Preview

Even if you’ve never been there you have an idea of San Francisco. Maybe it’s the Golden Gate Bridge, or the rolling hills with a ribbon of asphalt running along. Maybe it’s something intangible, like the summer of love or cottony bales of fog. It isn’t the largest city but it’s one of the world’s most iconic, influential and popular tourist destinations because of its history, legendary destinations such as Alcatraz, activities and nightlife. Millions of people from all over the world visit San Francisco every year for the architecture and its world-class restaurants and museums. They climb its hills in the mild summer air on their way to China Town or The Mission District, catching cable cars from one place to another. It may be small but walking through the city will quicken your heart, and so will the eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture passed on your way to the Conservatory of flowers — a cathedral of glass and iron, and then on to Union Square - the city’s shopping center and most likely where your hotel is. Its natural bays and harbors made it the perfect port city. Soon San Francisco was bustling with trade from all over the world. Jobs were plentiful and the city mellowed. Exposure to world cultures through trade had an effect in the food business and today the city is home to some of the best and most diverse restaurants. San Francisco’s renowned literary scene is associated mostly with the Beat Generation. Lawrence Ferlinghetti established City Light Press in 1955 and began publishing works from Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Robert Duncan and Frank O’Hara. But it wasn’t until 1957, with the publication of a book by Jack Kerouac, that speeding across the country on the open highway in a fast car, on the road with a finished novel and good friends, became a national sub cultural pastime. While the Beats gave San Francisco a language, painters like Clifford Still and Philip Rothko gave it a look. Abstract Expressionism stole the art scene from Paris. Color fields and expressive brush strokes by San Francisco’s painters, jazz music and live poetry readings were turning San Francisco into “The Paris Of The West.” This new era of cultural identity dovetailed with returning servicemen who’d been Over There, who’d seen the world; who’d been stationed in San Francisco before leaving to fight a war and returned to the city they’d fallen in love with. This closed like a zipper over the city, like a nation unto itself: Frisco The spirit of adventure and entrepreneurialism remains in San Francisco, where a complex and cultivated population demands quality food, entertainment and surprise. Here you have world-class restaurants and museums, coffee shops and, naturally, bookstores. Not to mention the propinquity of Sonoma Valley and the countless vineyards. With its mild climate and welcoming environment there are plenty of reasons to head west young man.


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Shops
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Shops The name Wilkes Bashford represents a venerable institution in classic menswear. Mr. Wilkes first opened his Union Square store in San Francisco in 1966. He was one of the premier stateside retailers to introduce fine-tailored menswear from Italian designers (like Giorgio Armani) to the American market. Over the years, the shop has held to its unbending principles of peerless quality, and it presently offers well-merchandised selections from lauded names like Etro, Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli, Brioni, Ermenegildo Zegna and more. Just last year, the store unveiled its newly renovated retail emporium — an ultra-luxury, 7-floor townhouse which provides a plush and welcoming backdrop for its exquisite sartorial collections.
Café
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Café A nook of a coffee shop, smaller than a Japanese bar—yet easy to spot by the chalkboard sign with daily scribbles and the outdoor seating of logs and benches. Go for the holy trinity and order coffee, a thick cut of cinnamon toast, and a young coconut with a straw.  
Nightlife
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Nightlife Tucked between downtown Union Square and the gritty Tenderloin neighborhood is Tradition, an American cocktail bar with a focus on house-blended and barrel-aged spirits. What really sets this bar apart is the eight booths, or ‘snugs’, in the downstairs section. Each booth, private and enclosed in wood, has its own distinct drink menu based on a theme, such as Tiki, New Orleans or Speakeasy.
Design
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Design Almond Hartzog, a furniture showroom in the heart of the Design District, showcases a curated collection 15 years in the making. Most pieces are of Scandinavian design dating from the 1920’s to late 1960’s and are sourced from European auction houses. Newer items, including local designs, are scattered throughout the show room floor.    
Restaurants
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Restaurants Sears Fine Food is a nod to the San Francisco of yesterday. It’s a no-frills downtown diner serving traditional breakfasts of sausage and famed Swedish pancakes. You know the place: tiled floors, booth seating, and patrons at the counter, reading the paper over coffee.
Special
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Special Situated on the corner of Valencia and 18th street in the Mission, FSC Barber is the western outpost of the Freemans Sporting Club, its first outside of New York City. It is a classic barbershop; timeless but not antiquated. While waiting, grab a seat on the round wooden train-style bench, and enjoy a beer. Look forward to a post-shave wrap with a eucalyptus scented hot towel. Then head to the menswear shop in the back or grab a bottle of Odin fragrance or Baxter pomade.
City Spotlights
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City Spotlights The Golden Gate Park is a long, narrow stretch of land, home to lakes, Japanese tea gardens, flycasting pools, an archery range, a field of bison, and the de Young Museum. The de Young is a fine arts museum, featuring American art dating back to the 17th century, as well as contemporary exhibits, textiles and costumes. A recent exhibit called “This World is Not My Home” displayed the work of iconic photojournalist Danny Lyon, depicting American motorcycle gangs, street scenes, protests, and his hours spent with inmates.
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