San Francisco is its own country with liberal values, handsomely manifested through visual cues scattered in all its neighborhoods. As one takes a closer look at the doors and windows, more unexpected elements pop up: buzzers are cocky, even avant-garde; door numbers in all possible colors and materials are crafted with a leisurely bravery only a San Franciscan can afford. For a careful observer, there’s plenty of material to see and capture — start with textures, artifacts, and signs.
BART train is the easiest way to get to the city from the airport. If one gets over a cynical grim at the sound of the abbreviation, he’ll see a stunningly clear and colorful map.
A careful observer would ponder at humble advertising and 1980s Parisian bus interiors.
Insert this way.
Inside one of BART’s stations.
I arrive to the city — it’s steamy and one-way arrows are shaped as arrows.
I know I’m not in New York and I’m constantly reminded that this coast has its own jokes.
It’s hard to explain, why one would be exhausted after a trip to a grocery store down the block. Hilly San Francisco bewilders with creative landscapes. Amusingly, car owners are obliged to park at 90 degrees and are subject to tickets otherwise.
Four Barrel Coffee sources my favorite coffee beans, and now is one of my favorite espresso places in San Francisco.
The street signs dropped the work “street”.
Sometimes (to an ecstatic amusement of a design connoisseur), street names are carved on the sidewalk.
Matching bike parking stands for the tech capital of the world.
Dog Eared Books is a charming and purely local indie bookshop.
San Franciscans chose buzzers as their primary object of expression of all things unconscious and existential.
To boot with doors, whose palettes and constructions could only be conceived by a place as liberal as San Francisco.
Goorin Bros. has some delightful hats for a city saunter.
At some point, I was craving some penne with shrimp and there it was.
Local no dumping sign.
Acacia is an eclectic design shop with home goods, stationery, and apothecary.
Dsptch offers some marvelous style goods inspired by the city.
500 Capp St. was home to artist David Ireland. Today it’s been renovated into a museum and event space. Definitely worth stopping by.
Here’s a framed photograph of a frame shop selling frames.
450 Sutter St. is also quite stunning, filled with art deco clutter.
Stop by at Joshu+Vela, a minimal bag maker with a workshop in the back.
San Francisco Center for the Book is a printshop, museum and school on how to make books the old way.
Rooky Ricardo’s Records is a great destination for old and new records.
Which doesn’t mean, you can’t just stop by for some Beethoven at San Francisco Symphony.
San Francisco is like a CEO in shorts with an ice-cream smudge on the tip of his nose. When he shouts at you, it only makes you laugh louder.
Digital Fix is a retro-styled shop for unique electronics, toys & accessories.
Walking Guide San Francisco
231 Cortland Ave.
Ritual Coffee Roasters
1026 Valencia St.
Four Barrel Coffee
375 Valencia St.
Dog Eared Books
Light-filled bookshop shelves a range of new, used & small-press titles in an easygoing atmosphere.
900 Valencia St.
Local bookstore since 1991 with a wide inventory, calendars, cards & novelties.
1400 18th St.
English, Japanese & Chinese books, magazines, and stationery.
1581 Webster St.
Fog City News
1,000+ foreign & domestic magazines, papers & an elite selection of chocolate.
455 Market St.
William Stout Architectural Books
Bi-level bookstore offering thousands of titles on the subjects of architecture, art & design.
804 Montgomery St.
450 Sutter Building
Elegant 26-story Art Deco building designed by San Francisco architect Timothy Pflueger.
450 Sutter St.
For decades this little gem has been the beloved second home of many San Francisco artists.
David Ireland’s House
This transformed modest two-story 1886 Edwardian-Italianate served simultaneously as the artist’s environmental artwork, social sculpture, and home.
500 Capp St.
A dual studio and retail space where you can see what goes into each product you purchase.
3042 16th St.
Handcrafted ceramic dinnerware & homeware products.
Ferry Building Marketplace
Cable Car Museum
Antique cable cars on exhibit in the historic building that houses the cable-pulling equipment.
1201 Mason St.
San Francisco Railway Museum
Museum focusing on the city’s rail history with interactive exhibits, vintage vehicles & more.
77 Steuart St.
San Francisco Center for the Book
Center of inspiration for the book arts world, with workshops on the art & craft of letterpress printing, bookbinding, and artists bookmaking.
375 Rhode Island St.
Letterpress print shop and gallery that specializes in custom work and original editions.
555 Alabama St.
DESIGN & STYLE SHOP
Design-minded retro-styled shop for unique electronics, toys & accessories.
820 Valencia St.
Stylish retailer for backpacks, camera cases and accessories in a minimalist space.
786 Valencia St.
The Voyager Shop
Design and style items from around the world.
365 Valencia St.
Contemporary shop with a mix of hip apparel, gifts and stationery.
629 Haight St # A
Rugged clothing & footwear, grooming products and home goods.
460 Gough St.