My City: Thrift stores, pupusas, and a sail on the Bay 

Faves and raves by Matthew Graham

Personal stats

AGE: 43

YEARS IN THE CITY: 20

NEIGHBORHOOD: Mission
 
OCCUPATION: Licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and director of Mission Community Acupuncture; also has a private practice called Traditional Oriental Medicine
 
SELF-DESCRIPTION
: Reformed artist-musician 

FAVORITE PLACE TO GET A HAIRCUT
Supercuts
WHERE: 2947 Geary Blvd., between Blake and Collins streets
WHAT: Barber Hao does a great job
INFO: (415) 752-0656

I get my hair cut exclusively at Supercuts on Geary Boulevard, and I only go to Hao. She does a great job with my hair, and I love to hear her talk about her two children as they progress through school. She’s Vietnamese, and I have a special affection for Vietnam after having visited there.

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY CHINESE HERBS
Moon Fung Herb Company
WHERE: 1011 Taraval St., at 20th Avenue
WHAT: Some of the best prices in The City
INFO: (415) 664-4909

I get almost all of my herbs at Moon Fung. I’ve been buying supplies from Raymond, the shop owner, for close to 15 years. He is very friendly, and has some of the best pricing in The City. There is always plenty of street parking available as well.

FAVORITE CHEAP EATS RESTAURANT
Mission’s Kitchen
WHERE: 2738 Mission St., between 23rd and 24th streets
WHAT: Excellent breakfast
INFO: (415) 648-1577

There are so many favorites depending on style of cuisine, but lately I like Mission’s Kitchen. Excellent breakfast!

FAVORITE MOVIE THEATER

Balboa Theater
WHERE: 3630 Balboa St., between 37th and 38th avenues
WHAT: Art deco lobby, and they often have double feature matinees
INFO: (415) 221-8184 or www.balboamovies.com

I love to see films at the Balboa Theater. I really like the old-theater feeling of the art deco lobby. They often have double feature matinees that my gal and I like to go to.

FAVORITE PLACE TO SAIL FROM
Gas House Cove Marina
WHERE: 10 Marina Blvd., next to Fort Mason
WHAT: The perfect spot to access the San Francisco Bay
INFO: (415) 567-3695

I have a sailboat berthed at Gas House Cove — so named because of the old PG&E station that used to be there. I love to view The City from the water, and I like to sail toward Sausalito and return by circling Alcatraz. The current is very strong at the breakwater at the end of the Fort Mason Pier, so one has to pay attention to tides and currents when planning an outing.

FAVORITE THRIFT STORE
Community Thrift
WHERE: 623 Valencia St., between 17th Street and Clarion Alley
WHAT: Their stock rotates regularly
INFO: (415) 861-4910 or www.communitythriftsf.org

I love so many thrift stores, but I’d have to say that Community Thrift is my overall favorite. They’re always getting new things, so their stock rotates pretty regularly.

FAVORITE LATIN-AMERICAN RESTAURANT
Balompie Cafe
WHERE: 3349 18th St., between Van Ness Avenue and Capp Street
WHAT: The best pupusas around
INFO: (415) 648-9199

I love to eat at Balompie. It’s a family-style Salvadoran restaurant with the best pupusas around! I love the loroco con queso and frijoles pupusas they serve up there.  

FAVORITE USED BOOKSTORE

Green Apple Books
WHERE: 506 Clement St., between Sixth and Seventh avenues
WHAT: Music, used travel guides, used and new alternative medicine titles
INFO: (415) 387-2272 or www.greenapplebooks.com

You just have to go there to know what I mean. There is even a music store annex next door where they also house fiction. They have a great CD selection and are a great resource for used travel guides like Lonely Planet and Rough Guides.

FAVORITE NATURE SPOT

The Arboretum
WHERE: Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way, Golden Gate Park
WHAT: Clean, quiet and meditative; great bookstore
INFO: (415) 661-1316 or www.sfbotanicalgarden.org

One of the reasons I settled in San Francisco is because of all the easy access to nature in such close proximity, or even within The City. It’s just so clean and quiet, and meditative. They also have a great bookstore.

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