Sunday, August 19, 2012

outside lands, etc.

In just a couple of weeks I'll be at the one year mark of living in San Francisco and I can definitively say that it has seemed like a full year. I mean that in the best of ways. I've become spoiled by the weather and excited that we're heading into the best season here of all: fall. I do miss the hot summer nights though, I'll admit.

The past couple of weeks went by quickly so I have lots of things to report on, but I'm going to do it as quickly as possible. If I were to report on everything, it would be a novel complete with words like 'flannel' and 'Embarcadero', two that were constantly repeated the weekend of my Boston visitors (love you guys, you da best). And this is also going to be in categories, I like categories.

- Outside Lands (Golden Gate Park): For those that don't know, this is a three day music, food, wine, beer and art festival. I had ten visitors from Boston/New York here for the weekend to experience what it has to offer. Consensus? Stevie Wonder is the man, Alabama Shakes were a very close second and having a UMass pennant helped us locate each other when the group text failed. I will absolutely go back to this festival - exceeded every expectation. 
- Amnesia (Mission): So this is a bar just as much as it is a venue, but I've put it under entertainment because the reason we were there was to check out the band my brother was touring with, Great Elk (shameless endorsement - check them out!). It was small, but a great space and there was a great turn out for a Tuesday. 
- Night Life at the California Academy of Sciences (Golden Gate Park): Night Life is a 21+ evening event on Thursdays that attracts a older crowd around a theme each time. We purposefully went because Of Monsters and Men played a show the night before Outside Lands began. Unfortunately, we didn't actually make it outside to see them (long story), but watched from behind glass. Almost as good. Good thing we got to see them a couple of days later - they rocked.
-The Dark Room (Mission): so gems like this place are discovered when you've lived here a while. The Dark Room has comedy, plays, movies and more. A friend and I went to check out a live production of The Princess Bride. Yes, you read that right. It was, in one word, memorizing. In more words, one of the best plays I've seen to date. I'd like to check out more at The Dark Room - funky crowd, really small, very 'Mission'. 
- MAPP (Mission): I went to this a few weeks back and almost forgot to include it. MAPP is a great arts project that incorporates local businesses in the Mission where live performances are held. Poetry readings, bands, DJs, etc. all come out. We went to a couple different places, one of which was a clothing store to see a small Latin group. Very cool and very free. 

Beer (yes, it gets it own category):
- Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa): I took an extra day off besides the first day of Outside Lands so I could show some of the guys that came in early a little more of the bay area outside of the city. We hiked first (mentioned below) and then make the trek up to Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa. I have been dying to go since moving here because of it's reputation (try Pliny the Elder) and it was totally worth the wait. We met a great guy named Don who shamelessly hit on me and befriended the group. We bought him a beer, obviously. I can't wait to go back and stay for hours - who wants to be DD?
- Beirgarten (Hayes Valley): I tried to go to this place the first weekend they were open, but they had run out of beer. They've stepped up their game since and don't mess around. Limited beer selection, but cool space with picnic tables, very communal. Definitely worth going back to.
- City Beer Store (SOMA): A former Jumpstart co-worker in Boston made the move to SF (the first of many east coasters I hope) and we checked out a place right across from his new office. Really great beers on tap (cheap too!), but the coolest thing is you can buy a bottle and drink it there. A small 'corking' fee applies.

- Nopa (NOPA): I don't think I reported on the last time I went to Nopa (for brunch when Candice visited), but either way, it's worth mentioning again. Mike, Dave and I finished our beers at Beirgarten and Dave decided he would find us a dinner spot. JACKPOT. We celebrated our new jobs over a bottle of wine, olives, lamb, pork chop and albacore. An amazing meal.
- Lers Ros Thai (Hayes Valley): I'm still in awe this meal actually happened. After the final day of Outside Lands, the standing eight decided to find late night Thai food. We were all exhausted, but hungry and this place totally hit the spot. Really good food thai food at a pretty reasonable price.
- Heart of the City Farmers Market (Civic Center): I've known about this farmers market for a while, but not until the other night when a friend made me dinner with her spoils from a recent trip did I think about going. It's a few times a week - I went today (Sunday) and there was a great selection of fruits, vegetables, and novelties. I bought some sesame almonds and couldn't stop eating them on my walk back. I'll definitely go back in the future.

Drinks (dranks):
- Marks Bar (Tenderloin): This is the kind of place I would assume wouldn't have a website. And sure enough it does not. The guys found this randomly and set up shop after a night at Outside Lands. They befriended the bartender (who loved them) and she was happy to see us a second night. No, I do not recommend it in the future, but it was cheap, empty and good after our long day.  
- R Bar (Polk Gulch): I was kind of lacking on the bar suggestions because I'm not as familiar with the Tenderloin/Lower Nob Hill area in the way of going out. We discovered this place, which in my mind is kind of a hidden gem. Good crowd, reasonable prices and overall cool vibe. The linked article says it all.
- Kozy Kar (Polk Gulch/Nob Hill): If you click on the actual site for this place, you'll know why I didn't link it. An experience.

- Steep Ravine Trail (Mill Valley - Mt. Tam/Muir Woods): Figures that I would leave the time spent outdoors to the very end. This trail was so great (once we found the trail head). It was like walking through a jungle. All down hill pretty much to Stinson Beach (unfortunately it was foggy so we didn't have the view in the link) but surprisingly not that taxing on the way back. Though my sweat soaked shirt may show otherwise. I'd really like to do all of the Dipsea Trail (this trail goes on part of it).
- Coastal Trail (Marin Headlands - Tennessee Valley): I went with my friend who works for the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy (cool job, I know). We didn't do the 9.4 miles that it says on here, but we did hike from Tennessee Valley to Muir Beach and back (5+ miles). It was a very foggy day so the trail wasn't packed and it was kind of a cool and eerie hike because of the fog. Muir Beach is awesome and I'd really like the check out the Pelican Inn mentioned on the linked site; we saw it but weren't in the mood to sit around.

Wow, so that turned into a longer post than anticipated. Thanks to those who made it to the end. This week marks my last week at Jumpstart and on my one year anniversary in the bay (I think to the day) I'll be starting a new gig at Uber. I think a way to become a true San Franciscan is to try out start-up life for a bit - we'll see if that's true.

- D

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