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This blog by arts, culture and travel journalist Stephanie Wright Hession covers San Francisco and beyond.
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Friday, October 18, 2013
Out and About: Octavia and Hayes streets, Hayes Valley, S.F.
With projects such as the Proxy, Hayes Valley continues to evolve as a place where enterprising dreamers - including inventors, chefs, fashion designers, artists and gardeners - with crisp ideas see their aspirations realized, not despite the economic climate but because of it.
-Stephanie Wright Hession
Photographs by Stephanie Wright Hession. Copyright 2013 All rights reserved.
1. Ritual Coffee Roasters
432 Octavia St.: Ritual sources its own coffee beans, freshly harvested within the past 12 months, by traveling to Costa Rica and Guatemala to meet with growers on their farms. Roasting in small batches, it creates single-origin espressos for a macchiato or a cappuccino.www.ritualroasters.com
2. Smitten Ice Cream
432 Octavia St.: From an ethereal mist - created by a liquid nitrogen ice cream maker developed by proprietor Robyn Sue Goldman - emerges made-to-order ice cream utilizing fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. Flavors include Tcho dark chocolate, creamy vanilla and two seasonal choices, which currently include a sublime hibiscus. (415) 863-1518.www.smittenicecream.com
3. Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley
Hayes and Octavia streets: The next time your dog or child frolics in this park, with its patch of lawn, domed play structure, public art, benches, tables and trees, think of Patricia Walkup, the park's namesake. A tireless neighborhood advocate who died in 2006, she played a pivotal role in revitalizing Hayes Valley. www.patriciawalkup.org
4. Patxi's Chicago Pizza
511 Hayes St.: Although Patxi's serves up thin-crust pizza, the reason to eat here is for the Chicago-style stuffed pizza. Bring your appetite, but don't arrive in a rush: These pies are hearty, and you'll want to savor each bite - and they take 35 to 40 minutes to prepare and cook. (415) 558-9991. www.patxispizza.com
5. La Boulange
500 Hayes St.: Order from the large menu board, find a seat and settle in or opt for a bistro table and chair outside. Select soup du jour, salad Nicoise or a croque monsieur. Be sure to save room for a sweet treat and a bag of mini palmiers to go. (415) 863-3376.www.laboulangebakery.com
Ritual and Smitten are part of Proxy, a temporary, two-block project with providers of food, art and culture housed in repurposed shipping containers. Plans include constructing a permanent structure on the site in about four years. www.proxysf.net