Saturday, July 23, 2011

a "dogpatch' afternoon

I have been going to this part of San Francisco for a long time.Mostly for work, since along the 3rd st corridor, are a lot of photographer's studios where I have worked though the years .Back in the days, it was an industrial wasteland, but, a new ballpark was built as well as tons of tony lofts and a new tram line, which changed the landscape of the neighbourhood for good. I am not sure but I think some savvy developers wanted to give a catchy name to the still dicey area, and after some historical research, renamed it "dogpatch".It has a ring to it, a little raw, a little wild and untamed, but appealing.Which still describe the blocks anchored by the American Can building where the refurbished work spaces are.So, I would drive in , park, work and drive home, missing all the new spots to check. It was time to remedy the situation and plan an afternoon of discovery.
I started my exploration a little further down towards Hunter Point to reach the miraculous oasis that is Flora Grubb "nursery. The day was particularly bright and clear, and upon entering the gardens, it felt like reaching an exotic landscape, where bold plants, unusual colored pots, cosy nooks in fragrant arrangements transported me to a land of beauty, nature, whimsy and design.My images do not start to portray the wonders at every turn, the surprises at every object for sale,the sounds 0f the swaying palms. please GO !

The it was off to the Yellow House, where the restaurant Picino has relocated, as well as MAC which sells super trendy designer fashion and housewares,a coffee bar and a wine store.
Checked the beautiful ceramic works of Rae Dunn and Sherry Olsen( at MAC), two of my absolute favorites and settled for a cappuccino and warm plum cake at Picino. the menu on the chalk board was art !
I loved the interior design: open, light and minimal with some awesome spoon photos on the wall.I have just finished working on a spoon/people painting, so here it is in the middle:

Across the street in a funky warehouse was a corner business called Rickshaw where you can design your own messenger bag after checking the piles of fabric, and styles.

Then with my friend C as guide, we stopped at Mr and Mrs Miscellaneous, a new ice cream shop. these tasty shops seem to be popping everywhere, with a sligh rough edge, a little artisan feel here, a little gourmet trend there.flavors are complex, not your basic chocolate or vanilla. lines are long.everybody loves ice cream !Then off to Poco Dolce new retail shop for its fine chocolates tiles and other delicacies.we sampled the burnt caramel toffee almond chocolate: not to be missed....Around the corner on Illinois street was the storefront for Olivier's butcher shop, the new French butcher in town, who goes and picks the beasts that he will carve himself in French cuts of "bavette" or "onglet".the photo below shows Olivier in white and his associate in red.