Faves and raves by Rick Gerharter
YEARS IN THE CITY: 32
NEIGHBORHOOD: Lower Haight
OCCUPATION: Freelance news and travel photographer; also conducts photo walking tours of San Francisco
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Engaged, observant, opinionated city-lover with ironic good humor, leavened with a bit of cynicism
Palace of the Legion of Honor
WHERE: 34th Avenue and Clement Street, in Lincoln Park
WHAT: Spectacular art and setting
INFO: (415) 750-3600 or www.famsf.org/legion
I love the Palace of the Legion of Honor for its quick survey of Western art on the inside and the spectacular setting on the outside. How it came to be is also a wonderful San Francisco tale.
William Stout Architectural Books
WHERE: 804 Montgomery St., between Gold and Jackson streets
WHAT: It has everything you can think of
INFO: (415) 391-6757 or www.stoutbooks.com
Stout Architectural Books has everything: architecture, design, travel, style, history,
photography — all the essentials.
FAVORITE FARMERS MARKET
Heart of the City Farmers Market
WHERE: 1182 Market St., between Seventh and Eighth streets
WHAT: Best location, selection and prices
WHEN: Wednesdays and Sundays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
INFO: (415) 558-9455
The Heart of the City Market in Civic Center is best for its central location, selection, prices and general urban grittiness.
FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE A WALK
From Mint Hill to Bernal Hill
WHERE: Intersection of Market and Waller streets to Bernal Hill
WHAT: Everything from fantastic views to alleys to explore
From Mint Hill to Bernal Hill includes all that makes San Francisco so fantastic: views, great street life, alleys to explore, history, shops to experience, food and endless, always colorful variety.
Palace of Fine Arts lagoon
WHAT: Swans and ducks, and as quirky as its architect
I love the lagoon and park at the Palace of Fine Arts and Crissy Field. Bernard Maybeck’s Palace is as quirky as he was. The expanse of Crissy Field reminds me of San Francisco’s spectacular setting and the big, cold ocean that is just beyond the Golden Gate.
FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE PHOTOS
WHERE: From Grant Avenue and Bush Street to Grant and Broadway, and beyond
WHAT: Street activity, kitsch, daily life … to the point of overload
Chinatown, hands down. It’s got everything: loads of street activity, views, kitschy architecture, bright colors, daily routines, urban grunge and beauty. For me it becomes a visual overload.
FAVORITE MOVIE THEATER
WHERE: 429 Castro St., between 17th and 18th streets
WHAT: Beautiful theater, varied programming
INFO: (415) 621-6120 or www.castrotheatre.com
Now that the Alhambra, with its exotic kitschiness, is gone, the Castro Theatre is the best. It has great, varied programming, wonderfully engaged audiences, a beautiful, if a bit ragged, interior, plus an organ recital thrown in for good measure.
FAVORITE CHEAP RESTAURANT
WHERE: 1298 Market St.,
between Eighth and Ninth streets
WHAT: Delicious neatloaf
INFO: (415) 621-1994 or www.anandafuara.com
To be honest, I have only had the neatloaf, but that is so yummy, why order anything else? Plus, I love the camp photos and sky blue décor.
FAVORITE FREE ACTIVITY
SF Public Library — Main Library
WHERE: 100 Larkin St., between Fulton and Grove streets
WHAT: Myriad free activities including a Thursday noon movie series
INFO: (415) 557-4400 or www.sfpl.org
The Main Library has so many free activities — readings, exhibits, lectures and workshops — that I find myself there several times a week. I especially recommend the Thursday noon movie for a unique San Francisco cinematic experience.