Weekend Roadtrip Inspiration and Finds: LA to SF and Back

Weekend Roadtrip Inspiration and Finds: LA to SF and Back

Gregory Han
May 5, 2008

As we mentioned earlier today, we enjoyed a hurried, but welcome getaway up to our former neighborhood up in San Francisco this weekend. The trip was about seeing family (we were visiting both of our younger sibling's separate, but neighboring new apartments), and also about getting away from the computer, out and about in what we think is the most beautiful city in all of the United States (see SF, LA has nothing but love for you). There was plenty of unexpected surprises, like this CFL bulb-bicycle wheel chandelier hung outside near my sister's apartment. A few more inspiring places we enjoyed below the jump...

There was no place we were happier and more inspired than when we were enjoying the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, a life affirming centre of all things delicious and beautiful. San Francisco not only knows their food, but also how to beautifully present it in a welcoming environment, whether in a public marketplace, in a restaurant or in private dining rooms. We could have spent the whole weekend here and pretty much ate ourselves silly with bento boxes, artisanal cheeses, organic beef jerky, fancy hot dogs, fresh fruits and baked goods galore (don't fret, most was for a brunch the next day).

Zinc Details was my favourite personal design shop when I lived in San Francisco a few years back. It was only half as large, but even then I considered it the best place for decor accessories in all of SF. It's now twice as big and even more chock full of items that have often graced our posts here on AT. My favourite finds were the soft pleece throws from Design House Stockholm and the quirky Strida folding bike 5.0 that can fold into practically nothing.

The Miette Confiserie right off Hayes is a must visit for any sweet tooth, and also for anyone who has a fondness for the look and feel of the movie, Amelie. Decorated with candy complimenting details, ornate shelving and floral wallpapers that pleased the eye as much as the confections indulged our taste buds, Miette's sweet shop embodies the New World-European vibe the city does so well. We left with a maple and bacon lollypop, alongside an absinthe flavoured version.

There's no getting around it: San Francisco folks are strong individualists who aren't afraid to share their views and opinions (they can also be downright helpful, as we found while riding around on Muni...though our newfound friend couldn't help talk some anti-LA smack when he discovered we were visiting from down south). SF doesn't have the architectural diversity of Los Angeles, but it makes up for it with the colour, grandeur and sometimes just an outright in-your-face charm we enjoyed.

My favourite SF weekend moment was while walking down Hayes, where we found some stacked boxes curbside. In SF, like most any metropolis, boxes on the curb normally means "take it, it's free for anyone". Just earlier that day, we dragged home a free curbside rug and some IKEA shelving into my sister's apartment. So when we saw a couple of boxes of clothes out on the sidewalk, we thought we had found another treasure trove of possible used items to adopt. Except for the fact the boxes belonged to someone who had parked far up the street while moving and had left the boxes unattended (and to our credit, unmarked) as she gathered more items to bring down to her new home. Upon seeing us looking into her boxes she screamed for us to leave her possessions alone, running frantically at us. A most embarrassing, if not amusing moment that left us red and chuckling the rest of the day. We'll be sure to always look more carefully around next time when digging through boxes on the street.

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