Everyone is trying to define sex appeal, even scientists these days are getting into the act.
January 08, 2009
Today is a day of discovery, as another friend has offered to lead us around some of the San Francisco neighborhoods that get short shrift.
We begin with the China Basin/Mission Creek area just south of downtown. This once gritty waterfront is being modernized to a fare-thee-well with striking modern architecture and sometimes noteworthy attempts at public sculpture.
There are also the stubborn remnants of the city's only houseboat community, a charming little anachronism a few blocks from the baseball stadium and cause for me to briefly rethink my retirement plans.
Next we're taken to Glen Park, a swell little village-within-the-city whose main attraction is Glen Canyon, the biggest area of more-or-less intact ecosystem in the city.
A creekside stroll leaves us plenty hungry to sample a sturdy example of the curious culinary art of the California burrito. The normally sensible Calvin Trillin has rhapsodized about the things, but I tend to side with LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold: "It's basically the No. 2 plate at a Mexican restaurant rolled into a flour tortilla."
The afternoon allows time for browsing the curious little stores around Japantown, including one with a terrific collection of high-end writing instruments and other office supplies.
And right next door is our final destination for the day, the Fillmore. Once know as the Harlem of the West, the predominantly African-American area is back on the map with a series of high-profile redevelopment projects.
We dine on nouvelle soul food at 1330 Fillmore (if your mother's fried chicken was like theirs, you never would have left home). Then we head next door to hear a great local jazz combo at the new Yoshi's, which I'm ready to declare one of the country's great jazz clubs.
Makes me wonder what under-recognized neighborhoods have I missed in other cities?