Where to Go? What to Eat? in San Francisco, CA with Perch

This week we asked Perch owner Zoel Fages a bit about his shop and some local tips when visiting San Francisco’s Glen Park neighborhood.

Perch owner Zoel Fages.

Tell us a bit about your shop:

Glen Park gift shop Perch's window display.

“Perch is a collection of everything I love: new, vintage and international. I had always thought in the back of my mind that I would love to open a shop.

After 20 years in my career at Gap, I was bored, and at the same time a shop in our new neighborhood was moving out and the landlord was looking for a new tenant. The stars aligned and we signed a lease just days before the market crashed.”

What do you love most about your area and how long have you been located there?

Gorgeous bag options at Perch SF.

“Perch has been in Glen Park for over 11 years. It is the only neighborhood I would consider having a shop. We are a small neighborhood that feels more like a village than neighborhood. I wanted a shop located in a place where I could get to know the community and be a part of it. If Glen Park had a pharmacy, there would be no reason to leave. It has everything you need.”

Is your area known for anything in particular?

Apothecary shelf at Glen Park gift shop Perch.

“Glen Park is primarily known for Glen Park Canyon and the Bart stop. It is a part of San Francisco that most people do not even know exists. I certainly did not until I moved to the nearby neighborhood of Sunnyside.”

Describe your favorite places for food/drink in your area:

Holding a warm cup of coffee.

Almost any type of food can be found in Glen Park. The highlights are:

Gialina:  the best thin crust pizza in town, seriously! They also have great salads, pasta, and meat dishes. A must if visiting Glen Park. 

Higher Ground:  A crepe place that has been in the ‘hood over 30 years. The owner also owns a sweet Italian spot, Manzoni. He works both places every day – I don’t know how he does it.

Le P’tit Laurant: A small corner French bistro with classic French cuisine.

La Cornetta: My favorite taqueria! They offer the staples, but always delicious.

Where to Go? What to Eat? in Bend, OR. with Root Adorned

This week we asked Root Adorned owner Erin Hasler a bit about her beautiful shop and some local tips when visiting Bend.

Root Adorned owner Erin Hasler inside of her Bend, Oregon shop.

Born and raised in Bend, Erin is honored to bring her unique perspective to the community that she so dearly loves. After facing breast cancer as a young mother and wife, Erin discovered a new zest for life. She sold her hand crafted jewelry line and sought out a new career that would enable her to travel the world, support artisans and connect to community. It was from this dream that RootAdorned was born. Erin is a firm believer that life is short and you shouldn’t waste a moment of our precious time on Earth. 

Tell us a bit about your shop.

An inside look into Root Adorned, with plants hanging above and a variety of products carefully curated below.

“Root Adorned is a home goods experience that brings the very best treasures from around the world to your home. Our goal is to help you create the nest of your dreams. A home that feels like the perfect sanctuary to rest and revive. We believe that surrounding yourself with beauty has an incredible effect on the soul. Our homes should reflect the beauty that is within all of us; each as unique as the individuals we know and love.” 

Moroccan blankets hanging on a wall, plants inside of artisan ceramics, stationary cards

“We scour the globe to find one of a kind treasures for your nest. Swoon worthy vintage Moroccan rugs that are patina’d with time and love, hand selected from deep within the souks and sure to be family heirlooms for generations to come. Vintage handiras, Moroccan wedding blankets crafted with love, intention and prayers for a beautiful life. House plants so stunning they double as art.”

What do you love most about your area and how long have you been located there?

The sun setting over an unpopulated field of trees and bushes.

“I’m a second generation Bendite, which is rare these days. I’ve lived in other cities but I always came home to the high desert. I am my happiest when I’m out in in nature and we’re so blessed to have a bounty of natural beauty around us in Bend.”

Is your area known for anything in particular?

A lake where people are swimming under a partially cloudy sky, a large mountain range sits snow-capped in the background.

“Bend, Oregon is an outdoor recreation mecca. We have some of the best trail systems, high mountain lakes, skiing and snowboarding, rock climbing, white water rafting and mountain biking. It’s also become a bit of a beer haven; last time I checked we had 32 local breweries! Although ironically, I’m allergic to gluten and can’t drink beer :).”

Describe your favorite places for food/drinks in your area:

My favorite restaurants/bars are:

Breakfast: Cafe Sintra in downtown for a delicious breakfast/brunch with a Portuguese influence. D&D for the local dive bar eggs & bacon.

Lunch: Sunny Yoga Kitchen!!! They’re our neighbors, but they’re also the best lunch spot in town and the sweetest women you could ever know! 

