California Love, A Travelogue

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So, only on a post-uni budget would you fly to San Francisco from Los Angeles, via Nevada… Detouring through Las Vegas isn’t all bad though; seeing slot machines at the gate is hilarious, and I gotta admit that the window-seat view above ruched velvet mountain peaks in the Mojave Desert and Death Valley Park is pretty inspiring.

I bopped back up to San Francisco for a little bit last month, so here’s my latest selection of interesting sights and sounds…

Music:

Soon as I got back to SF I headed to Independent Distro downtown and they loaded me up with a ton of new releases. I’d definitely recommend checking out are The Cuf’s latest album ‘Caviar Vol. 1’ – and also check out some of their early stuff, if you’re not already familiar with it, to vibe out to some funky underground Sacramento hip hop.

I managed to squeeze in a quickie interview with local Fillmore rapper Da Vinci on my last afternoon in SF – a socially aware and highly intelligent artist, and also a very down-to-earth guy worth checking out for some thought-provoking music. Gussies Chicken & Waffles with Da Vinci:

Food/Drink:

Going in on a bit of a soul food tip this time – a really hidden and cosy little place called The Front Porch is a perfect spot to catch up with friends and feel like you’re in some cavernous Southern living room way back when. Veggie options were limited but the Pumpkin Crème Brulee had it going on. And, if you wanna venture out to Oakland I can definitely recommend going to Souley Vegan on Broadway for entirely vegan soul food with all the trimmings – there’s even Soul Train on repeat whilst ya eat!

A funky place to drink and check out cool contemporary art is the 111 Minna Gallery downtown – there’s usually some party on or event to gate-crash so definitely somewhere to hit up if nearby. Another intimate spot downtown that’s pretty reliable for good djs, reasonable drinks and a cool/arty interior is Otis Lounge on Maiden Lane.

Art:

Call me a big kid, but my favourite museum in the city is the Cartoon Art Museum downtown on Mission St – a crazy cool little gallery where you can check out a range of illustrations from anime to comic strips, Watchmen to old-skool Garfield, Charlie Brown and loads more. There’s a well-stocked store there too to pick up obscure titles as well as classic material…

A great mural space between Valencia and Guerrero is the much-loved Clarion Alley. Here are just a few snaps of some interesting pieces up there right now:

Also – insider tip – I learned this trip that it’s not Oakland, it’s ‘Oaksterdam’ these days ;)

The space between San Francisco and Oakland is a postal wasteland:

One of the most beautiful sights in San Francisco is watching that daily blanket of fog enveloping the city – here’s the view I had of it from my JetBlue aircraft on the particularly dusky evening I flew back to LA:

Check back for more LA antics next week!

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