Another place we say “Welcome Home”

San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood embodies much of the best that urban existence has to offer. It’s sunny (in a foggy city), it’s welcoming, has good food and drink, and is open really, really late (for an American city).

Castro Street, San Francisco

Known for the gay bars, there’s much more in the Castro, for straights and kids too. From the huge palm trees planted on the median of Market Street between Castro and Church Steets to the children’s playground and adjacent dog-run and human park at Duboce, there’s lots to see and do.

Highly recomended is taking the ‘F’ MUNI trolley line, comprised of historic vehicles bought from other cities. My favorites are the “trolleys of Milano”, noisy wooden cars which have more class and character than anything shipped out by Boeing or Breda. Horridy ugly modern cars, those. The ‘F’ line goes all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf, which despite derision by the locals, is a great place to mellow out, watch sea lions, eat some wonderful calimari (or bangers, at the near-by Fiddler’s Green (1333 Columbus Ave. @ Beach St., +1.415.441.9758), watch the “polar bear” swimmers in the bay, wonder about what it would be like to visit (and eat at) Forbes’ Island, etc.

From the corner of Castro & Market it’s a very short walk to the Randall Junior Museum (for kids) and over the hill into the Haight-Ashbury. Actually, it’s only a short walk up and down into Noe Valley, although I find much less call to do that these days.

I’m typing this in a caf

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