DinnerJoolz for Lebanese with a delicious twist. Barrio for the best tacos and their Don Chipotle margarita. Spork for fantastic, globally inspired faire and the raddest ambience.

Drinks: Velvet in downtown Bend for fantastic cocktails, great ambience and it’s owned by a really awesome couple. D&D, it’s my favorite dive bar and the perfect place to have a low key drink with your friends.

Where to Go? What to Eat? in San Francisco with Legion

This week, we asked Legion San Francisco owner Sydney Pfaff the local hotspots in her neighborhood.

LEGION is a shop and art gallery located in San Francisco. The shop features artful goods for your home and body, from candles to ceramics, art & design goods. Art shows hosted at the shop feature both up-and-coming and established artists. 

What do you love most about your area and how long have you been located there? 

Legion has been in Lower Nob Hill now for almost a year, prior to which we were in Chinatown for four and a half years. Sutter Street, our current street, is wonderful — lots of great neighboring businesses, particularly art galleries and amazing restaurants. I lived a block away from the space when I first moved here in 2003, so I have a soft spot for the area.

Is your area known for anything in particular?  

Our block is probably most notable for Liholiho! It’s one of the best (in my opinion) and most popular restaurants in the city. But we’re also super close to Union Square, so the area is constantly filled with both tourists and residents. 

Describe your favorite sights and activities in your area:

PHOTO FROM FLICKR

We’re in such a central location, so close to many different neighborhoods, and I’m fortunate enough to get to walk to and from work every day! There are a few galleries nearby that I love: Hashimoto ContemporarySpoke Art, and Chandran GalleryHuntington Parkis a great neighborhood park. I bring my two dogs to work every day, so we usually stop through their on our walk home.

What are your favorite places for food/drinks in your area?

Photo from Del Popolo

Del Popolois another one of my favorite restaurants — best pizza — and Royaleis one of my favorite little local bars. Other good spots that I frequent are Gen Gen Room(the downstairs bar at Liholiho), HogwashPCH, and Stookey’s Club Moderne.

Where to Go? What to Eat? Manhattan, NY with Magpie

Manhattan is known for many things—theater, shopping, dining, sightseeing, you name it—making it a very popular spot for both visitors and residents. With everything New York City has to offer, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. Where should you go? What should you see? Where should you eat?

Sylvia Parker, owner of Magpie and a native New Yorker, has you covered! Sylvia’s shop—located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan—offers unique, beautiful, and practical gifts that are frequently handmade, organic, and locally made and designed. “We’ve been on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for six years,” says Sylvia. “We love our neighborhood for its mix of people, our proximity to two wonderful parks (Central and Riverside), the cultural richness, and old-time architecture.”

river and manhattan skyline

Where to Go?

American Museum of Natural History

Just a few blocks away from Magpie lies the American Museum of Natural History, a city landmark with world-famous exhibits. “I’ve always loved the old-fashioned dioramas and the giant blue whale suspended from the ceiling there,” Sylvia remarks. One of the largest museums in the world, the AMNH offers spectacles and exhibits for children and adults alike.

Central Park Rambles

A wooded area within Central Park, the Rambles are a restored area of the park that have been fitted with nature trails, gardens, and bird feeders. Located between 73rd and 78th streets, the Rambles offer a beautiful outdoor space full of both native and exotic plant species as well as views of a pond where visitors take out rowboats when the weather is nice.

Shakespeare Garden

Also in Central Park is the Shakespeare Garden, located near the Delacorte Theatre, the site of the annual “Shakespeare in the Park” series held in the summer. A less-frequented part of the park, this serene and picturesque part of the park is perfect for a relaxing stroll on its winding paths. Full of seasonal flowers, the garden is particularly lush in the spring and is a popular spot for outdoor weddings.

Museum Mile

A fifteen-minute walk across the park takes you to Museum Mile, which features one block after another of incredible museums including the Guggenheim, Cooper Hewitt, Frick, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “which I consider one of the best (if not the best) museums in the world,” Sylvia adds.

Riverside Park

With four miles of park, from 72nd to 158th street along the Hudson River, Riverside Park is frequently considered one of the best waterfront parks in Manhattan. With sunset views, a bike path, outdoor cafes in the summer, a skate park, and other sports courts and fields; this park is a must-see when visiting the city.

food and drinks

What to Eat?

Zabars and Fairway Market

Two longtime favorites, Zabar’s and Fairway Market are both famed for their selections of cheese, coffee, and foodstuffs from around the world.

