A Day In: Pacific Heights
There is a stigma associated with Pacific Heights. Yes, it is home to a best selling author and a popular senator, but there is so much more to this neighborhood than celebrity wealth. Sure, it’s got a pretty boring nightlife and a few too many nannies with strollers, but there’s also a large group of young, twenty-somethings living in appropriately small apartments.
Now, I know you coffee snobs won’t like this but I go to Starbucks (on Fillmore St), a lot. They know my name and drink order so they had no problem questioning my recent absence. “Who are you cheating on us with?” Asked Dan, a fine baristo. He caught me. The mistress? Her name is Jane.
Jane on Fillmore was created by former pastry chef Amanda Michael, and there are three reasons I keep going back: 1) their brioches 2) aesthetically pleasing décor, and 3) I can get my coffee shop fix without trekking all the way to the Mission (they brew Four Barrel). For more info, read what 7×7 had to say.
After a satisfying overdose on buttery pastries, I need some exercise. I will give you all a moment to roll your eyes when I admit I spend a large portion of my day in Lululemon spandex and oversize shades. In my defense, there is some exercise involved. For an intense workout and a great view of the Bay, I head to the Lyon Street stairs.
A while back I overheard a girl telling people that her friend, Shelly’s friend’s cousin, Elise was proposed to on these very steps. While that story has urban legend written all over it, there is potential truth. Once you reach Lyon and Green you’ll notice that the stairs are busy with couples sweating off last night’s dinner, and singles seeking future mates. Personally, my lazy legs and red cheeks can only handle so much, and I am not one to enjoy flirting while panting profusely. Luckily, Alta Plaza Park offers an equally lovely vista.
The park is full of dogs in obvious rebellion to the City’s leash rule; but aside from unruly canine is a great shot of Alcatraz, or Western Addition (depending which way you face). Bring a blanket and reading material; the park is considerably less rowdy than Fort Mason and Dolores, so it is an idyllic place to get some peace and enjoy the scenery.
Let’s return to my favorite subject, food. Pushing the western limits of Pacific Heights, is Girabaldi’s. Their Chicken Breast Milanese is comfort food wrapped in sophistication. Since I am on a student budget, dining here is reserved for parent visits and celebratory occasions; however, they do offer weeknight happy hours from 5-6:30.
Before heading home, I make sure to stop at Lion’s Pub, or Den, or that place where the Dude from the Bachelor goes. In case you were wondering, I got the official name from the bartender. Call it Lion Pub.
The unmarked building was a gay bar back in the day, but techies and finance moguls have made it a bro zone. Bartenders crank out to die for greyhounds, amongst other savory drinks, and bonus: they take the amount of time a bartender should take to make a drink (that is quickly); quality is not discounted. They are cash only and their beverages are pricey so you’d best avoid spending an entire night here, but it’s a great place to start or end your evening.
Nina has lived in Pacific Heights for nearly two years. You can follow her on Twitter, here.