San Francisco Magic: Foggy Nob Hill

I live in Nob Hill, one of 36 neighborhoods in San Francisco. I’ve been in this place for about two years now and there are some definite pros. Along Polk Street are one of a kind shops that will fulfill your thrifting, knick-knack, and consignment needs while you are fed and nourished by local eateries like Cheese Plus, Basik (for those amazing acai bowls), or Teaspoon for some boba.

(of course there are bars but I don’t think I know when the last time I roamed Polk Street bars on a weekend was…contained extrovert over here)

Nob Hill sits in the north-eastern side of San Francisco and hits the water by Fisherman’s Wharf so it’s fair game for fog. This past Sunday, the fog got the best of it.

I invited my dear friend and very recently, my neighbor, to come with me and my Nikon to go shoot because I’d much rather photograph people than things. See our day below 🙂

image

San Francisco Magic – Lands End

Today was a special day. Through the magic of fog and Apple’s SD card reader for your phone, my Nikon was back in action. I missed the large, high quality, light absorbing, and isolated focusing power of my camera, and now I can access them again without a functioning computer (at the moment).

To celebrate, I took a walk to Lands End with my sister and some friends. It was foggy, dusty and windy. None of us were wearing make up, and it was that kind of cold that you think you can stand though you know the whole time it will always win, but it’s okay because you’re suffering together. I did my best to tell today’s story – I hope it translates. Enjoy 🙂

image

 

 

SFMOMA – A designer’s paradise

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art closed in 2013 in order to add more art, more culture, and to really contribute to the architecture of San Francisco. The new building is seven floors of a designer’s dream doused in natural light, and even if you just pay $25 to fill your Snapchat story, it’s going to be beautiful…and your pictures will turn out great. E.g. myself, my iPhone, and my friends today. Take a look at my visit below 🙂

GenLau Sign Off

 

 

Where to get cheap facials!

There is nothing like a stranger touching your face, squeezing disgusting crap out of your pores, and massaging your feet for an exorbitant about of money to really wind you down. Sarcasm aside, I have totally spent $160 on a 55 minute facial which ultimately leads to buyers remorse when you check your credit card balance.

Saving money is always first priority but I just can’t get enough of the spa. In an act of desperation, I began my internet research journey so I could have my cake and eat it too.

The solution: beauty schools!!! They’re a compromise to spending hundreds of dollars because you’re helping these students learn and gain hands-on experience (literally). My favorite in San Francisco is Cinta Aveda Institute in the Financial District.

  • Pros
    • CHEAP – at Cinta, a one hour facial is only $40 +tip
    • You’re helping students
    • These students are being taught by class-act professionals
    • These schools have all the professional products that your favorite spa has
  • Cons
    • They’re not pros with years of experience but it for sure gets the job done
    • There are no private rooms, but curtained off rooms keep you secluded in privacy with your esthetician. You can hear the other estheticians and clients as well.
    • If you fall in love with an esthetician, they will be gone after they’re done with their program

For me, the pros and cons are incredibly imbalanced. I’m all about that dollar to quality minute ratio and this is high. I go at least once a month and it’s totally worth it to me.

Do you have any other spa services hacks?

GenLau Sign Off

Ice cream is more of a lifestyle in San Francisco

There is a man named Kenny that I work with who is quite the Renaissance man – he bakes bread, goes mushroom picking, bikes, and loves ice cream just as much as I do. He has an ice cream classification system that sorts various brands in either New School or Old School. He’s a man that gets me.

I too am just as interested in ice cream especially after just accepting that I work out for the sole reason to eat more of it. I have recently been trying to find a way to classify my ice cream experience just as Kenny has and I think I finally thought it through. Is this the most nerdy thing to ever have been blogged? Let’s see.

Category 1 – Home Style

  • A lot of custards
  • Toppings offered: chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, whipped cream from the can,  maraschino cherries, crushed peanuts
  • Potentially offering soft serve
  • Home made but distributed across Bay Area grocers
  • Cake and sugar cones only
  • Example locations: Mitchell’s Ice Cream at the border of Glen Park and Bernal Heights, and Swenson’s Ice Cream in Russian Hill

Category 2 – Nostalgic

  • They call soda “pop”
  • They offer floats and banana splits
  • They have waffle cones
  • Employees wear paper boat hats and white aprons
  • Flavors are modern and made with high quality ingredients
  • There are vegan options
  • Example locations: Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley

Category 3 – Fashionable

  • Flavor combinations are modern (e.g. lavender vanilla, cardamom cream, strawberry balsamic)
  • Various methods used to create the ice cream like liquid nitrogen
  • Will rarely have cones
  • Might offer a side product
  • Example locations: Loving Cup in Russian Hill, Smitten Ice Cream in Hayes Valley

Category 4 – Modern

  • Probably the most popular in SF
  • High quality ingredients
  • Will use words like “small batch” and “local”
  • Hipsters might work there
  • Waffle cones or cups only
  • Limited topping options
  • Vegan options available (and you bet they’re good)
  • Example locations: Bi-Rite Creamery in the Mission, Humphrey Slocombe in the Mission or Ferry Building, and my current personal favorite, Little Giant Ice Cream in the Financial District

This is just the beginning. Ice cream truly is a life style and with new places like Salt and Straw coming from L.A., there will never be a stop which is fine because I’d much rather talk about this than dating any day. Regardless, I will probably use this as a forward in my life’s manifesto. Keep up with my ice cream journey on Instagram with the hashtag #GenEatsIceCream

Cocoanutz and key lime pie in a waffle cone from Little Giant Ice Cream

San Francisco Hikes: Lands End

One of the best things about living in San Francisco is that I can be in a completely different world in 20 minutes. So when a friend reached out to me that just moved back to San Francisco and wanted to hang out, I couldn’t help but suggest a quintessential San Francisco hike (and when I say ‘hike’ I mean strenuous walk). That was the very cleverly named “Land’s End” in between Ocean Beach and the beautiful SF neighborhood of Seacliff.

You can start out in the Sutro park which has some stairs as an entrance on 40th ave. and Balboa and just head north along the ocean. There are a few turns that lead you to the beach that require a few (a lot) of stairs, but it’s all worth it to me.

You can take this walk all the way to China Beach which is a little secluded landmark by some of San Francisco’s best real estate. The entire walk is a good 4.5 miles that smells like the ocean the whole time. It’s a good time to catch up with friends, get the blood moving and see the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.

What are some of your favorite nature spots?

GenLau Sign Off