There are a few corners of Hyde Street up on Russian Hill that have that “feel good” feeling about them. Maybe it’s something to do with feng shui, not sure, or spiritual vortices or something, not sure. The “nook” corner of leavenworth and hyde (I think that’s the cross). Nook cafe has nice furniture, varied menu, beer, wine, and a great corner spot with trees and funny tourists making a turn right on your corner in a cable car. Supposedly one of my friends ran up on a stalled car and asked if they ran out of gas. The tourists took him seriously (oh pity them for they do not know).
The cable car museum on Mason & some street is also awesome. It’s got the maximum “good feeling” corner up there. The huge sheaves (pron. shivs) spinning and whirling must do something with chi (ok waxing into eastern spirituality is too Californian, must desist.) Big brick building, the MUNI employees park their cars on the blocks around it. Cafe across the corner has sunken pit for the baristas, so you’re essentially loooking down on them while they take your order. The seats outside are the most score, though: under trees, nice coffee and pastries, residential neighborhood, the passing scenery of tourists hanging off the cable car, and being part of some Iowan’s home movie.
I may start a tally for how many times I appear on some poor person’s home video. The other day on the cable car, standing in the back, a woman next to me kept on doing panaramas, and I don’t think she was stoppign her camera when she passed my face (2 inches from her lens). Imagine the viewing party after that. Here is Alcatraz, here is some girl’s face (woah, closeup on pores), here is Coit Tower…
most important townie experience thus far: getting on the Powell-Mason cable car after dinner down in Union Square, I sit down inside and the conductor comes up to me and I hand him 3 $ and he goes, “You’re a local, right?” God, did it take like 10 years living here to get to this point? I remember my sister Amy saying, as we drove across the Bay Bridge and had our constant discussion/argument about whether the Embarcaderos light up their building lights (makes them look like presents) all year round or just during Xmas, “Do you feel like a San Franciscan now?”. This comment changes in my head each time I remember it. At the time I was like, “oh no, I imagine them as this kind of junky, thrifty townie stereotype.” Now, it seems that she was really more in touch with the SF style because she had worked in a Chinese-Catholic school in Chinatown for her teaching degree. A year of that is about 10 years worth living in SF in the Mission (which is more like San Jose and Portland combined).
Another block on the Hyde Street neighborhood: the little kids park on Clay street, which is a mock city street and super fun to walk around. Guests on this tour were suprised that such prime real estate had been turned over to a “mini-park”.
Also of note is “U-Lee” which has been recommended twice. It’s a Chinese restaurant to the other side of Nook, and has good pan fried pot stickers (according to coney island girl, blog at right).
Just saw Rachel Ray’s 40$ a day that Swan’s Depot a few blocks away is the best seafood in the city too. OK this post is way too long. O’er and out.