My City: Books, theater, bird- and people-watching

Faves and raves by Fred Wickham


Age: 68

Years in The City: 34

Neighborhood: North Beach/Russian Hill

Occupation: Blogger for the satire and opinion Web site

Self-Description: Generous, outgoing and sociable




WHERE: 2197 Fillmore St., between California and Sacramento streets

WHAT: Good gossip and a view — and pigeons!

INFO: (415) 563-9930 or

I go there for the gossip, the view and the pigeons — although I have been [excreted] upon.



Il Pollaio

WHERE: 555 Columbus Ave., between Union and Green streets

WHAT: Soups, house salad and grilled chicken breast to die for

INFO: (415) 362-7727

Great soups, fantastic house salad, and I am still working on a superlative to apply to the grilled chicken breast.



Allyne Park

WHERE: Northwest corner of Gough and Green streets

WHAT: Well-kept park frequented by regulars

A small, well-kept park occupying the northwest corner of Gough and Green streets, adjacent to the Octagon House. I especially look forward to seeing the piebald Dachsund pup, one of the regulars.



Washington Square Park

WHERE: Union Street and Columbus Avenue

<p>WHAT: Good dog- and flock-watching

I like watching the dogs there, too. And the flocks: both parrots and pigeons.



The Marsh

WHERE: 1062 Valencia St., between 22nd and Hill streets

WHAT: The first place to catch many a solo show

INFO: (415) 826-5750 or

Well-known as a launching pad for some widely successful solo shows.



Rita’s Launderette & Cleaners

WHERE: 741 Union St., between August Alley and Powell Street

WHAT: They do your laundry for you

INFO: (415) 397-1046

Not technically a laundromat — they do your laundry for you. Nor is it technically Rita’s — the proprietor is named Mary.



Browser Books

WHERE: 2195 Fillmore St., between California and Sacramento streets

WHAT: A rare nonchain bookstore

INFO: (415) 567-8027

It’s one of the remaining non-chain bookstores, next door to Peet’s. Bus lines cross there. And they let me stow my bag behind the counter while I browse. Oh, that’s why they call it Browser!



The Blue Angels

WHERE: Up in the sky

WHAT: Find a great view and scope out some excellent flying

The Blue Angels during Fleet Week — viewed from the roof of my apartment.

— Lisa Geduldig

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