My City: Astrology, prayer, opera and chocolate potatoes

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Faves and raves by Jack Fertig
PERSONAL STATS
AGE: 55

YEARS IN THE CITY: 34

NEIGHBORHOOD: Cathedral Hill

OCCUPATION: Astrologer who sees clients, teaches at the International Academy of Astrology, lectures and writes articles for magazines and an internationally syndicated sun-sign column for GLBT papers. His Web site is www.starjack.com.

SELF-DESCRIPTION: Lifelong activist for peace and economic, racial and gender justice; especially interested in the intersections of spirituality, sexuality and politics

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY BOOKS ON ASTROLOGY

Fields Book Store
WHERE: 1419 Polk St.,
between California and Pine streets
WHAT: Best metaphysical and
astrological books in The City
INFO: (415) 673-2027 or www.fieldsbooks.com

They have the best collection of metaphysical books in The City, and their astrological selection is very complete. They also have a nice collection of general literature and poetry.

FAVORITE PLACE FOR A SUGAR FIX

Moscow & Tbilisi Bakery Store
WHERE: 5540 Geary Blvd.,
between 19th and 20th avenues
WHAT: From napoleons to
hamentashen to pirozhki to cakes
INFO: (415) 668-6959

They have a great collection of sweets — from dense, heavy chocolate “potatoes” to napoleons and hamentashen, plus a variety of pirozhki, breads and cakes. It’s a great stop on the way home from the beach!

FAVORITE PLACE FOR A DOG WALK

Bernal Hill
WHERE: Bernal Heights
WHAT: Great views

We’ve been exploring city parks, making great finds, but we keep going back to Bernal Hill. It has great views, and we often run into friends there.

FAVORITE PLACE TO LISTEN TO MUSIC

San Francisco Opera
WHERE: 301 Van Ness Ave.
WHAT: Supertitles and cheap balcony seats
INFO: (415) 861-4008 or www.sfopera.com

I’m really just a big old opera queen and feel very blessed to live just a few blocks from one of the continent’s best opera companies. Supertitles and cheap balcony seats make the opera so much more affordable and accessible than a lot of people realize.

FAVORITE MUSEUM OR GALLERY

San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch
WHERE: 100 Larkin St., between Fulton and Grove streets
WHAT: Always something new to take in
INFO: (415) 557-4400 or www.sfpl.org

With frequently changing exhibits on old San Francisco, arts and artists, local writers and personalities, there’s always something fascinating. Check their schedule or just look around the special collections and go up to the sixth floor.

FAVORITE TOURISTY THING TO DO

Cable Car Museum
WHERE: 1201 Mason St., at Washington Street
WHAT: See how the whole system works
INFO: (415) 929-1873 or www.cablecarmuseum.org

The Cable Car Museum is where you can watch the engines and great wheels pull the cables that make the whole system work. Signs and exhibits explain it all, and it’s free! There are also great old photos from the 1906 quake.
FAVORITE CHEAP EATS RESTAURANT
Gyro King
WHERE: 25 Grove St., between Eighth and Hyde streets
WHAT: Halal Turkish food — try the spinach pie
INFO: (415) 621-8313

Gyro King has good halal Turkish food right across from the Main Library. I especially love their spinach pie!

FAVORITE PLACE FOR PRAYER

Masjid Darussalam
WHERE: 20 Jones St., at Market St.
WHAT: No wall separating women and men, visitors are welcome, some interfaith events
INFO: www.islamsf.com/announcements.php

My favorite place for Juma’a prayer on Friday afternoon is the Masjid Darussalam, commonly known as the “Jones Street Mosque” — especially since they tore down the wall that separated the women from the men. Visitors are welcome, and they also host some interfaith events with Jewish and Christian friends.

FAVORITE NATURE SPOT

Glen Canyon Park
WHERE: Bordered by O’Shaughnessy Boulevard, Bosworth Street and Elk Street
WHAT: Great place for dogs; don’t worry about the coyote warnings
INFO: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Canyon_Park

It’s our second favorite place to take the dogs, walking up by Islais Creek, climbing over the rocks and up and down the hillside. The coyote warnings add a frisson of the wild, but they hide pretty well when folks are there.

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