Oysters by the Bay, pie and the end of the line

Oysters by the Bay, pie and the end of the line

Faves and raves by Joe Brown (Click the picture to see Joe’s faves!)

Personal stats

AGE: 53

YEARS IN THE CITY: Going on his 15th, interrupted by an ill-considered three-year self-exile to Las Vegas

NEIGHBORHOOD: Castro

OCCUPATION: Writer and editor, tech news website D: All Things Digital

SELF-DESCRIPTION: If he could create a signature fragrance for San Francisco, it would be a blend of fog carrying notes of eucalyptus and seaweed garlic and espresso with a nose-wrinkling hint of pee

FAVORITE NEWSSTAND OR MAGAZINE STORE

Good News

WHERE: 3920 24th St., between Sanchez and Noe streets

WHAT: A wide array of national, international and independent magazines

INFO:
(415) 821-3694

Good News in Noe Valley carries a wide array of national, international and independent magazines, especially the offbeat art, pop culture and literary titles I look for.

FAVORITE FOOD TRUCK

Pie Fridays

WHERE: Corner of 19th and Valencia streets

WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

WHAT: Delicious creations by Sunde White, the Pie Lady

INFO: www.piefridays.com

It’s run by Sunde White — we call her the Pie Lady — who announces the weekend’s varieties on Facebook and on their website.

FAVORITE PLACE TO LISTEN TO MARIACHIS

Valencia Street

WHERE: Up and down Valencia Street and in some restaurants

WHAT: Joy, pride and emotional music

For some reason, mariachi music makes me tear up; maybe it’s the music, a combination of happy and sad. And maybe it’s the joy and pride evident among the players.  

FAVORITE PLACE TO SEE STENCIL/CHALK STREET ART

Residential streets off 24th Street in Noe Valley

WHAT: Witty, colorful stenciled images

Lately when I walk, I’ve been keeping my eye on the sidewalk, where witty, colorful stenciled images of koi fish, tabby cats and outsized cockroaches have been appearing. The streets are home to some particularly imaginative sidewalk chalk artists, I’ve noticed.

FAVORITE CHINESE RESTAURANT

Henry’s Hunan

WHERE: 1708 Church St., between 29th and Day streets

WHAT: Kung Pao chicken to die for

INFO: (415) 826-9189 or www.henryshunan.com

Kung Pao chicken is my acid test, and the version at Henry’s Hunan, with its sweet fire, wins out. Jeff, the owner, is one of the friendliest guys in The City; he seems to know everyone who walks in.

FAVORITE PLACE TO GET OYSTERS

Hog Island Oyster Company

WHERE: 1 Ferry Building, Shop 11

WHAT: Oysters with a view of the Bay

INFO: (415) 391-7117 or www.hogislandoysters.com

I love oysters anywhere, but I like them best at Hog Island Oyster Company’s waterfront outpost; they taste better with a view of the Bay and the bridge and the bustling ferries.

FAVORITE PLACE TO CATCH AN ACOUSTIC SINGER-SONGWRITER

The Fillmore  

WHERE: 1805 Geary Blvd., at Fillmore Street

WHAT: Big names and an intimate concert experience

INFO: (415) 346-3000 or www.thefillmore.com

I’ve seen some of my heroes — The Weepies, Shawn Colvin, even Patti Smith — at the venerable and somehow intimate Fillmore Auditorium.

FAVORITE PLACE TO WATCH VINTAGE STREETCARS

The end of the F line  

WHERE: Castro and Market streets

WHAT: A little buzz of joy

INFO: www.sfmuni.com/f

Whenever the vintage streetcars go by, I get a little buzz of joy, and I especially love when the open gondola-style one goes by, bedecked with strands of old-school Christmas lights.

FAVORITE PLACE TO GET A HALF-PIE

Whole Foods

WHERE: 3950 24th St., between Sanchez and Noe streets

WHAT: Half-pies (so you don’t eat an entire one!)

INFO: (415) 282-4700 or www.wholefoods.com

Sure, I could eat a whole pie (I like pie for breakfast!), but I’m especially fond of the marionberry pie. They sell half-pies in clever, half-moon-shaped plastic containers.

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Oysters by the Bay, pie and the end of the line

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