Where I Live: San Francisco

While I don't actually live in the city right now (I am currently located just across the bay), I lived there for several years and I love being there, running there and eating there. Lately, I have seen many posts by friends, detailing why they love their particular home. I thought I would do the same.

First, a few suggestions for your reading pleasure:

- check out Lauren's post on Eugene, OR
- why Lisa loves Minneapolis
- the "I Love Boston Project" by Kelly
- Missris is learning to Give Pittsburgh a Chance

If you have a post about YOUR city, let me know and I will feature it on my next Where I Live post!

Obviously, everyone knows about things like the Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz, but San Francisco has so much more to offer than that. There is great food (see previous SnackaPalooza posts), great weather for running and many things to do that aren't on the "Top 10 Touristy Things to Do" list. You want an insider's view? Here you go. Today we are going to talk about... The Castro.

Your map, sir. Thanks to Google.

The Castro is a neighborhood that looks similar to Texas, if it were upside down. (Kind of. Okay, maybe not.)  It is well known as being one of the first and largest gay neighborhoods in the US. It's center is basically 18th St. and Castro St, but the neighborhood spreads out pretty far. Yes, if you go there, you will see large men walking tiny dogs. But the Castro is so much more than that.

To get to the Castro, you can take the Muni train (K or L), which goes underground from downtown, where your hotel probably is. OR...you can take the F-Market, which goes above ground on Market Street and is a collection of old trams from different cities around the world. It cost $2 and is well worth it for the ride alone! But it also gets you to where you need to be!

The F-Market (source)

First, you should have breakfast at The Cove (#1). It's not on the regular menu, but they sometimes have a corned beef hash eggs Benedict, which is SO good!

Next, go see a movie at the Castro Theater (#2) (which is conveniently located right across the street from the Cove). They play a lot of Indie and older films, and it is a great old theater with velour seats and gilded chairs. It's worth paying the entry fee just to see inside the theater.

Want some expensive cheese? Pop into AG Ferrari (#3) for cheese, olives, and a nice bottle of wine. 

Need a coffee? Check out Philz (#4) on 18th, just a block and a half down from Castro Street.

Now, the important part. Walk up Castro street, away from Market street (it should be going UP in numbers) to 20th St. When I say up, I don't mean North; you actually want to walk south, but you will be walking UPhill. Take a left (east) and head UP the hill (again). That house on the left (#5) is one of my many dream houses. Once you get almost to the top, you will have to climb up a few stairs, which will reward you with a pretty sweet view of the city. You will head back down the other side of the hill, which will lead you straight to...

Sweet dreams were made of these (thanks to Google street view).

...Dolores Park (#6). On a nice day, this is full of people sunbathing, playing soccer and tennis, reading and just hanging out with friends. Plus, there is an awesome view of the city. If you are there on the right day (last I checked, it was the 2nd Thursday of each month) you can catch Movie Night, where an old movie is shown on a screen at the park. It's free; all you have to do is bring yourself and some wine and maybe a friend or two (and a blanket! You know what Mark Twain said!)

Who said it was the "foggy city"?

Have you ever been to the Castro? What's your favorite breakfast place in your city? Do you have a "dream house" somewhere?


  1. I've been through The Castro but haven't spent time there. I do love San Fran though and love running there.
    Nike Women's Marathon one of these years!

  2. I've never been to CA at all but The Castro sounds like a wonderful part of San Francisco that I need to visit. Allan has work trips in San Diego and Vegas this summer and he's doing his best to convince me to go!

  3. You are just adding to my desire to come visit, post by post! I have not been to SF so I have not been to Castro. I WILL get there someday, though, hopefully in 2013!

    My favorite breakfast place... hmm... Maybe Spoonriver? It's right by my house and they focus on local/in season ingredients. I also really like Wilde Roast which is also walking distance from my house. I love the ambiance of Wilde Roast, and the good is awesome, too!

    My dream house would probably be one of the houses along one of our lakes that is close to the city. Or a loft in downtown Minneapolis! Or actually a condo in my building, but one on one of the upper most floors!

  4. What a great idea! I have never been to San Francisco but have always wanted to! My dream house is on the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI called Casa del Mar. However I think it will always remain a dream since it is ginormous and RIGHT on the ocean!

  5. I visited SF once and LOVED it but you are right we only made it to the touristy places, that just means I need to go back again! What a great idea for a post. I'm going to do one about my city!

  6. I have been so SF many times, but not for a few years now, and have always enjoyed the various eclectic neighborhoods.... so agree with you on this one.

    The last time there we stayed in a pink stucco hotel on Lombard St. and had breakfast in a lovely pub on Union Street, I think it was.

    I am a bit afraid and put off by the aggressive panhandling in the Wharf area near the street car turnaround, and neart the Hard Rock Cafe... Californis Street? By the Wells Fargo Bank.

    Love this post and the great memories it evokes for me, Thanks!

    Anyway, I

  7. I have been to SF a couple of times. Really pretty and you make it sound amazing! Always nice to hear an insider's view:)

  8. I might be visiting SF this summer so if I do, I will definitely print off this list! Ah, I love that city...

  9. My husband and I might be relocated in San Jose in the next couple of months (although, I'm hoping not). He's out there right now on business and said he got to see the sunrise over the bay this morning on a run. We'll definitely have to hook up.

  10. Awesome post! Andy and I are hoping to do a trip next year that will take us through Yosemite and then to San Francisco. Now we know some cool places to check out while we're there!

  11. I've only spent time (as a kid) in the touristy sections of SF. It's somewhere I would love to go back and explore. Dream houses...I would love a funky city loft. Just because it's probably the opposite of where we live now. I can have both, right? :)

  12. Great post, Kyria! I love San Francisco! I should go there more often! :)

  13. I'm down in South Bay. Whenever I get up to SF I unfortunately rarely get to the Castro - thanks for the reminder that I need to make the effort!

  14. This post makes me miss the West Coast. It's been too long since I've visited. Also, did you watch the show Alcatraz? I'm pretty sure one of their episodes filmed in Dolores Park (it looks very familiar)! I should totally do a post about Chicago ... my Chicago. Hmmmm ... stay tuned. =)

  15. I am dying to visit San Fran! I actually want to drive down the Oregon Coast with Eric one summer and end our roadtrip with a few days in SF before zipping back up on the interstate. If/when that happens I'll definitely hit you up for some recc's :)

  16. Made my way here via Nilsa and just have to say that SF is one of my very favorite places in the world. One of my best girlfriends lives there and actually got engaged at Dolores Park! Specifically on the bench at the top overlooking the park.

    How lucky you are to live near such a fabulous city!


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!