Orwashers, Maison Kayser, and By the Way

“Orwashers and Maison Kayser have particularly delicious bread and pastries,” notes Sylvia. “I also like a bakery called By the Way that sells homey gluten-free and dairy-free cakes and cookies.”

Murray’s Sturgeon

Murray’s Sturgeon, a gourmet deli, sells everything from dried fruit to smoked fish and has “the sweetest counter service ever.”

Amelie Wine Bar

A French bistro that was recently cited by Michelin, Amelie has phenomenal brunch and dinner menus as well as a wine list that is updated daily.

Mermaid Inn and Pizzeria Sirenetta

Mermaid Inn and Pizzeria Sirenetta are sister restaurants that both have terrific happy hour food. Pizzeria Sirenetta serves Neapolitan pizzas and rustic Italian fare while the Mermaid Inn is known for their seafood.

Jin Ramen

Another good spot for happy hour food, Jin Ramen offers delicious Japanese food and—of course—multiple kinds of ramen to choose from.

Shake Shack

The second Shake Shack to have ever opened its doors, this Upper West Side staple is popular among tourists, residents, and folks who work in the neighborhood. “There is always a long line outside for the burgers at Shake Shack.”

Amorino and Van Leeuwen

It’s also a good neighborhood for ice cream lovers,” Sylvia notes. “Amorino sells Italian-based gelato, while Van Leeuwen is local and features vegan ice cream in its shop.”

Where to Go? What to Eat? in Newport, RI with Kristen Coates

Newport, a gorgeous coastal city located in New England’s Rhode Island, is famous for its vast harbors filled with sailboats and yachts as well as its historic mansions, several of which have been converted into museums. The city has one of the highest concentrations of colonial homes in the nation in its downtown Historic District as well as its Gilded Age mansions, which were summer “cottages” built by mid-19th century wealthy southern planters looking to escape the heat of the south. But Newport has so much more to offer than sailing, mansions, and museums!

Kristen Coates, owner of a an arts and home goods store in Newport, grew up in Newport, RI and—after having lived in Los Angeles and New York for more than 15 years—currently resides in the beautiful city. Kristen shared some of her favorite activities, places to visit, and things to eat with us so your next trip to Newport can be filled with great sights, delicious food, and fun!

Newport RI
Photo by: Christian Harder for The Wall Street Journal Off Duty

Music Festivals
During July and August Newport hosts both the Folk Festival and the Jazz Festival along with the Live Local Music Festival, a grassroots indie arts and music festival started by a local photographer.

Cliff Walk
Cliff Walk is a world famous 3.5-mile walking trail that winds along the coast behind the mansions and gives an outstanding view of the water. This public access trail is unique in that it combines ocean views, stunning architecture, and rugged shorelines.

Newport Art Museum
The Newport Art Museum is a museum and art school located in downtown Newport that features changing exhibitions and art classes year-round. The museum’s exhibitions and collections reflect Rhode Island’s cultural heritage and contemporary art scene by featuring artists with ties to RI.

Redwood Library and Athenaeum
The Redwood Library is the oldest lending library that still occupies its original building in the United States. Designated a national historic landmark in 1962, the building also houses antique sculptures, paintings, furniture, and rare books.

Third & Elm Press
The oldest operating printing press in the country, Third & Elm Press, is also located in Newport. Visitors can view and purchase woodblock prints, limited edition books, and note cards and even watch the process of them being made by artist Ilse Buchert Nesbitt.

What to Eat?

White Horse Tavern
“The White Horse Tavern is a personal favorite come fall with the crackling fireplaces and the stories of haunted dining rooms and the bar!” One of the oldest taverns in the country, established in 1673, this place offers delicious food and drinks in a cosy historic setting.

Thames Street Kitchen
TSK is a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant that focuses on fresh seasonal and local ingredients. “The family that owns this place also owns the epic burger restaurant, Mission, and Winner Winner where they serve—you guessed it—chicken.”

Other Locally Owned Restaurants
Newport has dozens of locally owned restaurants including the Clarke Cooke House as well as Diego’s and Perro Salado (both excellent for Mexican food and margaritas). Stoneacre Brasserie has the best brunch, Pasta Beach for authentic Italian, and newly opened Bar and Board has cheese and charcuterie boards perfect for sharing over delicious wine

Additional Tips

Kristen notes her favorite Newport sights are along the coast and at the beaches. There are coves filled with soft-to-the-touch powdery white sand and waves perfect for surfing. Other beaches have great walking areas full of various flora and fauna. One of the best parts about Newport is being on the water and sailing around the island. There is a reason Newport is famous for it!

