Thursday, May 2, 2013

Northern California: A Day in San Francisco

On Monday, the last day of our extended weekend, we walked from our place to Hayes Valley and then into the Mission. I have not spent much time in the Mission except to go to dinner. It is the one neighborhood in the city that is somewhat difficult to get to from out apartment on public transportation. But, it made for a nice walk since the sun was shining. If you were in town for a weekend, this might be a fun day to replicate. You can start at Golden Gate Park.

In Hayes Valley there are lots of lovely boutiques and restaurants. We stopped for our first snack (seems to be our m.o.) at Arlequin, which is a terrific lunch spot with a dreamy little back patio area. We tried to keep it light because we knew we had more eating to do. Just a glass of wine and some amazing hummus for most of us...

Dining al fresco at Arlequin Cafe in Hayes Valley
...except Christian, who had a different idea.

Donut and beer at Arlequin Cafe
A donut and a beer works too. We then set off on foot towards the Mission, which is known to be one of the sunnier spots in the city, and it did not disappoint. The Mission is a little hipster for my taste (because I am from Connecticut after all), but the area has plenty of adorable shops and amazing places to eat.

We took a coffee break at Four Barrell, home of the slow bar.

Coffee beans at Four Barrel in The Mission

The slow bar at Four Barrel coffee in The Mission
We perused some of the shops.

Fabrics

Public Bicycles in San Francisco
And saw some wonderful signs...

One day if I go to heaven... I'll look around and say "It ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco." - Herb Chen
You've never looked better fine young coconut
Why thank you.
And then we needed to eat again, obviously, so we popped over to Tartine Bakery, destination for all things delicious.

Tartine Bakery menu
The eternal conundrum at Tartine: sweet....

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart at Tartine Bakery in the Mission
...or savory? We say, "Both!"

Pressed sandwich at Tartine Bakery in the Mission
After our feast, we decided to head over to Dolores Park. En route, we made another pit stop at Bi-Rite Market because I had never been in there and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. No, thankfully, we didn't eat or buy anything, but the displays were so beautiful, I was snapping away.

Flowers at Bi-Rite Market in The Mission
Organic cherries at Bi-Rite Market in The Mission

Flavored almonds at Bi-Rite Market in The Mission

Morris Kitchen Syrup at Bi-Rite Market in The Mission

Organic vegetables at Bi-Rite Market in The Mission
By late afternoon, we made it to the park, and let me tell you, that park is full of crazy eccentric people. Can't beat the view of the city (and the people watching is second to none).

Dolores Park in The Mission
 Before we called it a day, we had to make one more stop back in our neighborhood.

Tecate at Nopalito


Of course, we had dinner later. Would you doubt that?! We ate at Pomelo, a favorite near our place.

This weekend made me feel like I was on a far away vacation, but it was in my own city. Thanks to my brothers and sister-in-law for all the eating, drinking, laughing, and fun. Let's do it again real soon.

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