Being that I grew up in the Midwest, and most people I mingled with all the while are still there, it baffles me to realize that my closest friends from that time are the ones who also moved to coastal cities: New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Maybe it was our known desire to venture elsewhere later in life that kept us bonded from the start.
This past week, I visited one of my closest friends, or rather “non-biological sister,” in her new place in San Francisco’s Mission District. Let me tell you, her home is unusual in the most delightful ways. It’s a two story house with a huge communal kitchen and a couple bedrooms for the tenants on each floor. The first floor has quite an exciting shared recreational space. To get to the point- it has a SWING! And a ballet bar, a stage with band instruments, a huge dining table, and a cat. These are all amazing things to come home to, am I right?
The entire trip was one of my best trips to SF to date. I spent quality time with my cousin and a close friend I’ve known since high school. I realized just how unique and colorful the houses are and loved that it’s totally normal to see a luxurious home with a decadent mural painted along one of its sides. There’s graffiti decked walls and buildings worth photographing throughout the city. We hung out in Dolores Park, ate breakfast in the Tenderloin (people warn you about this area but really, it’s not so bad. Plus I’ll go anywhere for a good breakfast). Ocean beach is a whole other type of serenity. I love feeling cool misty air amidst vacant shores and the trees there make you feel like you’ve escaped into a fairytale forest.
Visiting her is always refreshing. We connect the way we had in college over 10 years ago when we were both baristas on campus, discussing our love lives and families over lattes during non-busy hours. Except this time, we made ample use of Snapchat filters too.
- Bi-Rite Creamery: Amazing ice-cream, creme fraiche is my fave.
- Tartine Bakery: Delicious sandwiches
- Dosa on Valencia: South Indian cuisine with a few modern twists
- Ritual Coffee
- Rainbow Grocery
- Ocean Beach: beautiful beaches
- Dolores Park: Picnic here!
- The Mission
- Russian Hill