A Visit to San Francisco Fillmore District

A day off. Where shall we go? We decided San Francisco needed another visit as we haven’t been there for a while.

We checked to see what was going on at both the de Young and the Legion of Honor museums but their combined website was very confusing. ‘The Birth of the Impressionists’ was due to open the next day but there were no details about what was on today. As it was a Tuesday, we wanted to know if either were even open but we couldn’t even find out that information.

In the end, we set off with no clear idea where we would end up. For breakfast, we stopped at the Lakeside Cafe on Ocean in the Merced Manor district. We have eaten here before so we know the food is good if a little pricey. They have soothing classical music playing in the background and the surroundings are nice.

After breakfast, we made our way in the general direction of the Fillmore district. We got a little lost because there were not too many allowable lefts turns but we eventually arrived on Fillmore Street. The only parking was at a meter where the limit was one hour at a cost of $2.

We walked up one side of Fillmore and down the other. There are some very nice shops; we passed small, high-end dress and shoe shops, elegant furniture stores and loads of beauty parlors with exotic names. In just three blocks there are five coffee shops. Along with the ubiquitous Starbucks and Peet’s, there was Tully’s Coffee Shop, The Royal Ground Coffee and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

I’ve had great trouble finding decent and stylish greeting cards and when I spotted Paper Source I made a beeline for it. Just inside a whole array of suitable cards so I bought four of them. One day I will write a list and make a special trip to a shop like Paper Source to buy a year’s supply. At the back of the shop, you could purchase all kinds of paper, including blank cards and envelopes to make your own greetings cards. What particularly caught our eye on the way out were racks of beautiful Japanese paper but they were about $10 a sheet. The shop smells of paper, which was very pleasant.

The next shop we wandered into was Browser Books. Neither of us can resist a bookshop and this one had lots of interesting reads. I’m reading Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ on my Kindle at the moment (who isn’t?) and Browser Books had it prominently displayed along with the next one called ‘The Girl who Played with Fire’. Another book that promises to be good is ‘Little Bee’ by Chris Cleave. Maybe that will be my next purchase closely followed by ‘Stones into Schools’ by Greg Mortenson, which is the sequel to ‘Three Cups of Tea’. Amazingly just up the road from the bookshop at The Clayton Theater they were advertising the film, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ (we later saw that film and it’s very good).

All this meandering up and down Filmore brought us close to running out of time at the meter so we popped a few more coins in as we passed.

At the junction of Broadway and Fillmore though there was road construction going on. A massive backhoe was making light work of picking up large slabs of tarmac and dumping them into the back of a truck. At the same time, concrete was being pumped in to fill the hole and two guys were busy spreading it. If was an efficiently coordinated effort while traffic was being directed around the construction site. A Muni inspector was on duty to lower the arms of the trolleys as they approached the junction so they could maneuver around the operation. It was fascinating to watch. We wanted to walk up a little further to take some shots of the Bay where Fillmore suddenly dips downhill. I remember the first time we came to that point and my stomach just plummeted and now we always bring first time visitors to San Francisco to give them a thrill as we crest the hill and plunge down the other side.

Our last stop was at Peet’s coffee house. We sat for ten minutes enjoying a cup of coffee and a hot chocolate (me) before getting back to the car just as the expired flag popped up.

Our journey home did not take too long at all and we noticed the thermometer rise from 60 – 80 degrees. It’s true what they say about how much colder San Francisco is in the summer so if you are visiting from June to September don’t forget to bring some warmer clothing.

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