Thursday, March 26, 2015

Street Date: Santa Clara Avenue and Park Street, Alameda

For my Street Date this week, I visit the island city of Alameda:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Street Date, Potrero Hill, S.F.

For my Street Date column this week I return to Potrero Hill, one of my favorite San Francisco neighborhoods:

Potrero Hill, S.F.: Named by the Spanish missionaries who once grazed cattle on its hills and providing one of the best vantage points from which to view the downtown skyline, this neighborhood dates back to the 1850s. Traditionally working class, its sunny weather, historic homes and convenient location helped spur a transformation into an upscale community that continues to attract families.

Stephanie Wright Hession
Twitter: @wrighthession1

1. Big Daddy’s Antiques

1550 17th St.: Inside the cavernous, barn-like space housing Big Daddy’s Antiques, doves in large cages coo amidst rustic leather furniture, intriguing portraits and illuminated, oversized letters. Specializing in antiques and reproductions from markets in North America, Europe and Asia, this is a place where interior designers, landscape architects and other creatives seek the unusual and the distinctive. (415) 621-6800,

2. Bell and Trunk Flowers

1411 18th St.: From this jewel box of a flower shop, floral designs appear in weddings, enhance the decor of elegant abodes and add a touch of nature to local businesses. It also sells fresh bouquets and on a recent visit these featured blue hydrangeas and white tea roses. (415) 648-0519,

3. Christopher’s Books

1400 18th St.: A cozy, independent book store, Christopher’s Books offers a place for those who love a printed book to peruse its selection of novels, books on travel, gardening and more, along with a children’s section stocked with classic titles. Stay a while and enjoy a conversation about all things literary with its informative, personable staff. (415) 255-8802,

4. Anchor Brewing Company

1705 Mariposa St.: The beginnings of Anchor Brewing Company started in 1871, when German immigrant Gottlieb Brekle founded his brewery on Russian Hill. Ernst Baruth and Otto Schinkel, Jr. renamed the brewery Anchor after purchasing it in 1896. Today, it continues craft brewing here. Learn more on a tour and tasting: $15 per person, by reservation. (415) 863-8350,

5. Live Sushi Bar

2001 17th St.: Meditative music, a bank of windows overlooking the street, two levels of seating, attentive service and an array of sashimi, bento box combinations and maki, temaki and chef’s special rolls make this a pleasing midday spot. Choices include the Futo Maki made with tamago, Japanese squash, spinach and shitake mushrooms. (415) 861-8610,

6. Front Café

150 Mississippi St.: In addition to serving delicious espresso, made-to-order, pour over style, cold brewed and batch brewed, single origin coffees, Front Café also serves savory fare such as a seasonal, veggie tart made with goat cheese and pastries including pistachio croissants. It also features outdoor, pet friendly seating. (415) 437-6822,


Two hour, free street parking 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday on 17th Street and other streets in Potrero Hill.

Getting There

Public transit: From the 16th Street BART Station, walk to 16th Street and board Muni’s No. 22-Fillmore. Exit at 17th and Kansas streets. The No. 10 also serves the area.,

By car from the Peninsula: Take Highway 101 north to Interstate 280 toward downtown San Francisco. Take the Mariposa Street exit, turn left onto Mariposa, turn right onto Pennsylvania Avenue and turn left onto 17th Street.

Good to Know

The San Francisco Center for the Book, a nonprofit organization, nurtures the pleasure of books and bookmaking. Throughout the year, its beginning to advanced classes and workshops range from letterpress printing techniques to experimental book forms. It also presents exhibitions including “The Janus Press at Sixty” through May 24. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., daily. 375 Rhode Island St., S.F. (415) 565-0545,