Tag Archives: san francisco

Treasures of the Sunset

I’m not shy when discussing the joy associated with my living situation. In addition to having a great apartment and great roommate, I embrace my neighborhood and take advantage of its riches frequently. There are many things to love about San Francisco’s Sunset neighborhood. I love brisk after-work urban hikes to the top of Grand View Park and Strawberry Hill (in Golden Gate Park). I love the delicious cheap dinner spots like Lime Tree, King of Noodles and Crepevine, and its classier joints like Pasión and Nopalito. I even love Donut World, open 24 hours a day.

Grand View Park, Sunset, San Francisco

My roommate (Austin) and me at the top of Grand View Park, one of my very favorite vantage points from high above the Inner Sunset. Along your urban hike up to the park, be sure to stop at Moraga and 16th Avenue and discover one of the two nearby sets of mosaic tile staircases. (Photo credit: Nicolas Smith)

The Inner Sunset has a hot dog joint, comic book store, and shoe repair shop that’s been open since 1900. From its streets you can look in various directions and lay your eyes on Sutro Tower, the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Park, an oasis where you can run on trails, run on a track inside a former NFL stadium, run a half marathon, hike, paddle boat, golf, frisbee golf, cycle laps, geocache, play baseball, soccer, kickball, attend a music festival and more. Our glorious park is home to a world-class science museum and art museum, Japanese Tea Garden, carousel and bison paddock.

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There is never a shortage of things to do and see in Golden Gate Park. Starting clockwise from top left: a butterfly inside the Academy of Sciences, ducklings and their parents at Stow Lake, a Burning Man tent set-up dress rehearsal with Brian, and a geocache discovery with Austin.

In celebration of my adoration for my neighborhood I recently contributed to my dear friend Andi’s travel, food and France blog, Misadventures with Andi. As part of her new series on SF neighborhood profiles from locals, I share more of my favorite Sunset neighborhood gems including a worker-owned bakery and a magnificent cheese shop. Check out my Sunset profile here.

At Last: The Book of Mormon

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Late last month I finally had the opportunity to see The Book of Mormon, winner of nine 2011 Tony Awards, including best musical. Usually I don’t feel like the last to see great musicals because of frequent trips to New York City and daily monitoring of Broadway blogs to stay on top of what’s good. (I’m proud to have seen half of the shows nominated for best musical in the last three years.)

Seeing it one year and eight months after opening in New York didn’t come easy. I dragged my feet buying tickets during the pre-sale and missed the window of opportunity. As a result I had to make sure I woke up early on the day tickets went on sale to the public, which just so happened to be the day that the Space Shuttle was being flown over San Francisco on a 747 on its way to LA. Of course, I wanted to see that too. No joke, the exact moment I could hear the 747 jet engines flying outside my apartment, tickets went on sale. Unfortunately, I missed the flyover and was forced to instead enjoy all the photos that flooded my Facebook feed from friends. The ticket site crashed multiple times when I was trying to buy 4 seats and then it crashed a couple more times when I tried to buy 2. Eventually I had to accept the fact that this show was going to sell out quickly and that I was only going to be able to get a single ticket, which I quickly did.

This isn’t the first time I’ve gone to see a Broadway show alone. I’ve gone in New York lots of time when traveling solo on business and I even did in San Francisco once to see Wicked a second time. Sometimes you can get really great seats if you are going alone. For that Wicked show I had a great orchestra ticket and was surrounded by (fellow) Broadway nerds… one guy that boasted that he’d seen the show dozens of time and was in the audience for the San Francisco premiere back when it was in previews.

Anyway, flash forward a few months and I saw The Book of Mormon!

And I enjoyed it.

It’s extremely funny. There’s lots of great choreography and a handful of memorable songs (Turn It Off ! ). There’s some fun Orlando humor which totally cracked me up given the amount of time I spent there this year. Oh and there are lots of fit, cute, dancing boys in the show.

