Faves and raves by Melissa Ayres (Click on the picture to see Melissa's faves)
YEARS IN THE CITY: 30
NEIGHBORHOOD: Cole Valley
OCCUPATION: Public health nutrition and wellness professional and guild-certified Feldenkrais teacher
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Grew up in San Francisco and moved back after a 10-year stint in New York in order to move and breathe in the Pacific coastal air, trees, plants, ocean and hills at almost every horizon
FAVORITE PLACE TO LOOK AT MURALS
WHERE: Balmy Alley between 24th and 25th streets
WHAT: Bay Area Mexican culture and history through rich colors
Local artists convey important social commentary through rich colors and unique styles that reflect Bay Area Mexican culture and history.
FAVORITE MEXICAN RESTAURANT
WHERE: 2889 Mission St., between 24th and 25th streets
WHAT: Fresh, flavorful and authentic
INFO: (415) 285-7117
Sabroso! Consistently fresh and flavorful, authentic Mission-Cali-Mex flavors, without rice or fluffy fillers.
FAVORITE PLACE FOR JEWISH WORSHIP
WHERE: Women’s Building, 3543 18th St., between Guerrero and Valencia streets
WHAT: Represents a cross-section of Jewish people
It’s welcoming. Lots of singing and intentionality, egalitarian while still traditional, strongly reflects the nature of the folks who started it from the Nachlaot district of Jerusalem that represents a cross-section of Jewish people, and known for tolerance and good vibes.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GET A CAPPUCINO
WHERE: 609 Vallejo St., between Grant and Columbus avenues
WHAT: Consistently good
INFO: (415) 550-1107 or www.caffetrieste.com
Consistently good-quality cafe beverages.
FAVORITE PLACE TOTAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS
The Jazz Heritage Center
WHERE: 1320 Fillmore Street, at Eddy Street
WHAT: Dedicated to preserving S.F. jazz history
INFO: (415) 255-7745 or www.jazzheritagecenter.org
It’s awesome — a center dedicated to preserving San Francisco jazz history and promoting cultural diversity through arts education and performance.
FAVORITE FARMERS MARKET
Upper Haight Farmers Market
WHERE: Stanyan and Waller streets
WHEN: Wednesdays, 4 to 8 p.m.
WHAT: Fresh, affordable, locally and sustainably grown
Tolerable size, great variety of consistently fresh, affordable, locally and sustainably grown produce, sold by friendly, accessible farmers. A few vendors offer prepared foods, including out of this world, gluten-free desserts. Weekly live music performances add to the friendly community atmosphere.
FAVORITE NATURE SPOT
WHERE: Western edge of The City
WHAT: End up there after biking through Golden Gate Park
The perfect place to end up after a bike ride through the park.
FAVORITE CHEAP EATS RESTAURANT
WHERE: 1740 Fillmore St., between Post and Sutter streets
WHAT: All-you-can-eat buffet lunch for $10
INFO: (415) 567-7789 or www.indiapalacesf.com
Tasty, trustworthy, all-you-can-eat buffet lunch with dessert and chai tea for $10.
FAVORITE PLACE FORFREE ENTERTAINMENT
Sacred Grounds Coffee House
WHERE: 2095 Hayes St., between Clayton and Cole streets
WHEN: Wednesday nights
WHAT: Longest-running open-mic poetry slam
INFO: (415) 387-3859
The longest-running open-mic poetry slam, an opportunity for talented locals to share intelligent thought, passion, creativity and craft.