Castro Farmer’s Market

Every Wednesday, there is a farmer’s market on the corner of Market and Noe. I was jogging yesterday and found it. It was kinda bad timing for me because I was in the middle of a workout and that’s the worst time to shop for food!

There was live music, and free samples for humans and dogs! Many people were dining at Cafe Flore (http://cafeflore.com/) and sitting outside watching the market. Very fun!

Kim’s Guide to Relocating

If you are moving to a new city, this is your guide! I moved to San Francisco 7 months ago and I have worked really hard to get used to this place and feel like a local. I am writing this to be a universal guide. The concepts will be relevant no matter where you move (but my examples are specific to SF).

First of all, I highly recommend PODS. I had a great experience with them! And I wrote a Guide to Finding an Apartment too. Those are very important pieces to the puzzle. But in this guide, I will address the next step. You found a place to live, you moved in all your stuff, and hooked up your TV. Great! Now what?

1. Listen to the Radio
In the day of iPods and Satellite radio, many people have forgotten the value of local radio. If you want to learn about your city, a local radio station is a great way to do that. Find a morning show and tune in on the way to work. Note: do not listen to Bob and Sheri, or John Boy and Billy. Those are not local shows and kinda defeats the purpose! I like Sarah and Vinnie on 97.3 Radio Alice. Vinnie likes to surf in the Pacific Ocean, and Sarah plays in a local band. I like their show because, amongst all the garbage about Charlie Sheen, there is a lot of useful information!! I have learned that Hwy 101 is called “The 101″, Sarah Bareilles is from SF, and Keith Urban is giving a free concert on Saturday!

2. Read the Newspaper
At this point, you may be worried that I’m giving “Your Grandma’s Guide to Moving” but I’m not! Bare with me, OK? I am gonna prove to you that, despite seeming old-fashioned, the newspaper is actually useful today. The paper here is called the San Francisco Chronicle. I really took advantage of the paper during the November 2010 elections. I wasn’t registered to vote yet (because that requires a trip to the D[sic]MV), but it’s still important to me. CA was voting for a new governor, for heaven’s sake! Most people would say “I don’t care if Californians vote to legalize marijuana”, and to those people I ask “why not?” Even if you are not registered to vote, the results of the election will affect you!!

Other things I learned in the newspaper? The CA State Pension is almost dried up (do you think that affected my job search? You bethcha!), and Sheryl Crow will be signing her new book, “If It Makes You Healthy.” at 6 p.m on Mar 31 at Book Passage (more info at www.sfgate.com/literaryguide).

3. Search the Twitter-sphere
Even if you don’t have a Twitter account (gasp!), you can still use it. I went to http://search.twitter.com and typed in San Francisco. If that doesn’t work, click on Advanced Search. Then search for tweets near San Francisco. That’s how I found @sfphotorama and @sfzoo. Using Twitter is a less direct way of getting information…you have to sift through a lot of noise. But it’s an excellent  way to find hip people in your city.

4. Find Blogs
Go to google and search for “San Francisco Blogs” (or whatever city you moved to). I really like SFist.com, The Toasted Blog, and CA Photo Scout. I really use blogs to understand the spirit of the locals. And also it’s a great way to find stuff to do. You may have just moved to a small town (Westchestertonfieldville?), but trust me, someone is blogging about it.

5. Follow Local Sports Teams
I moved to SF in the Fall of 2010 and COULDN’T ESCAPE the local sports team. The Giants were practically shoved down my throat. It’s probably not like that in every city, though. I recommend following a local team because sports is a universal conversation starter. It’s considered friendly to drop the occasional “Tim Lincecum” in a conversation with someone you just met. You may be wondering if I’ve abandoned my loyalty to the Braves. No, never. I’m just saying I try to avoid phrases like “the Braves are awesome and I wish we’d defeated you in the NLCS.”

The Capital of the Hippies

I had an interesting conversation with my dad when he was here. I was trying to be a tour guide and point out areas of interest around town. I drove through the Haight-Asbury neighborhood and began to tell them about the hippie movement, but my dad interrupted and reminded me that he was alive in the 1960′s. I realized that he knows more about the history of the area than I do (he should probably write this blog post).

The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood was the scene of the Summer of Love in 1967 and the center of hippie culture. Today it still shows its history. There is a definite bohemian vibe in the neighborhood created by all the local shops and restaurants and the art and graffiti on the buildings.

I think this is a really fun neighborhood to take a stroll and observe the scenery. If it’s a pretty day, you should get a slice from Escape from New York Pizza (1737 Haight St. www.escapefromnewyorkpizza.com) and sit outside and watch the people go by. I recommend the potato pesto pizza!

The title of this post comes from an article by Hunter S. Thompson in the New York Times Magazine. (“The Hashbury is the Capital of the Hippies” (May 1967); republished in Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (1979), pp 392-394)

All the pictures were taken by my friend, Sarah, who hung out the window of my car and took pictures as I drove down Haight St.

In June, there will be a festival called the Haight Ashbury Street Fair with “three stages offering live entertainment; a six-block Vending Area featuring arts & crafts, food and other merchandise; an area dedicated to the entertainment of families with children; and an opportunity to celebrate with many other like-minded people.”
-From http://www.haightashburystreetfair.org/

This is a youtube video that gives a good impression of life in Haight-Ashbury during the 1960′s.

