The Richmond District

Just What *are* those "Period Details"?

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I recently saw a listing for an apartment out here in the Fog Belt that has a curious selling point "period details."

Now, if you've never been to San Francisco's Richmond District, perhaps you think of our quaint and often photographed Painted ladies-- the gorgeous Victorian and Edwardian buildings on all our postcards and tourist literature.

But as a long-time neighborhood denizen, living in a 1965 building, I started to think, what exactly would I consider to be a 1965 period detail? Original powder blue and baby pink kitchens? (NOTE: that is what my place had before I signed the lease and they ripped it out.) A lack of windowsills or mouldings? The introduction of the open floor living plan?

I'm not sure that any of those details would entice your average renter, but I could be wrong about that...

TGIF and a Happy Long Weekend to you!


City Living: A Crafty Sunday in SF

Green Apple BooksLast weekend, I had a quintessential city living day.

I hopped on the 28 bus and rode to Fort Mason Center to check out the Renegade Craft Fair. If you've never been to one of these, let me assure you it is not your grandmother's lace doily fest. Rather, it's a collection of all sorts of 20- and 30-something folks who make a wide range of things by hand.

Some of my favorites were:

Walking through and soaking up so much handmade creativity inspired me to head back to my neighborhood in search of some crafty projects of my own.

After enjoying Huevos Rancheros for lunch at Eats, I headed to Green Apple Books, where I picked up two books and a magazine for inspiration:

Inspirational materials in hand, I headed back towards home, stopping at Miracle Spa for a mani pedi, and relaxed while I flipped through my reading materials. Once my toes were dry, I stopped in at the hobby shop for some felt and some embroidery floss, then finally headed home.

There are days -- especially those sopping wet riding home on MUNI days-- where I ask myself: is it worth it to live in the City? Is it worth the high rent? Is it worth being dependent upon the somewhat unreliable transit? Days like this one remind me exactly why that answer is YES!


An Ode to my Neighborhood: the Richmond District

Dragon Fruit for sale on Clement Street

About 15 years ago, I moved out to the Richmond District, a part of San Francisco my friends referred to as "the fogbelt" or "the 'burbs." At the time, I thought it would be a short stay, until I found a place I liked in a hipper neighborhood with more to do.

Instead, this neighborhood really grew on me. It's one of the most neighborhoody feeling San Francisco neighborhoods, to me. There's a nice mix of younger couples and older Russians who've lived in the Avenues for decades. That's why we have an Asian produce market next door to a Russian deli, with a good sushi place across the street.

It's truly a foodie (and cook's) paradise.

I am able to walk up the street to do my grocery shopping on the weekend. I start at the natural foods store 10 blocks away, stop in at the great little wine shop, and almost always stop for fresh hummus at my favorite European market. The City's best bagel place is out here, as well as the best margaritas. And all this is a big part of why I've never left.

Yes, other neighborhoods have cooler restaurants and tons of hip little stores. But I like my neighborhood's inexpensive but good eats, and its relative safety. I can't really imagine moving to a neighborhood that doesn't have a couple dozen great restaurants, a half dozen markets, a wine shop, an amazing new and used bookstore, a movie theater, and several ice cream shops all within a nice walking distance. Having a wealth of resources right outside your doorstep is the whole point of City living, isn't it?

Yesterday, I took a walk down Clement Street, in search of lunch, and took a good number of photos. My intent is to do some posts here soon to give a local's view on what makes this neighborhood such a great place to live. Stay tuned.