The Designer's Guide to San Francisco
HOW magazine/conference, May 2001
If you need
a culture fix:
A magnificent spot thats underrated only because its across the street from SF MOMA is the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. More than just a gallery, Yerba Buena represents a wide variety of artistic expression, with cultural offerings from paintings to film to pop culture. Located in a grassy oasis in the middle of the city, the surrounding park is a great place to chill out with a newspaper or to gnosh that deli sandwich you picked up on the corner.
got a wad of cash:
Although its not in Union Square, Flax Art & Design is well worth the short cab ride. Here, youll find an almost overwhelming selection of papers, paints, frames, and virtually any other instrument of the creative mind.
If you need
to chill out:
If you have
a hot date:
If you want to
bar-hop like the hipsters:
The Red Room is like Alice in Wonderland for anyone over 21. Oversize martinis beg drink me and the red-lit lounge casts a dramatic glow on the beautiful people who congregate here. By all means, dont let the spinning martini glass behind the door make you dizzyleave that to their famous Cosmo.
Youll have ample material to use as conversation for the hotties youll meet at 111 Minna. This art gallery-cum- bar combines two vices of designculture with beverages.
If youre looking to hang with some divas, look no further than Asia SF. Its so much more than a drag bar, dah-ling. This South-of-Market hotspot has a little something for everyone: Beautiful women, ahem, men, decadent drinks, inventive food, and a big dance floor downstairs when you become inspired to shake it to Ooops, I Did It Again.
If you feel like
by hopping the Hyde/Powell cable car. Go ahead and stand on the running
boardsthe views at the hilltops are some of the best in the city.
Take it to the end of the line and walk down to Fishermans Wharfalthough
this part of town is an unapologetic tourist trap, if you stay focused,
you can avoid becoming disenchanted with the chain restaurants and overpriced
Follow the barks of the sea lions to Pier 39, and watch these Homer Simpsons of the marine world belch, laze about and clumsily plunge into the Bay. From here, its a short walk to Pier 41 to catch the ferry to Alcatraz, and be sure to call ahead for tickets. The ferry ride to Alcatraz alone is worth iton a clear day, youll get magnificent views of the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and the skyline. Once you hit The Rock, make sure youve specified that you want the audio tour (its narrated by old prison wardens).
By the time you ferry back to the city, you will have worked up an appetite fit for a fugitive. Be sure to get a warm bowl of clam chowder (in a bread bowl) from one of the restaurants lining the sidewalk and an Anchor Steam (sold in a brown paper bag). This is a great way to end your day and take in all the activity of the wharf area.
If you have a whole
Stop off first in Sausalito. This sleepy artist colony is charm incarnate. You can rent kayaks at Sea Trek and paddle between the houseboats docked along the shore. Or you can just walk through town, stopping in art galleries and grabbing lunch in one of the restaurants right on the water.
After lunch, get back on 101 North and follow the signs to Mount Tamalpais. The hiking trails and twisty roads produce fantastic views emerge at every turn. Pull off and exploreand keep your eyes peeled for elk and mountain lions.
If centuries-old forests are more your style, Muir Woods is a must-stop. Take the Stinston Beach/Mill Valley exit off Highway 1 and follow the signs. This is awe-inspiring nature at its bestthese 200-ft. trees will make your head spin.
By now, youre probably consumed an overwhelming joie de vivre. Theres no better place to further stoke these fires than wine country. Rolling hills, peaceful two-lane roads, and some of the best food and wine in the world is the perfect place to sample The Good Life. Some choice wineries include:
* Gloria Ferrer Champagne
Caves. It doesnt get much better than sipping sparkling wine
on the terrace of this gorgeous winery. A perfect place to toast your