i've found many really quality stores here where i can spend lots of money i
don't have. i'm glad i don't have a credit card. some places that i've found and
- there's a goodwill on haight and cole, with lots of quality old
navy, gap, and j. crew in the men's section. they also have nice electronics,
like 5 disc cd changers and such, and a decent selection of books
(particularly if you're into john lecarré ...).
- a rad japanese futon shop called momen futon, on the north side of
union between gough and octavia. this one woman owns the place and
makes pretty much all the futon and pillow covers in the store ; they are
beautiful. it's certainly not a bargain store, but the aesthetics just seep
out of the walls. i'm such a sucker for powerful design.
- green apple books, on clement at 6th, is a used book store that's
just bursting at the seams with good stuff to buy and read (and i haven't even
been to the “fiction and music annex” next door ...). it's really insane how
many good, used books they have.
- cookin is a used gourmet cooking stuff store on the west side of
divisadero between page and oak. they have tons of pyrex, cast
iron, glasses, plates, and cups. the store doesn't exactly boast goodwill
prices (self–described as a place to get “used gourmet appartenances") but
the goods are very nice as kitchen equipment goes. they even had an old,
all–metal, kitchenaid mixer.
- a ninja supply store that i haven't actually gone into yet, on the east
side of mission between 16th and 17th.
- san miguel is a really good guatemalan restaurant on the east side of
mission just north of 29th. the woman working when i went there with a
friend seemed pleased to speak spanish, even with a couple of
poor–spanish–speaking gringos, but she was also very good with english when
we got into unknown spanish territory.
- bob's donuts, a donut store of the 1950's persuasion, on the west side of
polk near sacramento. i didn't get a chance to sample the fare, but it
looked very homemade, very authentic, and acceptably eatable.
- the view from the intersection at jones and green is quite nice, with
alcatraz dominating the bay and (when i was there) cargo ships and sailboats
coming and going. pretty cool place.
- i've checked out three aikido dojos in a small area here : the
aikido center is on laguna at bush, the san francisco aikikai
is on bush at van ness, and city aikido is on eddy at van
ness. all of them are pretty quality.
- the view from the west end of the number 6 bus is fantastic. don't remember
the streets offhand.
- i've been hanging out a lot at the coffee shop on the corner of central
and hayes. it's a quality place, with lots of employees who enjoy
different, and good, music. they also have free internet access, if you have a
there are a couple streets i've found that i'm just pleased to walk up and down.
for a real cross section of the northeastern side of san francisco, try starting
out at polk and market and walking north on polk. i'd do this one
during the day : there's more to see, and the southern areas of polk are a bit
sketchy at night.
another quality walk is longer, but gives you a good idea of the size and
diversity of san francisco. start at market and geary and walk west on
geary. this street is probably 6 miles long, and it's a large 4 lanes for
most of the way. nonetheless, it contains a fantastic array of restaurants,
mattress shops, and bars. if you want a slight change of pace walk north one
block between 1st and 12th to check out clement street.
if you're more into the cheesy scene, try walking from market and haight
up west on haight. the lower haight is quite interesting, and the upper
haight is an almost comical mix of tourists, tourist traps, and quality random
stores and apartments.
life in north beach
around the corner from our apartment are a few streets lined with typical
chinatown stores : i went out looking for rice noodles and dark soy sauce
yesterday but couldn't read any of the signs in the store and had to settle for
just the things that i could identify by sight. i'm going to have to get a
chinese–english dictionary to go shopping with.
last night we went out to a place just down the street (amante, on green
just east of columbus) to see a friend of nicole's play bass in a “rock and
roll band with soul” : good stuff, that band ... the pbr street gang. but it's
too easy to spend money here. one martini down seems to hamper communication
with the bartender ...
this neighborhood is trippy. between about 11 in the morning and 2 in the
morning, the streets are packed with tourists. it's funny, though, how the
tourists here don't annoy me as much as the ones in small tourist towns.
something about there being so many of them makes me just want to shrug. and i'm
new here myself, so i can't really get mad at folks for not knowing what the
heck is going on. but, especially at night, there are an absurd number of
toolboxes (as nicole brands them), stupid white guys who are essentially out to
get their look on at one of the numerous strip joints that line the east side of
columbus. odd, that, living in between strip joints, classy italian restaurants,
and chinatown markets.