My City: Bargains, mani/pedis, singalongs, inspiration 

Faves and raves by Jodi Goldstein

Personal stats
AGE:
36
YEARS IN THE CITY: 13
NEIGHBORHOOD: Castro district
OCCUPATION: Senior coordinator of corporate communications and investor relations for Cytokinetics, a biopharmaceutical company.
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Optimist and life and people lover.


FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Nirvana
WHERE: 544 Castro St., between 18th and 19th streets
WHAT: Always yummy, with a Buddha to greet you
INFO: (415) 861-2226 or www.nirvanarestaurant.net

Always yummy, sweet service and not overpriced. And it’s close to home, which is a huge plus to be able to walk to and from din-din. I also love the Buddha at the front that greets you and then sends you on your way after your belly is full and satisfied.


FAVORITE PLACE TO SEE A MOVIE
Castro Theatre
WHERE: 429 Castro St., between 17th and 18th streets
WHAT: Singalongs and no one shushes you
INFO: (415) 621-6120 or www.castrotheatre.com

The first sing-along I attended was “The Sound of Music,” and to be able to sing “My Favorite Things” with an entire crowd, where no one shushed me, made me so completely happy. I thought it would be my favorite event ever, but then I attended the “Mamma Mia!” sing-along and left the theater hoarse and with a huge smile on my face.


FAVORITE PLACE TO GET NAILS DONE
Merry Manicures
WHERE: 2030 Polk St., between Broadway and Pacific Avenue
WHAT: An affordable mani/pedi/wax
INFO: (415) 931-9079

I have been going to Merry’s for 12 years, even when I lived in Daly City and Alameda. Her wax skills are the best around. Mary remembers me (even after the first visit), and she is sweet and makes everyone feel special. In addition to great service, Mary is an affordable mani/pedi/wax.


FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE A WALK
Corona Heights Park
WHERE: Roosevelt and Museum ways
WHAT: Great dog park and view
INFO: www.coronaheights.com

I walk my dog, Casper, above Randall Museum to the dog park, and then we hike up the hill and we both get a great workout and are awake for the day ahead of us. The view is gorgeous and brings tears to my eyes each day. I know I belong in this city!


FAVORITE PLACE TO SWEAT
Gold’s Gym
WHERE: 1001 Brannan St., at Ninth Street
WHAT: A very energetic step aerobics class
INFO: (415) 552-4653 or www.goldsgym.com/gyms/index.php?gymID=408

Troy Markle is San Francisco’s best treasure. I first came across Troy’s step aerobics class when I joined Gold’s Gym 12 years ago. I was mesmerized by his class, and it’s impossible to put into words the energy he brings to each of his students. It was the most difficult class I’d ever taken, but also the most fun I’d ever had in my life working out.


FAVORITE STORE TO BARGAIN SHOP
Marshalls
WHERE: 901 Market St., between Fifth and Sixth streets
WHAT: Good deals without blowing your entire paycheck
INFO: (415) 974-5368 or www.marshallsonline.com

I love shopping at Marshalls. There, I said it!  My doctor’s office is located near this store, and I wandered in there one day after my appointment and I found many cute things and didn’t have to blow my paycheck. Call me frugal, cheap or whatever. I love shopping at this store.


FAVORITE PLACE TO GO FOR INSPIRATION
Glide Memorial
WHERE: 330 Ellis St., at Taylor Street
WHAT: They preach about acceptance, unconditional love and community
INFO: (415) 674-6000 or www.glide.org

First of all, I am a devout Jewish woman, and I belong to a synagogue. But I love attending services at Glide on Sunday morning. They preach about acceptance, unconditional love and community. The music gives me goose bumps; the sermons make me want to run out and hug the entire city, and their words encourage me to stay in the struggle to do my part to help heal the world.


FAVORITE STORE TO BUY GIFTS
Under One Roof
WHERE: 518A Castro St.
WHAT: 100 percent of the profits go to AIDS/HIV organizations
INFO: (415) 503-2300 or www.underoneroof.org

This store sells new items: gifty things like candles, Christmas ornaments, cards, stuffed animals, etc. that they get donated or buy at wholesale and then donate 100 percent of the profits after expenses to about 30 different AIDS/HIV organizations. There are only about four employees, and the rest of the store and operation is run by volunteers.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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