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Monday, December 8, 2008

Installment 2 - A Day In San Francisco

Here's the second installment of my San Francisco travel feature.

8:45 am - Walk to Mama's on Washington Square, San Francisco's famous breakfast eatery, and stand in line for an hour before getting seated. Once your food arrives, smile like a giddy child on Christmas morning as you admire the French Toast sampler with cranberry orange walnut, Swedish cinnamon, and banana walnut French toast, topped with fresh fruit and accompanied with a side of home fries.

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10:15 am - Leave the restaurant and briefly enjoy watching the sunbathers and the artists selling their wares in Washington Square.

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Walk north on Stockton St. and go right on Greenwich to take a shortcut to the steps that lead to Coit Tower. Enjoy some of the best views in town and admire the Depression-era murals in the lobby.

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10:50 am - Take the #39 bus and then transfer to the #30 bus, which leads you to the Exploratorium, a hands-on museum that's great for children. Feel like a kid again as you play and interact with the various scientific displays. Enjoy the view of the Palace of Fine Arts as you leave, and marvel in the beauty of the peaceful duck pond and cheerful dog-walkers in the Marina District.

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12:00 pm - Head over to Golden Gate Park, where you stroll through the Rose Garden on your way to the newly remodeled deYoung Museum. Spend over half an hour gawking at Yves St. Laurent's breathtaking creations. Nervously grab your camera for a quick photo as you hope the security guards don't catch you. Drool over a wool and satin tuxedo from F/W 1996, a green fox fur coat from 1971, a silk organza jacket embroidered with sequins, and the Mondrian cocktail dress from F/W 1965. Admire original sketches by the master designer and view video of recent runway shows. Pick up a YSL souvenir pin and sketch book at the small gift shop on the way out. Suddenly get inspired to shop for tuxedos, pea coats, tunics, and safari jackets after looking at the exhibition.

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2:00 pm - After browsing the YSL exhibition and modern art at the deYoung, head across the walkway to the California Academy of Sciences to visit the Aquarium, the Planetarium, and the Natural History Museum. Be sure to see the penguin feeding and grab a snack at one of the cafes before you leave.

3:30 pm - Catch the #71 bus and then transfer to the #22 bus, which drops you in the heart of the Mission and Valencia district. Begin by walking down Valencia and stop into Self Edge Denim (714 Valencia) for a look at designer denim labels. Move on to browse vintage skater skirts, sequined gowns and printed blouses at Schauplatz, one of the best vintage shops in town, located at 791 Valencia.

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4:00 pm - Continue your thrifting efforts at Community Thrift (625 Valencia) and Retro Fit Vintage (910 Valencia). Then walk over to nearby Mission Street for more inexpensive and oversized thrift stores, such as Thrift Town (2101 Mission) and Mission Thrift (2330 Mission).

5:30 pm - After tiring of thrift shopping, take the #14 bus to Market and 4th, where you can wander around Union Square or Westfield San Francisco Centre to check out new shipments at H&M, Zara, and the like.

7:00 pm - On your way out of Union Square, walk north towards North Beach for a well-seasoned Italian dinner at Macaroni Scive Scive on Columbus. Grab a sidewalk table, since the weather is mild, and watch the couples walk by.

10:30 pm - Head to Voda (56 Belden Pl.) for a sampling of world class martinis infused with flavored vodkas from all over the globe. I recommend the Orange Crush, Opportunity, and the Honey Bee, pictured below from left to right.

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