My City: Dinner at Home, a garden with a view and air guitars

Faves and raves by

Karin Jaffie

Age: 44

Years in The City: 21

<strong>Neighborhood: Noe Valley

Occupation: Self-amused as a PR consultant, website producer, graphic designer, dog walker, stage set-builder, compulsive volunteer and local entertainer Kitty Tapata; her website is

Self-Description: She is here to help.


Kitty-Oke at StrayBar

WHERE: 309 Cortland St.,
between Bocana and Bennington streets
WHEN: Every fourth Friday of the month
WHAT: Welcoming environment
INFO: (415) 821-9263 or

As Kitty Tapata, I co-host a monthly free karaoke show every fourth Friday with veteran KJ Mr. Glenny Kravitz. We lovingly yet heartily encourage all strays — er, singers — and even provide air guitar and backup dancers as needed.



WHERE: 2100 Market St., at Church Street
WHAT: Sweet potato tots, fried chicken, Homegirl cocktail
INFO: (415) 503-0333 or

My wife of 15 years says I can look at the menu all I want, as long as I eat at Home. I get my fried-chicken fix here, and highly recommend the Homegirl cocktail.


Fort Miley

WHERE: Seal Rock Drive and El Camino Del Mar
WHAT: On the bunkers overlooking Ocean Beach
INFO: (415) 561-4700 or

Amazing lawn (edge-of-the-world croquet, anyone?), picnic tables and a barbecue grill are mostly first-come, first-served.


Meter in the Garden

WHERE: Midway between Sansome and Montgomery streets on the Filbert Steps
WHAT: A parking meter in Grace Marchant’s million-dollar view gardens

Nestled in Grace Marchant’s year-round green gardens is a charming little wooden deck with a low picnic bench and a million-dollar view.


Deco Lounge

WHERE: 510 Larkin St., at Turk Street
WHAT: Drag shows, karaoke and tasty drinks
INFO: (415) 346–2025 or

A couple of shows I frequent are Ginger Snap’s “Snap-a-Licious” and Duplicity Dilemma’s monthly themed two-night shows.

Mt. Sutro Forest

WHERE: Medical Center Way, near UCSF Medical Center
WHAT: A magical cloud forest in the heart of The City; accessible by public transit

Light filters down through stately trees as you pass through the fairy gates and enter another world. This little grotto is also home to a cave, known to be a refuge of Ishi, the last California Yahi.


Café Flore

WHERE: 2298 Market St., at Noe Street
WHAT: People-watching, indoor-outdoor seating and excellent mochas and mimosas
INFO: (415) 621-8579 or

If you want people to watch, dogs to pet, indoor-outdoor seating and excellent mochas and mimosas, hit the Flore.


Community Thrift

WHERE: 623 Valencia St., between 17th Street and Clarion Alley
WHAT: Round out a costume or make item donations in the name of local nonprofits
INFO: (415) 861-4910 or

Next to “cRoss Dress for Less,” Community Thrift is my go-to place when I need to round out a costume. I also donate my gently used items here every time we purge excesses at our house.


Kabuki Hot Springs

WHERE: 1750 Geary Blvd., at Fillmore Street
WHAT: You can almost hear the stress leave your body
INFO: (415) 922-6000 or

Ensconced in dark wood interior and gentle music, one can almost audibly perceive the soft hiss of stress as it leaves your body. Plus, there’s copious amounts of chunky salt to scrub away any residual drama and leave you perfectly seasoned.

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