Friday, September 25, 2009

Five things I miss about San Francisco

Over the years, I've lived in and visited a lot of places, and it is hard not to get nostalgic about some of my favorites.  So begins a series I am going to call "Five Things I miss about...", to give an outlet to my strolls down memory lane. This Friday evening, watching the Red Sox in Vermont, I am missing San Francisco, where I lived right after college.  What do I miss the most about SF?

1)  Sundays
When I lived in San Francisco, Sundays went something like this:  either get up, throw the surfboard in the back of the truck, and meet friends at Lindamar beach in Pacifica to attempt surfing (I never did get very good at all, but sure had fun trying); wake up, hang out with the roomies for a bit and go for a run in Golden Gate Park from our apartment in the Richmond down to Ocean Beach; or sleep late, wake up a bit rough around the edges from a fun night out and head to Perry's on Union Street for a big, hangover-helping brunch, complete with bloody marys.  A little shopping around might follow, and then in the evening, my friend Minh had a great Sunday tradition of cooking a bunch of home-cooked Vietnamese (or other delicious) food for a small group of friends, and we'd follow his feasts by watching first-run Sex and the City episodes (this was round about Season 3 era).  A better way to spend a Sunday I have never found.  What I miss the very most about SF is my people there, and these memories include almost all of them, which make those Sundays in my mind extra sweet.

2)  Moss Acupuncture

My friend Jen Moss is a very gifted healer.  Her Traditional Chinese Medicine practice is infused with her calm spirit and amazing style.  Every time I have back pain, or a cold, or a bad mood, or anything just isn't quite right with me physically or mentally, I curse myself that I am 3000+ miles away from her needles.  I would consider moving back to San Francisco for the sole purpose of being near to her healing services.  If you are in the SF Bay Area and feeling at all out of whack, get yourself to Dr. Moss, stat. 

3)  Lululemon on Union Street

Lululemon makes the best yoga gear on the planet, hands down.  I love all of their different pants and tops, and though they are pricey, they are so worth it as they are stylish and just last and last.  Also, their free tailoring service is priceless for a 5'2" mama who always has to have everything shortened.  And I love their reusable shopping bags covered with inspirational quotes like "Dance, Sing, Floss and Travel." Lululemon is actually a Canadian company with stores all over the place, but I just have a soft spot for the Union Street outpost.  The one in Boston is tiny, up a zillion flights of stairs in a random building downtown, and I was flipped a serious amount of attitude by the salesgirls there the one time I visited.  The SF Union street spot, conversely, is spacious and open, with big dressing rooms with chalkboards mounted to the door where they write your name while you are occupying (which really appeals to my inner sense of territoriality) and the people could not be more helpful (answering such questions as, "Do you think I will gain weight in my butt while pregnant?"  Oh, I had no idea.).  I could drop a pretty penny on Groove pants at the Union Street store any old day, and it somehow seems uniquely SF.

4) The Ferry Building Marketplace 

The glorious refurbishment of this foodie mecca actually hadn't happened yet when I lived in San Francisco, but I have come to love it during my visits back since then.  The Ferry Building is just a gourmet wonderland.  Any amazing ingredient you could ever dream of is there, from Rancho Gordo beans, to Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, to truffle salt.  The Imperial Tea Court sells an incredible Yunan Gold Tea that the husband loves, and one of my favorite afternoon-in-San-Francisco memories involves oysters and bubbly at the Hog Island Oyster Company.   I would basically like to move into the Ferry Building and live there.

 5)  Sushi Ran

Best sushi outside of Japan.  Period.  And I have never been to Japan, but I am willing to wager that Sushi Ran could give many a Tokyo sushi spot a run for their money as well.  Saketini + Ahi Poke = Heaven.  Oh, Sushi Ran, I miss you so.

I can't wait to introduce the little guy to this wonderful city.
Cliche, I know, but I do believe I kind of left my heart there.


  1. Well that sure is 5 great reasons to visit. But this 5ft mummy is certainly taken with the idea of having her yoga pants hemmed!!!

  2. My San Francisco fixes are Greens, a flavorful oasis for vegans and vegetarians and Filmore Street, a shoppers paradise for someone who doesn't like to shop, just go in, try it on, buy it.

  3. hi jane,
    your delightful sister abby clued me into your blog page after we recently reconnected. your thoughtful post reminded me of a saved email from 2001 that you once sent to abby and she passed it along to me. it was a great email from a boss/coworker of yours when you lived and worked here in sf. the email was titled "dealing with uncertainty and transitions in your life...". i often refer back to that email during transitional moments and i am grateful that you passed it along to your sister who shared it with me. i look forward to reading more posts as you encounter each new transition sweet mama jane. thanks for sharing your insight, recipes, stories and most of all the anker voice of wisdom.
    p.s: thanks for the list of spots in sf. i can't wait to check them out!