More Info:
http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/keenan/c1968-1.html

Something About Ferry Building

I contacted Mother Nature and asked her to please send nice weather because my friend would be in town this weekend. She didn’t. It was cold and rainy all weekend. So, I had to be creative and find fun indoor things to do.

On Saturday, we went to the Ferry Building for the farmer’s market (1 Ferry Building, yes that’s the address. www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com). The Ferry Building is an old historic building that has been converted into a farmer’s market. Home to an incredible collection of artisan food vendors, eclectic garden shops, and homemade wares, the farmer’s market attracts foodies from all over the Bay Area.

There was a fancy cheese stand that gave free samples of their finest cheddars, a man and a woman selling honey, live crabs, pot stickers, etc (list of merchants). We walked around for hours eating free samples! Then we spent another hour in Sur la Table playing with all the fancy cooking gadgets. Then we ate grilled cheese sandwiches made by Cow Girl Creamery. It was a perfect afternoon! And the whole market is indoors so you can enjoy yourself despite the rain!

If you go to the Ferry Building, you should probably ride the bus. There are no parking spots! The building is on the Embarcadero right on the bay. So you get a beautiful view while you shop. If you are into fancy schmancy food, or even if you’re not, you should check out the farmer’s market inside the Ferry Building!

Must See: Twin Peaks!

This is part 2 of “Things I Showed my Parents“. After the Baths on Saturday, I took them to the top of Twin Peaks for the most incredible view of the city.

Twin Peaks is a pair of tall hills in the middle of San Francisco with funny-looking antennas antennae on top. According to wikipedia, the two hills are both about 922 feet high. From the top, you can see the golden gate bridge, the bay bridge, the transamerica building, st ignatius church, and everything else!

that's my apartment!

To get to the top, you will need a car. I saw people biking to the top, but they didn’t look like they were having fun. And there is no public transportation to the top. You’ll take Market St to 17th to Twin Peaks Blvd (north side) or Market to Portola to Twin Peaks Blvd (south side). The address is 501 Twin Peaks Blvd. GPS Coordinates 37°45′06″N 122°26′52″W. And if you go, take a jacket because it is windy at the top.

I follow a blog called California Photo Scout and he gives great information about how to photograph Twin Peaks. Check it out here!

I can see Twin Peaks from my living room! Some days, I can sit and watch the fog roll over the hill.

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Peaks
http://www.yelp.com/biz/twin-peaks-san-francisco

This is what it looks like at night:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/San_francisco_at_night_from_twin_peaks.jpg

Rave for Baths of Sutro

My parents visited this weekend, and I made a point to show them all the best parts of the city. I saw many things that are worth blogging about, too much even for one entry. I’ll have to post a few times this week. Check back often (or just follow me on facebook). Please visit my Picasa album to see all my pictures.

Saturday was the most gorgeous day I’ve seen in weeks (oh yeah, that’s what the sun looks like). Since the weather was so nice, I took the ‘rents to Sutro Baths. Sutro Baths is located on the Pacific coast of SF, where the beach ends and the coast becomes rocky and cliff-y (that’s a word, right?). This is serene ocean-front landmark, where you could spend hours watching the waves crash against the rocks. Or you could hike the trail that winds along the coast and check out the view of the ocean, bay, and The Bridge. A hundred years ago, there was a giant swimming pool complex here, but it burned down in 1966 and only ruins remain. I am a huge fan of hiking, sightseeing, and picture-taking, so I’m always on the lookout for a good natural wonder to admire. This sure is a good one!

my parents

It doesn’t have an address, so I’ll just tell you it’s north of Ocean Beach. Basically you get on Geary Blvd and drive west until you reach water. I listed several websites below that give excellent driving directions.

my husband and me with bridge

After you hike the trail, you should check out the Giant Camera. Also called the Camera Obscura, it’s a fancy scientific camera thing that is really hard to describe. I will try to explain it, but you really need to see it to understand. There is a building with a periscope on the top. The periscope contains a mirror that reflects the coastline. The image of the coast is reflected thru 2 lenses and projected onto a big table inside the building (wow, that was a terrible explanation. Please click on the wikipedia link below or just go see it). The Giant Camera is located on the south side of the Cliff House. It costs $3 to get in, btw.

I also recommend the Cliff House Bistro. It’s an expensive place to eat lunch, I’ll admit. But seriously, nothing beats an ocean view with a side of garlic fries! I had a grilled portobello mushroom sandwich with goat cheese that was so awesome! And ask for Justin to be your waiter.

Thank you to @stammy and @theunquietone for recommending this sightseeing locale.

More Info:
http://www.sutrobaths.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutro_Baths
http://www.nps.gov/goga/clho.htm
http://www.yelp.com/biz/sutro-baths-san-francisco
http://www.giantcamera.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_Obscura

Please visit my Picasa album to see all my pictures.

Pictures of Apartment!

Many of you have been asking for pictures of our apartment. I kept stalling because I wanted it to be clean. Well you know what? IT’S NEVER GONNA BE CLEAN!!! We cleaned today because my parents are coming next week, and this is the best it’s gonna get, I’m afraid. I have a table-height counter separating the living room from the kitchen. Eventually, I want to get chairs to go under the counter (so we’d stop eating on the couch), but right now it’s used for storage. And today there are clean dishes on that counter, which is an improvement because normally there are dirty dishes there. We use my computer for a TV so the futon is positioned opposite of that screen. And we put our famous Mountain Dew tree in front of the window so everyone could see it (and be jealous).

So, without further ado, here are the pictures of our apartment….as clean as it gets.

 

 

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