What’s the best way to get to know a city (apart from on foot and the internet)? The written word! I love magazines and love when cities have their own “bible” as a resource for all things politics, food, culture, arts, fashion, etc.
When I was living in Toronto, I had a subscription to Toronto Life (torontolife.com). I loved it. Sometimes a little to high brow for my liking, but it always had interesting articles and of course, reviews on food and restaurants.
On the other side, there were two newspapers that were published every Thursday: NOW Magazine (nowtoronto.com) & The Grid (thegridto.com). I would say these were catering to hipsters, hippies, people who really cared about the city, music lovers and the LGBT crowd. These two papers are always good for up to date info on live music, arts, movie and theatre reviews, along with street fashion and my fav, the “Sightings” section.
So what has been my “go to” since I moved to San Francisco?
First, there’s San Francisco (sanfranmag.com). It’s thick, glossy, large and crammed with stuff. It’s my Toronto Life. Pretty much contains the same stuff, catering to a higher income group of people. Food, arts, “social” scene, politics, real estate, etc. Thankfully, on one of my many solo adventures out to a music festival, they had a booth, I drew a ticket and boom! I now have a year’s subscription to the magazine. Jumpy claps!
Second there is 7x7 (7x7.com) That’s right, a magazine named after the 7 by 7 square miles that this city is. Clever. I like this magazine a lot. It’s a little hipper (and hipster) and younger than San Fran Mag. It also has great movie reviews and restaurant reviews.
BONUS: I have also thrown in Sunset (sunset.com) magazine. It’s a great general magazine for “west coast living”. REALLY good recipes and also good ideas for weekend getaways. It’s found a sweet spot in my magazine rack because it also includes British Columbia.
Happy Reading lovies!
I run a lot here - the constant temperature of 15C (59F) every morning, really makes it easy to get out there - no excuses, no snow! I run with my friend and on the weekends it’s usually the standard solo run, to somewhere far, maybe even getting lost. I take my phone with me - especially on the weekends when I actually run in the daylight - to capture stuff along the way. Here are some shots.
It’s true, I moved to the San Francisco, a city that sits on one of the most active fault lines in the world. Toronto, not so much - although it has had two tremors in the last year. Since experiencing two significant shakers in one day (October 20), I have become fascinated with this website from the US Geological Survey: Where, When, How big, etc. My only beef with it - it doesn’t tell you when, or where, the next one will happen.
Check it out:
Also, apparently there is predictions for a big one coming soon. YIKES!
(Oh, and I am not ashamed to admit it, the second one I felt in my 11th floor apartment made me feel very unsettled for quite some time after.)
Thanks to Lori for sending these to me. My favourite is this one (because it’s so true):
“The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco” - Mark Twain
“One day if I do go to heaven I’ll look around and say, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.” – Herb Caen
Now there’s a grown-up swinging town. – Frank Sinatra
“The Bay Area is so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I’m here.” - Billy Graham
“I love this city. If I’m elected, I will move the White House to San Francisco. I went to Fisherman’s Wharf and they even let me into Allioto`s. It may be Baghdad by the Bay to you, but to me it’s Resurrection City.” - Robert Kennedy
“I’m proud to have been a Yankee. But I have found more happiness and contentment since I came back home to San Francisco than any man has a right to deserve. This is the friendliest city in the world.” - Joe DiMaggio, at his fiftieth birthday party.
“You are fortunate to live here. If I were your President, I would levy a tax on you for living in San Francisco!” - Mikhail Gorbachev
“Your city is remarkable not only for its beauty. It is also, of all the cities in the United States, the one whose name, the world over, conjures up the most visions and more than any other, incites one to dream. - Georges Pompidou
“East is East, and West is San Francisco.” - O. Henry
“San Francisco has only one drawback. ”Tis hard to leave.” - Rudyard Kipling
“No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living” - William Saroyan
“What fetched me instantly (and thousands of other newcomers with me) was the subtle but unmistakable sense of escape from the United States.”
- H.L. Mencken
“It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco. It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world” - Oscar Wilde
“Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible.” - Walter Cronkite
“It’s simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn’t be anywhere else — it’s so beautiful, and there’s that location, and the sense of the free spirit. Who couldn’t become ravenous in such a place?” - Julia Child
“We’re crazy about this city. First time we came here, we walked the streets all day, all over town and nobody hassled us. People smiled, friendly-like, and we knew we could live here. We’d like to keep our place in Greenwich Village and have an apartment here, God and the Immigration Service willing. Los Angeles? That’s just a big parking lot where you buy a hamburger for the trip to San Francisco.” - John Lennon
“Isn’t it nice that people who prefer Los Angeles to San Francisco live there?” - Herb Caen
“If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco. If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life.” - William Saroyan
I ended up getting a place in SoMA (South of Market) about a week ago and the great thing is that I am already familiar with the area as this is where my friend lives. I like it. Gritty to start (at 8th Street) then cleans up as you get towards the Embarcadero. Lots of great bars and restaurants and little to no food/coffee chains.
This morning, on the reco of my friend, I checked out Sight Glass Coffee. I love coffee and have learned to appreciate it black, especially if it’s roasted, ground and brewed right. For sure, I am kind of a coffee snob. Basically these guys roast on sight and brew their coffee thru a Chemex - kind of like French Press but minus the press.The coffee I had was amazing - the El Salvador blend. Great hipster vibe, lots of room, great designed space and yummy pastries.
Buyer beware - if you are in a rush, this is not a place for you. They take their time brewing the Joe so it’s just right. Also to note, coffee is not piping hot - warm temp. only. And for those used to a $2.00 coffee, Sight Glass Coffee is more expensive - about $3.00 a cup depending on the size and type of brew. If you love coffee, it’s definitely a place you want to visit.
I had visited my friend a few times before I decided to move here and one of my favourite things to do is visit the Ferry Building. It’s a constant “go to” place and always on my “suggest list” when friends go to San Fran.
Located at the foot of Market Street, the Ferry Building was open in the late 1800s and was the hub for trains arriving from the east, and was also a port for ferryboats in the early 1900s during the goldrush.
Long and short of it, the automobile was introduced, the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge were built, so there was a decline in the use of ferryboats and train. Also, the double decker freeway was built across from the Ferry Building, casting a shadow on it’s beauty. Earthquake struck in the 1980s, freeway was torn down and the Ferry Building was put back into the spot light. Cleaned up and reno’d and here we are today.
Today, it’s so many things rolled into one! It’s an amazing food hall of local artisans who serve and sell the most amazing local food. You can also get local wine and kitchen supplies to be that chef you have wanted to be. Oh and don’t forget the cheese!
There are also a few great restaurants as well.
Outside of course, is the Farmer’s Market. It’s open Tuesday, Thursdays & Saturdays! There are so many amazing foods from the Bay area - lavender, strawberries, peaches, brussel sprouts, chicken, beef, herbs, etc. It’s a feast to any food lover and cook.
I like to run down there - about a 1.3 mile run - poke around, grab a snack (okay a freshly made pastry, don’t judge ) and then I run back home. It will definitely be a place I will go to regularly on my bike to buy my produce and support the local farmers.
If you have never been, you must go.
Information Source: www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
One thing I am so looking forward to when I move is FOOD TRUCKS. I love to eat and the popularity of Food Trucks in the US is on the rise. New York seems to have the best ones going, but I hear San Fran has a few gems. Toronto - not so much.
I dig the idea of checking your phone, seeing where their location is and boom! instant lunch!