My City: Houseboats, mariachis and unearthly sounds 

Faves and raves by Dee Dee Workman

Personal stats

AGE: 53
YEARS IN THE CITY: 24
NEIGHBORHOOD: St. Mary’s Park
OCCUPATION: Public affairs consultant at Workman Associates San Francisco; her blog, Dee Dee’s San Francisco (www.workmansf.blogspot.com), features quirky, cool city sites not often found in tourist books:.
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Midwest transplant who’s continually amazed and slightly smug at her good fortune to have visited San Francisco and immediately recognized that she was home

FAVORITE OUTDOOR SWING

Billy Goat Hill
WHERE: 300 Beacon St., between 30th and Miguel Streets, Noe Valley  
WHAT: A swing with the best views of The City

You’ll get the best views and a heart-stopping experience if you can drum up the courage to ride the homemade swing hanging from the tree on top of the hill.

FAVORITE PLACE DOWNTOWN FOR A NOON NAP
Yerba Buena Gardens
WHERE: 745 Mission St., between Third Street and Opera Alley
WHAT: Snooze in the sun on the grassy lawn
INFO: www.yerbabuenagardens.com

Office workers, art lovers, matinee movie-goers and tourists snooze in the sun on the grassy lawn beside the Martin Luther King memorial. I like being able to enjoy a neighborhood park in the middle of a downtown urban block. It’s wonderful to happen on live performances there during the week.   

FAVORITE BOWLING ALLEY
Presidio Bowl
WHERE: 93 Moraga Ave.
WHAT: One of only two bowling alleys left in The City
INFO: (415) 561-2695 or www.presidiobowl.com

It has a great snack bar and is a good place to take kids on a rainy day or for birthday parties.

FAVORITE PLACE TO SEE HOUSEBOATS

Mission Creek Park
WHERE: Third and Channel streets
WHAT: Their own unique San Francisco neighborhood.
INFO: (415) 558-9063 or www.missionbayparks.com

Houseboaters have lived here for decades and keep the creek and shoreline park in pristine condition. I love the houseboats because they are their own unique San Francisco neighborhood.

FAVORITE PLACE TO SEE MARIACHIS
14 Mission Street bus
WHERE: 14 Muni bus along Mission Street
WHEN: Starting about 5 p.m.
WHAT: Beautiful instruments, cool costumes, respectful musicians
INFO: www.sfmuni.com/14

The musicians try not to block the aisles with their beautiful, battered instruments. I like their cool costumes and how they respectfully try to keep their gargantuan guitars and accordions out of people’s way.

FAVORITE VOLLEYBALL COURT
Mission Creek Park
WHERE: Directly under the I-280 overpass, Mission Bay
WHAT: In the shade of the freeway but still made of sand. Watch for Great Blue Herons.
INFO: (415) 558-9063 or www.missionbayparks.com

The park also has basketball courts, kayaks, and gorgeous creek-side walkways. Be alert for Great Blue Herons. I love that the court is in the shade of the freeway but is still made of sand and feels like a perfectly appropriate place to play volleyball.

FAVORITE URBAN HIKE
Glen Canyon Park
WHERE: O’Shaughnessy Boulevard, Bosworth Street and Elk Street
WHAT: Quiet, bucolic walk in the middle of The City
INFO: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Canyon_Park

The hiking trails border Islais Creek, the only place in The City where it still runs above ground, and continue into the canyon, where they’re elevated to protect the plants.

FAVORITE MOM AND POP GROCERY STORE

Church Produce
WHERE: 1798 Church St., between 30th and Day streets
WHAT: Perfect produce: both organic and conventional. Outside bins are always stacked.
INFO: (415) 282-1153

I like the outside bins that are always stacked with gorgeous-looking oranges, apples, and melons of all varieties even in winter. I like being able to buy quality produce in places other than national grocery chains.

FAVORITE TOURIST ADVENTURE FOR LOCALS

The Wave Organ
WHERE: 1 Yacht Road, Marina Boulevard; end of the jetty
WHAT: Pipes run from seating areas into the water, so when the tide comes in you hear humming
INFO: (415) 561-0360 or www.exploratorium.edu/visit/wave_organ.html

You have to hike out practically into the middle of the Bay on this spit of land that runs behind the Golden Gate Yacht Club in the Marina. Pipes of all sizes run from protected seating areas into the water so that when the tides come in you hear an unearthly sound like sirens singing or maybe humming.

About The Author

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