“The quality of life and the beauty surrounding the island,” Kristen remarks, “there is no other place like it in the world.”

Where to Go? What to Eat? Portland, Maine Travel Guide with Fitz and Bennett

We’re all familiar with Oregon’s largest city, Portland, known for its hip culture and thriving art, theater, and music scenes. But did you know Maine also offers its own Portland, a smaller city with river and mountain views as well as gorgeous Victorian-era houses, working fishing wharves, and converted warehouses with restaurants and shops?

Lauren, the owner of Fitz and Bennett Home—a thoughtfully curated home decor and gifts store located in Portland, ME—shares some of her favorite places to go, items to eat, and things to do in Portland. In addition to offering the standard attractions that come to mind when people think of Maine—great seafood, a beautiful coastline, and stunning lighthouses—Portland is also a popular spot for food and beer. “We have amazing restaurants in every food genre you can imagine,” totes Lauren.

Lauren’s storefront, situated in the historic Old Port of Portland, is just off of the beaten (and tourist ridden) path but still amongst the scenic cobblestones and historic architecture, and has a waterfront view right outside her door!

Portland Maine

Where to Go?

Willard Beach
Located in South Portland on the bay, Willard Beach is a moderately sized beach (so you don’t feel like you’re walking forever to find a spot, but also aren’t sitting right on top of other beachgoers) that offers calmer waters, slightly warmer water temperatures, and a dog-friendly environment before 8:00am during the beach season. “We love to bring our pooch down for a little play—dogs galore!”

Nature Trails
Portalnd, ME has a number of trails full of stellar views and calming natural surroundings. Some of these include Wolfe’s Neck in Freeport, Mackworth Island in Casco Bay, and the Eastern Promenade. With food trucks frequently parked along the top of the Promenade, you won’t go hungry during your hike!

Fitz and Bennett Home

What to Eat?

“The best activities (and almost all of them here) involve a good view and good food.”

The Green Elephant
An all vegetarian restaurant located on Congress Street, The Green Elephant is a favorite of Lauren’s. “My carnivorous husband loves it there too!”

Novare Res
A hidden away beer mecca, Novare Res has a great outdoor patio with games and picnic tables, making it a perfect stop for beer aficionados and families alike.

Local 188
Local 188 is the perfect spot for an intimate dinner or stellar brunch.The decor is reminiscent of being inside of a Toulouse-Lautrec painting.   

Silly’s
Slightly outside of the downtown area (but still on the peninsula), Silly’s is a great stop for all kinds of food options. Vegan selections are just as plentiful as meat-heavy dishes, and beer is served in tin mugs. Silly’s also has outdoor seating and funky decor throughout.

Fitz and Bennett Home - Etta + Billie Products

Additional Tips

Lauren recommends visiting Portland on months that shoulder the busy seasons; mid-June and early September. “Most of the tourists are gone and you’ll feel more like a local.”

There are also countless hotels in town to choose from during your stay in addition to very unique Airbnbs, so there’s no need to feel like you’re beholden to the big chain hotels.

Lauren’s overall advice for those wanting to visit Portland, ME? “Explore beyond the most popular places in Portland that have been written about over and over again. They are great and get press for a reason, but there are also a ton of other smaller fish here that are equally as amazing, so explore a bit!”

Fitz and Bennett Home

What is your favorite book? Interviews with a few book loving shop owners.

Etta + Billie Book Lover Pride and Prejudice Wine

I’m an avid book lover and have been since I was a child. I used to read in the car (thank goodness, otherwise I would have never survived the multi hour trips up and down the California and Oregon Coast with my family each summer), at the library before school and later, during my commute in San Francisco. This included reading while walking (I only ran into someone once in five years, I swear). I love getting lost in a book, letting my imagination run wild creating scenes and characters described within the it’s pages (I still prefer the real thing). After I quit my day job, it was difficult find time for reading, unless I was stuck on a plane or on a random bus ride. I didn’t realize how negatively this shift in my daily habit impacted me until I happened upon this blog post. From that day on, I decided that I could carve out time for my beloved books. I started with 15 minutes a day and worked my way up to almost an hour. Pure bliss.

Reading is magic to me. Each story has a various interpretations, it can pierce your heart, paint a smile on your face or make you exhausted. Each story sets a tone, exposing and bringing up different emotions depending on your own life experiences and the lives you live through reading. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way about reading, so I decided to reach out to some of our favorite retailers to find out a bit about the books they love. Read on.

Untitled design

Karen Templer of Fringe Supply Co.

