When my kids ask me to plan for the weekend they often use “if” (if it rains, if it’s nice out), as some days may be bleak and foggy and others offer uninterrupted sunshine. After living in SF for more than 10 years we have come up with a plan for the overcast and unpleasant weekends. We go on an urban trek. We pick a neighborhood to explore. We pack, we prepare and we’re off.
Even after all these years, there are still a few pockets of the City we haven’t scouted. Our recent favorite has become Middle Irving, or MIDI, between 12th and 18th avenues. You can get there on the N Judah from downtown. You can also ride your bike if that makes you happy!
Exploring is more than looking and taking pictures. The urban explorer eats, greets, drinks and speaks her way through a new environment. One must connect with the local wildlife. San Franciscans are very serious about their coffee, and every neighborhood has a favorite cafe where locals and explorers hang out. Hollow Cafe on Irving street has become an integral part of the Sunset these last few years.
Overcast weather makes us hungry. There are number of great restaurants in the neighborhood, and you might end up making a few trips to MIDI to taste everything and to get to know the owners and staff. To the extent we can, we shop and eat at locally owned, small businesses. These folks deliver with care and pride. If you decide to spend a weekend afternoon in MIDI, make sure you check out a little gift store called Whistle which has lots of interesting stuff for any budget.
Whether or not the weather complies, be ready for the wilds with a warm jacket and a beach blanket. You never know what the weather might be in a few hours, and there’s always a chance you’ll end up at the Ocean beach to watch a beautiful sunset! (Gohar)
Photo by Scott Richard
Artwork by Maria Schoettler