Saturday, December 06, 2008

My Perfect Day in SF

Nobody who loves San Francisco defines the city the same way. But all are likely to agree on this: Enjoying the moment is more important than seeing the well-known sights.

That's what comes through in readers' responses to last Sunday's article in which The Chronicle retraced the 1961 steps of guidebook writer Jack Shelton and his "One Perfect Day in San Francisco."

A number of readers were inspired to offer their own itinerary for a perfect day. Their routes reflect a city geared to neighborhood life more than it was in Shelton's day, when Golden Gate Park was seen as the only attraction outside the city's northeast corner.

9 a.m. J's Pots of Soul (Octavia and Page streets). The warm attention from the owner makes it wonderful.

10 a.m. Amoeba Music in the Haight (Haight Street near Stanyan Street); I recently got a used CD of Verve jazz masters, $1.95.

11:30 a.m. San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park to wander.

1:30 p.m. Dim Sum at Ton Kiang (Geary Boulevard between 22nd and 23rd avenues). Then, Crissy Field to inhale the view of the Bay, Alcatraz and the bridge. Walk to Fort Point; remember "Vertigo."

4 p.m. Coffee and opera at Café Puccini (Columbus Avenue).

5 p.m. Go to Ferry Building. Take the F-line streetcar up Market to Valencia Street.

7:30 p.m. After strolling and shopping, and maybe a tattoo, dinner at Valencia Pizza and Pasta (Valencia and 19th streets) or Pancho Villa Taqueria (16th Street between Caledonia Street and Julian Avenue).

9 p.m. Movie at the Castro Theatre.

11 p.m. F-line back to Ferry Building. Walk to end of Pier 7. Waves lap against the piers. Misty air and silence. The end to a perfect day.

- Lynn Valente, San Francisco

Sounds good to me. Read the whole article by John King in the San Francisco Chronicle, along with more reader itineraries.

What would your perfect day in San Francisco be?


wendyedit said...

My dim sum would come from a little bakery on Clement, between 5th and 6th, near green apple books, followed by a browse of the bookstore. And at some point, there'd be some time in Yerba Buena gardens, down off Mission, which is just the best people-watching place I can imagine.

Wayne said...

I'd take BART over to the City with my girlfriend to see an art exhibit, which would end up being closed for some unknown reason. Then we'd walk up towards North Beach and Coit tower to have some cannoli and search for the wild parrots. We wouldn't find the parrots on Telegraph Hill, but we would find them in Ferry Park near The Embarcadero... and that's where I'd ask my girlfriend to marry me.

In case you're wondering, she said yes.

Bones said...

I've been mulling it over, and after today's dinner, I'd have to go with:

Catch the first flight into SFO, then BART downtown. If I time it right, breakfast at Dottie's True Blue Cafe (if not, coffee and pastry at Cafe Madeleine on California St), then off for a walk along the Embarcadero, from the FiDi through Fisherman's Wharf (picking up a couple of squished pennies along the way), Fort Mason, the Presidio, and down along the Great Highway to Golden Gate Park. I should be tired now, so I'll take a cab to Burrito Express or Papalote in the Western Additon for the real San Francisco treat. Grab a cup of tea to go at Bean Bag Cafe then take bus or maybe another cab to a museum...SF MOMA, the De Young, or the Legion of Honor. It depends. For dinner I arrange to meet my brothers-in-law at some outrageously fabulous Chinese restaurant, then have them drop me off at the top of Market St. I take in the city lights and fog as I walk down the hill to BART.

Ooh! What makes it even better is my flight is cancelled due to fog, so I spend an extra night and day in The City.

And that of course leaves out WAY too much stuff. But that would be a good start.

Bones said...

Damn, Wayne, that is just about the most romantic thing I've heard in a long time. Beautiful.

Chemical Billy said...

That's a tough one. Walking Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park - taking all the bridges over the falls - would be necessary.

The N Judah to Church and Duboce, and then a stroll through the Castro into the Mission. A wander through Paxton Gate.

Coffee at Cafe du Soleil on Fillmore & Haight, and some time there writing & reading.

Oh, it'd have to be a long day. Enough time to browse at the main library downtown, and just ride the buses and trains.

Dinner would have to be at Vanida Thai, way out on Taraval. Ah.

Or, maybe, tomorrow.