My City: Dinner and a movie, ice cream for dessert

Faves and raves by Susan Stryker

 

Personal stats

AGE: 48

YEARS IN THE CITY: It’s complicated — she’s lived in San Francisco proper since 2002, worked here since 1992, and has been in the Bay Area since 1983

NEIGHBORHOOD: Bernal Heights

OCCUPATION: Splits her time between San Francisco and Bloomington, Ind., where she’s an associate professor of gender studies

SELF-DESCRIPTION: Teaches history and theory of sexuality and gender, and specializes in LGBT history of San Francisco

FAVORITE MOVIE THEATER
Metreon
WHERE: 101 Fourth St. at Mission Street
WHAT: Great skyline and people-watching
INFO: (415) 369-6000

I so love looking at the skyline and at people hanging out in Yerba Buena Park that I’ve actually missed the start of the movie.

FAVORITE CHEAP EATS RESTAURANT
Just For You Cafe
WHERE: 732 22nd St., between Third and Tennessee streets
WHAT: Freshly baked bread and beignets, and the best hangtown fry
INFO: (415) 647-3033 or www.justforyoucafe.com
 
They bake their own bread, make fresh beignets, serve chickory coffee, and scramble up the best hangtown fry. Plus they have great rock ’n’ roll posters on the wall. What’s not to like?

FAVORITE BOOKSTORE
Christopher’s Books
WHERE: 1400 18th St., between Connecticut and Missouri streets
WHAT: Knowledgeable staff and great selection
INFO: (415) 255-8802 or www.christophersbooks.com

I used to live up on [Potrero] Hill and have fond memories of book shopping there with my daughter when she was younger. Friendly, knowledgeable staff and an interesting selection of books for such a small space. I’m in awe that an independent bookstore can still survive.

FAVORITE PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH
Market Street
WHERE:
Between Fifth and Seventh streets
WHAT: San Francisco’s diversity of life parading itself down the street

When I was executive director of the GLBT Historical Society, our offices were down there, and I really came to appreciate the true diversity of life that regularly paraded itself past our door.

FAVORITE PLACE TO LISTEN TO A READING (OR GIVE A TALK)
Mechanics’ Institute
WHERE: 57 Post St., between Kearny and Montgomery streets
WHAT: 100-year-old landmark library with classes, writers’ groups, book discussion groups
INFO: (415) 393-0101 or www.milibrary.org
 
I hardly ever go there but think it is such a cool old building. I love the idea of public intellectual culture.

FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE A WALK

Bernal Hill
WHERE: Bernal Heights
WHAT: Best views of The City

It’s just a hop, skip and a jump from my front door. Best views in the whole city, I think. I get lost in thought up there, sometimes, thinking about urban history.

FAVORITE PLACE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS
Aunt Charlie’s Lounge
WHERE: 133 Turk St., between Taylor and Jones streets
WHAT: Fantastic old-school drag shows
INFO: (415) 441-2922 or www.auntcharlieslounge.com

It has a fantastic old-school drag show. If the U.S. officially recognized “national living treasures” the way Japan does, the star of the show, Vicki Marlane, should be one. My friend Michelle Lawler just made a great documentary film about Vicki, “Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight.”

FAVORITE CAFE
Sugarlump Coffee Lounge
WHERE: 2862 24th St., between Florida and Bryant streets
WHAT: Used-furniture store with great coffee
INFO: (415) 826-5867 or www.sugarlumpcoffeelounge.com

I know I’m supposed to hate the “cafe gentrification” of the Mission, but I actually love Sugarlump. It’s like a hipster used-furniture store with excellent coffee.

FAVORITE PLACE TO GET ICE CREAM
Mitchell’s Ice Cream
WHERE:
688 San Jose Ave., between 29th and Valley streets
WHAT: Unique tropical flavors to die for, for more than 50 years
INFO: (415) 648-2300 or www.mitchellsicecream.com

I love the “tropical flavors,” but it’s torture deciding between purple yam, avocado and macapuno. I’ll usually taste all three before picking one.

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