Doing Things In San Francisco

On October 4, 2016, I left Brooklyn and, for the first time in 11 years, I was no longer a resident.

But I was excited. My husband would be starting a 10-month tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the Tony award–winning musical he'd spent 16 months performing on Broadway. I left my job at Vogue and we gave up our apartment. Everything we owned, save the bags we'd packed, had been put into storage at my mother-in-law's in Virginia. We were officially nomads.

me and tim in Dorlores Park with friends. photo by love & wolves co.

The first couple of weeks were a whirlwind. I worked to find my footing as a freelancer. Without my 9-5 schedule, my creative team, and my office-to-after hours routine, I steadied myself by developing editorial pitches and following up with industry contacts. Thankfully, one of my best girl friends lives in SF, and she helped me transition by getting me out of the house.

I colored my hair pink--thanks to Lena at Steel + Lacquer! I biked over the Golden Gate bridge, took my first rowing class, and saw the Blue Angels fly over the city on a gorgeous fall day. 

I went to SF MoMa, once to see the artwork and once to see a showing of Grey Gardens. I caught up with old friends, drank a ton of Blue Bottle coffee, and saw some adorable parts of town. I took a boat ride by Alcatraz and beneath the bridge.

Then there's the food. (Always the food.) IMHO, the San Francisco food scene is...oh boy...overrated. I know--before someone boos me through their computer screen, let me just express my frustration. I was disappointed. People love to talk about the food scene in SF. It's their "thing." But from what I experienced, it just didn't live up to the hype. 

San Francisco is expensive. As in, I never thought I'd leave New York City and audibly gasp at the cost of anything in another city. Too often the service was mediocre and the price of the food didn't match up to the quality. All this is not to say that I didn't have some great meals. 

Randomly, the Corridor Cafe on Van Ness, we had a solid breakfast burrito and ham & cheese croissant. I was a little hungover, but I don’t think my opinion was influenced too drastically.

I fell in love with the vibe, the decor, and the cocktails at Comstock Saloon on Columbia Ave. Dinner at Cotogna was equally as impressive for similar reasons. 

the counter at Little Gem

I was delighted and surprised by our experience at Little Gem. I got the LG Benedict: a poached egg over sautéed chard, on top of a crispy quinoa cake, with lightly sea-salted heirloom tomatoes.

I could have spent days sipping lattes at The Mill on Divisidero St., I drooled over my Bi-Rite ice cream (Malted Vanilla with peanut brittle and chocolate + Sea Salt Caramel), and I admired the burger at Zuni Cafe.

The pizza at Gioia in Russian Hill was good, though the meatballs may have stolen the spotlight.

me eating a life-changing burrito

me eating a life-changing burrito

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I had the best burrito of my life (Super Burrito with steak) at Taqueria Cancun in the Mission, relished in the fancy cocktails at Trick Dog, and was blown away by the sashimi at Saru Sushi in Noe Valley.

trick dog sf

Woodhouse Fish Co. provided us with fresh fish in a laid-back space and the lunch at Brenda’s Meat & Three had me in a food coma for days.

My top three? Frances in the Castro, Kin Khao in the TL, and Alta, situated in the no man's land between the outer TL and Hayes Valley. I didn't make NoPa or Octavia...maybe next time.

deenie hartzog-mislock

Here's where I admit that the highlight of our time in San Francisco happened outside of the city. Two of our dearest friends live in Pescadero. At that time, they were living in abandoned summer camp, and they brought us out for the night. We ate freshly baked artichoke bread from the local market, I picked my own dahlia bouquet at The Pescadero Flowery, and we cooked and ate by the gaslight (there was no electricity). 

Overall, I can't say I'm in love with SF. It was clear to me that the city is going through a lot of change, as cities and people do. Let's just hope that the city finds harmony in with the tech industry and is able to preserve its unbridled spirit in the process.

Now on to L.A...