I was approached by a San Francisco based organization and asked to answer a few questions about the city. Not sure if this is interesting to any of you, but I thought I would post my answers on the blog. I hope you enjoy!
Neighborhood: Nob Hill
What do you love about your neighborhood? I love Nob Hill because there are people everywhere! It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, whether it’s 8am and the locals are out walking their dogs or 2am and people are wandering home from the bars looking for pizza or hotdogs wrapped in bacon, the streets are always full. Nob hill has plenty of delicious places to eat and no shortage of dive bars that attract locals and people who are visiting.
Native or Transplant: I’m proud to say that I’m originally from the East Bay and officially moved to the city after college. I went to school in Colorado and everyone always asks why I decided to move back. I loved Colorado and have traveled all over the US but no city has come close to stealing my heart like San Francisco has, and still does to this day.
How long have you lived in SF: I have lived in San Francisco for 4 years now. My how time has flown…
Gig: I do social media marketing for a finance company in FIDI. Another social media person in the city, are you surprised?
SF is… my home.
What do you like better: Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge? This is such a hard question because I love both for different reasons.
I run half marathons and train by the Golden Gate Bridge by running along the water all the way to Hopper’s Hands. I live for the sun setting behind the bridge with rays bursting through the fog and the mist from the ocean that comes up and hits me with each wave. With the right music it can be a very spiritual experience.
On the other hand, the Bay Bridge has the best view of the city at night. I love driving over the Bay Bridge and seeing down town all lit up and the boats and the piers and North beach… it’s magical. And the light show! I still can’t believe that one person controls the lights and puts on a different show every night.
What's your favorite neighborhood to hang out in (other than your own)? My favorite neighborhood always changes as I find a new restaurant or shop but right now I have really been enjoying the Marina District. I was not always a fan of the Marina in the past because of the “fratty” bar scene but I have come to really enjoy all of the restaurants and walking around with my puppy. The houses and apartments are adorable and there are a lot of dog friendly places so I can bring my pup along when I run errands. In fact, a lot of the shops on Union Street have dog treats and water bowls so my little guy enjoys this neighborhood too.
Where is your secret outdoor spot? It is certainly not a secret but I love going to Crissy Fields down by the water. I had some friends from college visit when I first moved here and they said they wanted to go to the beach. Because I didn’t know any better I told them there was no actual “beach” around the city and that we would have to drive to Pacifica. One of my friend’s Googled beaches in SF and to my embarrassment we quickly learned that there are beaches in SF. The beach by Chrissy Fields is by far my favorite. It always is so surreal having the Golden Gate Bridge as my view on the beach and I can let my dog off his leash. He loves the water and chases all the big dogs around the sand for hours.
Where AND what would be your last meal here in SF? If I had one last meal in San Francisco I would go to RamenUnderground and order the Spicy Miso with Pork Belly. I always read lists about the best Ramen in San Francisco and I am always confused as to why this place doesn’t make the cut. I have brought about 10 different people to Ramen Underground and all of them have agreed that this is their favorite ramen spot. For dessert I would go to the Mission District and order an ice cream cone from Bi-Rite Creamery. Their ice cream is delicious and it’s right next to Dolores Park so you can eat your ice cream on the grass and people watch in the park.
What restaurant have you been meaning to eat at, but haven’t? I have been meaning to eat at Cheese Plus in Nob Hill on the corner of Pacific and Polk for almost a year. I love supporting local business and I have gotten coffee here a few times but never any food. The people who work at the shop are all very friendly and I have heard nothing but good things about their sandwiches. For some reason I just never think about them when I am looking to grab food with friends. Maybe this weekend?
What is your go-to drink spot? I’m a big fan of dive bars and being able to walk to the bars from my apartment is a huge plus so I tend to go to Bigfoot Lodge and Kozy Kar a lot. The drinks are cheap and strong and the bartenders are super friendly. Plus there’s nothing like dead animals hanging from the walls or 80’s porn on TV to get your night started.
Where do you go in the city to take in arts and culture? The only drawback to living in San Francisco is that it can be pretty pricey. However, there are also a ton of options for freebies or discounts that you can find online on sites like FunCheapSF. Museums and art studios will offer free days or discounts so I always try to take advantage of those deals. There’s also a ton of art and culture in all of the neighborhoods so I sign up for as many free walking tours as I can. If you haven’t done one of the walking tours in San Francisco you are really missing out. Most of them are free and the tour guides are awesome because they are all volunteers and just truly love the city. Make sure you tip them well at the end of your tour though.
What is your favorite spot to snap a picture in SF? I don’t believe there is one spot in the city that is not picture worthy.
What is your favorite outdoor activity? My favorite outdoor activity in San Francisco is walking. I know it’s not very exciting but there is just so much to see and a million details that you will miss if you are driving or taking public transportation. San Francisco has the added bonus of having incredible weather year round and the hills can be painful but they make your calves look amazing.
What is the one celebration in the city you look forward to every year? There are so many festivals in the city that I love but my favorite event has to be Bay to Breakers. I ran it my first year and then walked it in costume the last three years. I love dressing up and walking around seeing all of the funny costumes (or lack thereof…) and the people watching is amazing. It gets pretty sloppy towards the end of the day which can either be funny or a bit of a disaster.
Where do you escape the hustle and bustle beyond the bridge? I grew up in the East Bay so when I am looking to escape the city I always go stay with my mom for the weekend. It’s nice to be able to go to bed early, sleep in, and have a car to run all of my errands. Plus my mom always makes the best food when I come home to visit.
Where can we find you on a Saturday night in the city? During the week I spend most of my free time working out and playing with my puppy, so my time to let loose is on the weekends. I love to see my friends and we usually grab dinner and then go out after for drinks. I love to try new places in San Francisco and if the mood is right my friends and I will eventually find a place where we can dance and laugh the night away.
What is your favorite place in San Francisco to act like a tourist? Fisherman’s Wharf! I don’t care how many times I have been to Fisherman’s Wharf I still love all of the touristy activities and sites.
What is the one thing everyone should do at least once here? I have only done this once myself, but the one thing everyone should do at least once in San Francisco is go to the top of Coit Tower. The views are incredible and there are parrots in the trees. It honestly feels like you are in a different world.
What is the one thing you have yet to check off your bucket list in SF? I am embarrassed to admit to this but the one thing I have never done is walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. I have driven across the bridge a number of times but I have never set foot on the walkway. I always say I am going to do it when friends come to visit but for some reason we run out of time or find something else to do that is closer to my apartment. I am training for the Nike Women’s Marathon in October (hopefully I get in!) and have made it my goal to run across the bridge for one of my longer runs. I am only at 6 miles right now so it may be a few months.
What piece of advice would you give to a traveler about visiting the city? If you are staying in San Francisco I would urge you not to stay down town or in Union Square. These areas are fun and have great shopping but it is the one area in the city that doesn’t really stand out for me. Plus, I have had a lot of friend’s visit who have not liked San Francisco after staying downtown because they said it was too busy and hard to drive around. I would urge people to stay at the hostel in Fort Mason or a hotel in one of the neighborhoods in the rest of the city. Not only will this be cheaper but you will get a more authentic San Francisco experience.
What question do you wish we asked? Answer it here. People always ask me what they should bring when they are visiting San Francisco. I tell them to bring a ton of layers or a warm coat and good walking shoes. For some reason people never listen and usually end up having to buy extra clothes here- which isn’t the end of the world because my friends all buy sweatshirts that say San Francisco and it’s a nice little memento for them to take home.