Karen Templer is the mind behind the beautiful online shop Fringe Supply Co. A fine anthology of beautiful knits she’s made, tools, accessories as well as magazines to satisfy yarn-hungry fans. Each piece from her line is carefully selected to represent her love for quality knitting from concept to fruition.

Fringe Supply Co.

What is your favorite book?

It’s too hard of a question — Gilead, Any Human Heart, The Book of Ebenezer le Page, the list goes on. (I seem to have a thing for the reflections of old men.) The most fun I can recall having with a book was reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog in a curtained daybed on a beach in Mexico a few years ago. Somehow it was the perfect book for that moment.

Which character you would like to have dinner with?

I think someone who would not only amuse me but who would also cook the meal, so maybe the hilarious misanthrope from The Epicure’s Lament.

What was your favorite book as a child?

My favorite was a book on Greek mythology that I checked out from my school library an untold number of times. It was very large format but not very thick and had lost its dustjacket, so it was just this big flat book covered in light grey book cloth. As I remember it, it had an abbreviated version of each of the major gods/myths — like a paragraph long or so — with a black-and-white illustration. I’ve been trying to figure out for years what it was so I could track down a copy. I’d love to see it again, and own it.

 

Karen books (2)

Have you ever liked a movie more than the book? If so, what was it?

I know this has happened a few times but I can’t think of an example! Often I’ll just skip a book with the intention of seeing the inevitable movie instead — it it’s more about the plot than the writing, or if I don’t care enough to spend precious reading time with it but will grant it 90 minutes of viewing time.

What book is on your must read list right now?

I don’t really keep a list these days like I used to, but sort of drift from one thing to the next. I’m almost to the end of The Woman in White, which I’ve actually been listening to for what feels like a year, so it will probably be something pithy and contemporary.

Book or Kindle?

I’ve read almost exclusively on my iPhone since 2008, and since moving to Nashville and having a daily commute (as well as spending many hours a week walking) I’ve been listening to audiobooks more than anything. But lately I’ve been really longing for printed books. Maybe the real joy of that Hedgehog book in Mexico was that it was an actual book.

 

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From left to right : Jessie, Kate & Sara. Photo by Sarah Jurado Photography

Jessie and Kate were inspired to create E. Smith Mercantile to honor the values of their great grandparents. Creating a space where craftsmanship and community are intimately connected. Each item in the shop is carefully curated, modeled after the mercantile’s of the early 20th century which served as meeting spaces as well as a place to for everyday essentials.

E. Smith Mercantile

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. My favorite book currently is The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a combo of everything I love reading about; history, horticulture, adventure, sex, human behavior…

Which character you would like to have dinner with?

I would have dinner with Morgan le Faye. I think the Christians scape goated her, she was a maligned character. I want the real story!

What was your favorite book as a child?

As a child I loved all the Dr Seuss books. His imagination, word pay, and silliness were great fun.

 

Summer breaks (1)

Have you ever liked a movie more than the book? If so, what was it?

I never like a movie more than a book, nothing is better than your own imagination. In your own mind there are not limitations.

E. Smith Mercantile
208 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98104

206.641.7250
Open: 7 days a week, Mon-Sat 10am + Sun 12pm

Etta + Billie Interview: Why I love all things natural

I was recently interviewed by the fabulous crew over at Makers Market (online retailer focusing on well crafted American Made goods). Get a little insight into my natural philosophy…

Makers Market_Etta + Billie_Handcrafted Soap

Alana Rivera of ETTA + BILLIE (shop her products here)

“I think there is no way to truly mimic what mother nature has created and the only way to feed our skin is to choose ingredients that come from natural sources.”

When we scroll through your instagram feed we get hungry. Why is it
important that the things we put on our skin should be good enough to
eat? Do you use any preservatives? Could we really eat your products if
we wanted to?

I think it’s important to be as conscious of what we put on our bodies as we are of what we put into our bodies. While synthetic ingredients can be effective, I think there is no way to truly mimic what mother nature has created and the only way to feed our skin is to choose ingredients that come from natural sources. These ingredients have been used for years to nourish and heal. Residue from all the products we use, will eventually end up in our water system and choosing natural ingredients helps reduce the harmful impact on wildlife and plant-life. I do not use preservatives in any of my products with the exception of the lotion, it is a aqueous based formula that needs a preservative to maintain it’s integrity. I suppose you could eat the products, but I wouldn’t recommend it, they taste terrible!

What are your favorite California plants to work with?  Do you get any
of your herbal ingredients locally?

Read on over at the Makers Market Blog.