My City: Local poetry and cake disguised as doughnuts

Faves and raves byRobin Ekiss


Personal stats

AGE: 40


NEIGHBORHOOD: Mission district

OCCUPATION: Poet, advertising copywriter, teacher, Jill of all trades. Her first book of poems, “The Mansion of Happiness,” hits bookstores on Nov. 1.

SELF-DESCRIPTION: Poet, writer and teacher with a dangerous proclivity for baking, vintage jewelry and flea markets.

WHERE: 3499 16th St. at Sanchez Street
WHAT: Potato latkes and macaroni pancakes to die for
INFO: (415) 626-1700 or

If you’re only going to eat one meal all day — and weekend brunch fairly guarantees that — this is the place to do it. They have the most amazing potato latkes with a generous helping of smoked salmon, poached egg and Hollandaise. If you haven’t tried the macaroni pancake, you’re missing out.

The Atlas Cafe
WHERE: 3049 20th St. at Alabama Street
WHAT: Roasted yam sandwich, the right music and a sunny patio
INFO: (415) 648-1047 or

I think they might be psychic here. They always seem to be playing just the right music — Bon Iver or Fleetwood Mac, or Etta James, or whatever I’m exactly in the mood for, with lots of outdoor seating, including a patio out back (important, since it just may be the sunniest block in The City).

Castro Theatre
WHERE: 429 Castro St., between 17th and 18th streets
WHAT: “San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gates” on a Wurlitzer
INFO: (415) 621-6120 or

Even jaded East Coasters can’t help but love an old movie palace. When that mighty Wurlitzer rises up out of the pit, and the organist plays “San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gates,” it’s just magic every time. I never get tired of that.

Cooks Boulevard
WHERE: 1309 Castro St. at 24th Street
WHAT: Baking cups or sprinkles in a pinch
INFO: (415) 647-2665 or

If I just need baking cups or sprinkles in a pinch, I stop into Cooks Boulevard in Noe Valley. They’re small, but friendly and helpful, and have a decent selection.

Books & Bookshelves
WHERE: 99 Sanchez St. at 14th Street
WHAT: Great selection of poets you’ve never heard of
INFO: (415) 621-3761 or

If I’m looking for used poetry (and I often am), my first stop is Books & Bookshelves in Duboce Triangle; they’ve also got an eclectic reading series, a great selection of poets you’ve never heard of, and they make the shelves to stock them.

At venues all over The City
WHAT: San Francisco’s largest literary festival, from Oct. 9-17
INFO: Full schedule at

San Francisco’s largest literary festival only comes around once a year, which is a good thing because the line-up is crazy: more than 500 writers! My top pick? A bit biased: Tomorrow night’s (Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.) “Poetry in the Pews” benefit reading for Poetry Flash, with five of the country’s most amazing young poets reading at Grace Cathedral. And don’t miss the world’s largest literary pub crawl next Saturday night, Oct. 17; if you haven’t seen a writer read in a beekeeping supply store, well, you haven’t seen a writer read in a beekeeping supply store.

Sugar Lump
WHERE: 2862 24th St. at Bryant Street
WHAT: The ’70s meets Wi-Fi with comfy chairs
INFO: (415) 826-LUMP or

I’d be lying if I didn’t say “in bed,” but if I can actually haul myself out of the apartment, I head to Sugar Lump. It’s like the ’70s never ended there, except now there’s free Wi-Fi. Best po-mo couches and comfy chairs. Cool atmosphere and art. Real food and real people, actually working. Makes me feel like getting stuff done.

Recchuti Confections
WHERE: Ferry Building
WHAT: Try the Force Noir and Tarragon Grapefruit
INFO: (415) 826-2868 or

Can you mainline chocolate? My love for Recchuti Confections is going to bankrupt me. I fantasize about being left alone after hours in their factory, Lucille Ball style. The best flavors — and anyone who argues with you about this is just plain wrong — are Force Noir and Tarragon Grapefruit. These guys know what they’re doing.

Dynamo Donuts
WHERE: 2760 24th St., between Hampshire and York streets
WHAT: Less like doughnuts, more like really, really good cake
INFO: (415) 920-1978 or

Am I crazy to fork over $3.50 for a doughnut? Yes, I must be. But these aren’t “doughnuts” (in the open-24-hours vein). They’re more like really, really good cake. Everybody loves the maple glazed bacon apple, but I prefer my bacon with a side of eggs; I’m strictly a lemon-pistachio gal myself.

Bay Area NewsentertainmentLocal

Just Posted

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Bomb cyclone, atmospheric river combine to pummel California with rain and wind

What you need to know about this historic weather event

National Weather Service flood watch in the San Francisco Bay Area for Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (National Weather Service via Bay City News)
Storm pounds Bay Area, leaving over 145,000 without power: Closures and updates

Torrential rainfall causes flooding, triggers evacuations in burn areas

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Most Read