Faves and raves by Pamela Laird (Click the picture to see Pamela’s faves)
Years in The City: 30
Neighborhood: Barbary Coast
Occupation: Former strategic marketing consultant, launching a second career as a creative writer
Self-Description: Madly in love with this city; has lived in the Tenderloin, Marina, Telegraph Hill, the Embarcadero, Upper Haight, Russian Hill and now the Barbary Coast; if she could marry a city, S.F. would be her betrothed
FAVORITE PLACE TO BREATHE
Jack Early Park
WHERE: 1950 Grant Ave., at Pfeiffer Street
WHAT: The smallest park in San Francisco
Hanging off the north slope of Telegraph Hill, this delightful park consists of a set of stairs and a viewing platform. The view is definitely worth the climb, and the breeze has been cleaned by 5,000 miles of Pacific Ocean!
FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT
The Plant Café Organic
WHERE: Pier 3, The Embarcadero
WHAT: Wholesome food made fresh daily
INFO: (415) 984-0437 or www.theplantcafe.com
The folks at Plant Café know how to make fresh, local plants taste delicious, and there are plenty of meat dishes so my husband is also happy. My dogs can be safely tied within view and love the attention from walkers on the promenade. The heated, covered porch is delightful.
FAVORITE PLACE TO REGENERATE
WHERE: 601 Vallejo St., at Grant Avenue
WHAT: North Beach cafe born the same year I was
INFO: (415) 392-6739 or www.caffetrieste.com
My inner poet likes being near the literary geniuses who gathered here since its birth. I always find the inspiration I need to fill my blank piece of paper.
FAVORITE CHEAP THRILL
Glass elevators at the Westin St. Francis Hotel
WHERE: 335 Powell St., at Geary Boulevard
WHAT: Up-close views of S.F.
INFO: (415)397-7000 or www.westinstfrancis.com
The tower elevators are all glass, on the outside of the hotel, and go up 32 floors overlooking Union Square. You get panoramic views of downtown, SOMA, Nob Hill, the Bay Bridge and the East Bay. Wonderful for out-of-town guests, especially the young ones.
FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD BAR
WHERE: 1800 Montgomery St., at The Embarcadero
WHAT: Nice wine list and atmosphere
INFO: (415)392-9280 or www.hillstone.com
There are few things I like more than sitting near the outdoor fireplace on a summer evening listening to live jazz, nibbling on grilled artichokes and planked salmon, while enjoying a crisp white. Insider tip: They bake peanut butter dog cookies daily and always have a fresh water bowl.
The Museum of Craft and Folk Art
WHERE: 51 Yerba Buena Lane, between Market, Mission, Fourth and Third streets
WHAT: Traditional and contemporary folk art
INFO: (415) 227-4888 or www.mocfa.org
The exhibits always expand my point of view, but the real find is the museum store full of the best folk art at reasonable prices. I never leave empty-handed.
FAVORITE PLACE TO WANDER
Grace Marchant Gardens
WHERE: Filbert Steps, between Montgomery and Kearny streets
WHAT: Fabulous public-private landscaping
Between Coit Tower on the top and Levi Plaza on the bottom are nestled lush plantings, wild parrots and unique garden art. My feet keep leading me here and my dogs love to join me. Be sure to explore Napier Lane and Darrell Place.
FAVORITE PLACE TO GO WITH MY DOGS
Crissy Field off-leash dog beach
WHERE: Mason Street at Lyon Street
WHAT: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
I love to treat my dogs to the wind, sand and a swim to fetch the tennis ball here. We park near the Sports Basement for easy access to the less-crowded end of the beach, but are careful to respect snowy plover breeding grounds in season.