top of the Twin Peaks down through Chinatown and North Beach, stopping for minestrone soup, and then on to Fisherman’s Wharf.
That place is terrible. Do not go there.
The Mission and Castro
My hipster wonderland. Gah. This neighborhood has lived in my imagination since I read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius at age 15, and it was just as cool as I imagined it would be, with an open, sunny, unpretentiousness that I didn’t anticipate. The hipsters in San Francisco are doing the Maker movement right, and I’ll be thinking for a long time about why I found this particular group of creatives so inspiring. It seemed (from an outsider’s perspective) like there was a very high level of cooperation and comradery. People appeared to champion one another’s projects rather than compete with one another, even in a town that is nearly saturated with people doing projects.
Over the course of one glorious morning I drank a pourover Ethiopian Wote at Four Barrel, had a rad conversation with the owner/designer of Nooworks about consumership and creativity, spent some birthday money at Voyager, ate an arepa at Pica Pica, test-rode a Public Bike and flipped over the raspberries at Bi-Rite Market. My honesty here is going to cost me—my sisters will be making fun of me for this list of activities for years to come. BRING IT ON, PUNKS.
*Note: all of this was possible because I had very sweet and generous travel companions who indulged my (mainly food-related) mania at every turn. I am a lucky lady in that regard most of all.