San Francisco

I moved to San Francisco right out of college and have lived there for 7 years. To me San Francisco is the perfect city, great weather (its always cardigan weather!), incredible food, interesting + artsy people, and the best shops I've ever been to. I love the Bay Area and plan on living there forever or at least until it falls into the ocean.

HowAboutWe: Ferry Building Tasting Tour

Paul and I finally had the chance to go on our third date with HowAboutWe for Couples this month (see our first and second dates here & here.) I really wanted to try the Edible Excursions Tour at the Ferry Building here in San Francisco. I know the Ferry Building really well (I used to work on the top floor!) but it’s been a while and a bunch of new places have opened up in the last few years. It was so great and we had such a good time!  If you haven’t heard about them yet, HowAboutWe started as a dating site but now they also plan awesome dates for couples! I love that their dates are so out-of-the-box – and help us get out of our dating rut of going to the same restaurants. It has seriously been a game changer. I would also love to sign up for this ceramics class or this trapeze class! They just launched in Los Angeles too and they’re adding new cities all the time. If they’re not in your city yet, it’s free to sign up and they’ll contact you once they come to your are.  Click here to get $50 off your first date — perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day, really! (expires 4/30/14)

Ferry Building Tasting Tour | Oh Happy Day!Ferry Building Tasting Tour | Oh Happy Day!Ferry Building Tasting Tour | Oh Happy Day!

This post is sponsored by HowAboutWe for Couples: a service that gets people in relationships on wonderful dates, tailored for two.

Photos by Paul Ferney

How About We: Sailing

Paul and I went on our second date with HowAboutWe (remember the last one here.) HowAboutWe started out as a dating site but they also plan amazing dates for couples so you don’t have to. For our second date I chose: An afternoon Sailing in the San Francisco Bay. (I was also tempted by exploring SF by tandem bikes tour and taking a couples screenprinting class.) HowAboutWe is awesome because we actually get out of our dating rut and do different things to discover San Francisco instead of ending up at one of the same three restaurants we always go to. I’ve been so impressed with how easy it is to book things, we don’t have to worry about any of the back and forth, we just have to show up! Sailing on the Bay was awesome. I have this obsession with sailing and I’m not sure where it comes from. I think its the idea that you can have the freedom to travel and go wherever you want. For our sailing date we dropped the kids of at our trusty free babysitters and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. We showed up at the boat and met the captain. The weather was beautiful: sunny with a little of the famous fog. The Captain gave us safety instructions and then we were off. He saw that we were interested in learning so he took the time to explain what he was doing and what he was keeping an eye on and how to avoid other boats. He even let us sail and steer the boat. We ended up exploring some parts of the Bay we had never been to before and it got us really excited about taking sailing lessons next year! We had such a good time, it was relaxing and exciting and we drove back across the Golden Gate Bridge happy and excited to get back to real life. I love the concept behind this company, if you are interested in checking out this awesome service HowAboutWe is offering $50 off your first date.

How About We: SailingHow About We: Sailing | Oh Happy Day!How About We: Sailing | Oh Happy Day!How About We: Sailing | Oh Happy Day!

This post is sponsored by HowAboutWe for Couples: a service that gets people in relationships on wonderful dates, tailored for two.

Photos by Paul Ferney

3 Urban Hikes in San Francisco

Brought to you by Brita Filtering Bottles. One Brita Bottle can save up to 300 plastic bottles of waste. Learn more.

San Francisco has so many really great urban hikes around the city. I’ve lived here almost 10 years and I’m still discovering ones I’ve never been to. Brita asked me to put together my favorite hikes in the city and test out their new water bottles, I was happy to. The Brita Water bottle has a filter in the bottle, which comes in super handy when you are stuck with a less-than-ideal water source. San Francisco is my favorite place in the world and even if you are visiting I recommend mixing one of these little hikes in with all the regular tourist sites. They all take less than an hour and have great sweeping views.

1. Historic Trail. This trail is great because it makes me feel like I’m not smack dab in the middle of a city. It goes through a really nice wilderness area and ends up near Sutro Tower. The trailhead starts at Stanyan and 17th and is just a set of wooden stairs tucked in between two houses on the street.

See more after the jump.

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Sfgirlbybay’s San Francisco Guide + Party Sources

One of the most common emails I get is “What should I do when I am visiting San Francisco? My friend Victoria just came out with a new app that is the perfect solution: SFgirlbybay’s Bohemian Modern San Francisco. Victoria is the creative genius behind SF Girl By Bay and knows this city up and down. Her shopping picks are flawless, so her new app couldn’t be more perfect. In essence, it’s designed to point users toward her hand picked lists of “do not miss” shopping locations around San Francisco. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, it will help you create a unique shopping experience that’s 100% San Francisco. The app came out this week, so make sure you check it out! You’ll find it in the app store under the name “SFgirlbybay’s Bohemian Modern San Francisco.”

I asked Victoria to share her three favorite San Francisco party sources and here are her picks:

1. I’d say Fantastico because their selection is so vast — from pinatas to pretty napkins, balloons and faux flowers.
2. I love the San Francisco Flower Mart for the freshest flowers. It’s so affordable and you can find unique branches and create your own mixed bouquets.
3. I love Nest for unique french glassware — I like to mix and match their handblown glasses.

first two photos from my Instagram and last photo by Victoria.

5 Tips for Apartment Hunting in San Francisco + Our Story

Here are my 5 Tips for Apartment Hunting in San Francisco and below you’ll find the story of how we got our apartment against the odds (there were 40 other applicants!)

1. Craigslist. There are two ways to find an apartment in San Francisco: Craigslist and Word of Mouth. Craigslist was invented here and is THE place to look. Everyone uses it for everything. What I like to do is figure out the neighborhoods I want to look in and then search in “Map” mode. Other Craiglist search tips:
-Pay attention to the listings that are vague or without photos. It is usually some nice old lady trying rent her awesome apartment on “that newfangled internet website.” Usually everyone ignores these listings so you have an even better chance. Our landlord didn’t even list the storage, backyard, parking or laundry! I had another friend who went to a listing that said “no parking” and when she asked about it, the landlord said “I guess we can make room for your car.” Sometimes the agency managed apartments are less flexible.
- Search for keywords like “view”, “sunroom”, “Mid Century Modern”,  ”Victorian” or “Dolores Park” without using the neighborhood search feature. You can find cool apartments that were mis-categorized and it helps you find cool houses in neighborhoods you would not have considered.
-If a listing has a phone number write it down. I had a friend who called a number two weeks after the listing was posted and they said “well that one is rented but I have one opening up next week.”

2. Word of Mouth. Everyone knows the best apartments are handed down from friend to friend as people leave the city. Ask everyone you know, post on Facebook, Twitter, etc. that you are looking. I’ve had great luck with this.

3. Keep in Mind Transportation – The big issue with living in San Francisco is the commute. I lived in the Haight when I first moved to San Francisco which only has bus service and my commute to the Ferry Building took an hour. Later I moved one neighborhood over to Duboce Triangle (near the Muni Metro trains) and my commute was cut down to 20 minutes door to door. Certain neighborhoods like the Marina are so great but the commute downtown can be tricky because of the bus systems. (Sometimes there are some nice express bus options but usually those are crowded.) Just realize some neighborhoods are much more ideal to live in than others for commute times. Same goes with bikes. Certain neighborhoods are better to live in if you plan on biking a lot (watch out for those San Francisco hills!)

click through for the rest of the story…

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