by Cynthia Cummins
Cynthia is owner and founder of Kindred SF Homes and a top San Francisco Realtor. Check out RealEstateTherapy.org for refreshing reflections on the meaning of home and for more “best real estate advice” (since 2013).
Reading time: 2 minutes
A prized quotable quote of mine is “I’ve never met a neighborhood I didn’t like.” Yet of all the places in our cool grey city of love, it’s that northwest-corner swath of territory bounded by Golden Gate Park, the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay that makes my heart sing loudest.
Tourist guides will send you to the California Academy of Science and the de Young Museum. These are worthy destinations, but they’re either closed or have limited access right now because of Shelter in Place orders. So, I’m offering some alternatives today.
- San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest public Japanese garden in the U.S. And who couldn’t use a little Zen energy right now? Open every day, 9 to 5ish. But check their website first.
- Enjoy sidewalk dining or takeout at delightfully small yet mightily tasty Pizzetta 211. Located along a particularly neighborly stretch of California Street it’s long been on my list of best-kept secrets. The menu changes regularly and, in addition to pizza, they have delicious salads and desserts. Try the Chili Verde, Braised Pork, Cabbage Slaw and Cotija “pie” for me?
- Divert to another great neighborhood! Pop through the park (on foot) to enjoy a plethora of takeout restaurants and shops at 9th and Irving in the inner Sunset. A really fun route is to enter Golden Gate Park on the SE corner of Park Presidio and Fulton. Walk through the Rose Garden, take the pedestrian path from JFK to MLK between the Japanese Tea Garden and Stow Lake, then either shortcut through Strybing Botanical Garden to its south gate, or follow MLK until it meets Lincoln and turns into 9th Avenue.
- Walk west through GG Park all the way to Ocean Beach. You can walk on the street, avail yourself of the many trails, or bushwhack. Until you visit as a pedestrian, you’ve no idea how much wildness is waiting right in the middle of the city. Just watch out for coyotes and raccoons, and don’t forget to check out the Buffalo and Bison Paddock near Spreckels Lake.
- Everybody tells you about the Sutro Baths ruin at Land’s End. Instead, go to Sutro Heights Park – another best kept secret. There you can have a nice picnic and enjoy a magnificent view of Ocean Beach and the vast Pacific. Every time I introduce this park to a friend they are amazed. “Why didn’t I know about this?” they ask.
- Keep it simple. Stop and smell the roses in the Rose Garden of Golden Gate Park. Or make it more complex and visit the San Francisco Botanical Garden. (Free to city residents; just bring your identification.)
- Besides Pizzetta 211, I have to mention four other wonderful food destinations along the north-of-Geary and west-of-Park-Presidio corridor of the Richmond and Lake Street: Lokma, Breadbelly, Angelina’s and Pearl 6101. For your next picnic or takeout.
And – please – let me know about your favorite destinations in the Richmond and along Lake Street. I’m always hoping to expand my knowledge and learn about new places to love.
Photo Credit: SFExaminer