Glass elevators, folk art, dog-friendly parks and eats

Faves and raves by Pamela Laird (Click the picture to see Pamela’s faves)


Age: 55

Years in The City: 30

Neighborhood: Barbary Coast

Occupation: Former strategic marketing consultant, launching a second career as a creative writer

Self-Description: Madly in love with this city; has lived in the Tenderloin, Marina, Telegraph Hill, the Embarcadero, Upper Haight, Russian Hill and now the Barbary Coast; if she could marry a city, S.F. would be her betrothed


Jack Early Park

WHERE: 1950 Grant Ave., at Pfeiffer Street

WHAT: The smallest park in San Francisco


Hanging off the north slope of Telegraph Hill, this delightful park consists of a set of stairs and a viewing platform. The view is definitely worth the climb, and the breeze has been cleaned by 5,000 miles of Pacific Ocean!


The Plant Café Organic

WHERE: Pier 3, The Embarcadero

WHAT: Wholesome food made fresh daily

INFO: (415) 984-0437 or

The folks at Plant Café know how to make fresh, local plants taste delicious, and there are plenty of meat dishes so my husband is also happy. My dogs can be safely tied within view and love the attention from walkers on the promenade. The heated, covered porch is delightful.


Caffe Trieste

WHERE: 601 Vallejo St., at Grant Avenue

WHAT: North Beach cafe born the same year I was

INFO: (415) 392-6739 or

My inner poet likes being near the literary geniuses who gathered here since its birth. I always find the inspiration I need to fill my blank piece of paper.


Glass elevators at the Westin St. Francis Hotel

WHERE: 335 Powell St., at Geary Boulevard

WHAT: Up-close views of S.F.

INFO: (415)397-7000 or

The tower elevators are all glass, on the outside of the hotel, and go up 32 floors overlooking Union Square. You get panoramic views of downtown, SOMA, Nob Hill, the Bay Bridge and the East Bay. Wonderful for out-of-town guests, especially the young ones.



WHERE: 1800 Montgomery St., at The Embarcadero

WHAT: Nice wine list and atmosphere

INFO: (415)392-9280 or

There are few things I like more than sitting near the outdoor fireplace on a summer evening listening to live jazz, nibbling on grilled artichokes and planked salmon, while enjoying a crisp white. Insider tip: They bake peanut butter dog cookies daily and always have a fresh water bowl.


The Museum of Craft and Folk Art

WHERE: 51 Yerba Buena Lane, between Market, Mission, Fourth and Third streets

WHAT: Traditional and contemporary folk art

INFO: (415) 227-4888 or

The exhibits always expand my point of view, but the real find is the museum store full of the best folk art at reasonable prices. I never leave empty-handed.


Grace Marchant Gardens

WHERE: Filbert Steps, between Montgomery and Kearny streets

WHAT: Fabulous public-private landscaping


Between Coit Tower on the top and Levi Plaza on the bottom are nestled lush plantings, wild parrots and unique garden art. My feet keep leading me here and my dogs love to join me. Be sure to explore Napier Lane and Darrell Place.


Crissy Field off-leash dog beach

WHERE: Mason Street at Lyon Street

WHAT: Golden Gate National Recreation Area


I love to treat my dogs to the wind, sand and a swim to fetch the tennis ball here. We park near the Sports Basement for easy access to the less-crowded end of the beach, but are careful to respect snowy plover breeding grounds in season.

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