There is a part of me that wishes I had tried harder to see it sooner. There’s something about this type of satire and humor that isn’t timeless. Given the fact we had a Mormon in serious contention for the Presidency this year makes some of the religious inappropriateness slightly less scandalous and over-the-top.

With that being said, I 100 percent recommend anyone and everyone try to see this musical (as soon as possible). It’s one of those shows you can enjoy without having hardcore appreciation for musical theater and one that will most definitely make you laugh out loud.

A perfect sunny Sunday in San Francisco…

Destination: the Fillmore district
Requirements: $50 and an awesome friend

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Brunch lunch at Woodhouse Fish Company on Fillmore. I recommended oysters and fish and chips, lobster roll or fish tacos. Wash it down with a cold, delicious Scrimshaw.

Head south to 1300 Fillmore for live jazz and bottomless pomosas. Sit at the bar and enjoy gospel brunch.

On your way to Alamo Square park stop by a local convenient store to pick up a snack and libations of your choice. Try Third World Market (Fillmore and Turk).

Finally, kick back in Alamo Square park and enjoy the fresh air. Use your phone as a music player, enjoy some tunes, watch the dogs running around, and people watch. Relax, meditate and appreciate the company of who you’re with.

Optional add on: A movie at the wonderful Kabuki Cinema.

Accidental art #3

Maybe this isn’t accidental art but it’s unexpected. On my way into work there is a building near Duboce Park under construction. They boarded up the outside of the construction zone and it now hosts a beautiful and very green mural.

Accidental art #2

Usually walking through the streets of SOMA/Potrero Hill near my office is not an exciting experience. But today as I was walking through the neighborhood on the way to my eye exam I stumbled upon an interesting contraption sitting on a corner under a stop sign. I have no idea what it was, if it ever served any sort of purpose or where it came from, but it caught my eye.

Any ideas what it is?

accidental art on the streets of san francisco

Live music, M83

One of the great aspects of going to see a favorite act perform live is that often after the show you fall in love with an album all over again and/or acquire even greater appreciation for it.

Last week I saw M83 (finally) at The Fillmore and it was arguably one of the best shows I’ve attended in a long time.

They sounded great and were at one of San Francisco’s best music venues, they played a pleasurable mix of old and new (all of which are good), and the crowd was attractive and enthusiastic. It probably didn’t hurt that they had just come off two weekends at Coachella, so their energy was high.

I’ve been listening to their last two albums, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and Saturdays = Youth (which also served as our Burning Man exodus soundtrack last year) pretty much on loop the last week.

Here’s a clip from the show and one of my favorite songs, Reunion.

What’s in your earthquake kit?

I’ve lived in San Francisco for almost 7 years and I’ve never had an earthquake kit. After being woken up at 6am last week by one of the biggest earthquakes I’ve ever felt and thinking to myself while it was happening, “oh crap don’t let this be the big one, I don’t have an earthquake kit,” I realized it was finally time to put one together.

So Megan, Katie and I spent Friday night roaming Target like free range chickens, sourcing food with the longest expiration dates, and other various tools and survival paraphernalia. Rather than stock our kit with crappy space food that lasts 10 years, we decided to look for items that would be good for at least one year. And in one year we will have a replacement party and eat all our nearly expired goods.

So what kind of treasures did we find with an expiration date of March 2013 or beyond?

pasta and meat in a can

SpaghettiO's July 2013. Ravioli's January 2014. These are great because they can be eaten hot or room temperature, and the Chef Boyardee cans don't require an opener!

PBJ

While we might not have bread following the big one, I'll be down to eat the peanut butter right out of the jar. Raspberry preserves July 2013. Peanut butter February 2014.

canned fruit. SO FRESH.

More canned goodness that doesn't require an opener. Pineapple May 2014. Peaches and mixed fruit March 2014.

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some protein! Mixed nuts October 2013.

chocolate temptation

Quite possibly the best edible element in the earthquake kit. Snack Pack chocolate pudding July 2013.

party time

There might not be anything to do after the big one other than wait. So we might as well be prepared for a dance party!