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Maddy Douglass

Knitter, lawyer, and safer beauty advocate in San Francisco. 

Loves coffee, crafting, and cheese plates.  

 

New Home, Who Dis
There has to be some metaphor or lesson inherent in accidentally saving over your blog post all about moving and discussing the amazing history of your new hood. This is post v2. 
 

There are few things more stressful in life than moving. I'm not referencing tragic (and hopefully infrequent) occurrences like serious illness or the death of a loved one. I'm saying, of all the stress- and panic-inducing things that happen at least once in 99.9% of lives on this planet, like changing jobs or going through a breakup, moving homes is at the top of the list.  

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That is, unless your move is the result of a M A J O R life upgrade. Moving from a tiny studio apartment in tourist central, where my boyfriend and I have literally been sleeping in the walk-in closet for a year and had to take turns using the 4 foot long kitchen when we didn't want to eat the same thing, to a full one bedroom (there's a closet in the bedroom, not the other way around!) has already been life changing.

There are boxes in every direction I look as I type this, and I still feel so much more breathing room and comfort. Ahhhhh. 

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And also, while living in lower Nob Hill/Union Square/the Financial District/Chinatown area (it was a fluid denomination ok?) had it's appeal -- like the actual classic Victorian "high rise" we lived in -- there are oh so many reasons why the Sunset is considered the up and coming neighborhood. Yes I hate myself a little for saying that. 

While it may be partially due to the simple fact of available housing amidst this "crisis" created in the last ten years from (cough) the tech boom, I think people are also truly drawn to the Sunset's own individual charms and history.

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For one thing, did you know that until the 1900s, the Sunset was primarily undeveloped sand dunes? A railway situated on Lincoln Avenue carried weekend revelers out to the shore from downtown and back again, and while speculators bought plots and created maps in the 1860s that gave way to the grid we know today, it was years still until the land was changed to residences. 

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You should probably also know that O'Neill surf shop started on Ocean Beach and its founder invented the wetsuit here. 

Oh yeah and there used to be an amusement park located along the Great Highway where the Its-It (that iconic SF treat of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies and dipped in chocolate then frozen) was INVENTED. Like someone actually created the Its-It in ye olden tymes and it was on Ocean Beach. 

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Today, there is a plethora of reasons to come visit the shore all the way out past the Avenues. 

While I'm sure this list will be updated over the next few months, here are some initial favs:

Food:

  • Pasquale's - comforting, mouth-watering Italian food with minimal decor and low key service. The focus is on the food and it doesn't disappoint. 
  • Beach Chalet - I've been coming here with my family for years and am always glad to introduce it to a new group. Amazing views, solid food and drinks (including everything from a Maine lobster roll to deviled eggs to spinach ricotti gnocchi), and a more casual atmosphere available on the park side, Park Chalet. 
  • Sri Thai - little place near our new place. To be honest, we haven't tried it yet, but the reviews look decent and I'm always in favor of trying new options for lazy day delivery. 
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Coffee: 

  • Java Beach Cafe - I've only been once but it was more than enough to convince me this will be a regular spot. Located one block away from the beach with a line out the door, the espresso bar gets a little backed up but only in a demonstration of this spot's popularity. Actually, nevermind, don't go here - I want to be able to get a table!
  • Trouble Coffee Co - again, an easily crowded location but mostly due to its Harry Potter-esque cupboard under the stairs size, which somehow only adds to its charm. Great coffee, nice people, super popular. Would drink again. 
  • Outerlands - more brunch than coffee but I can't wait to try it. 
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Shops: 

  • Wishbone - one of the cutest stores I've ever been in, and it's dangerous that I live closer to it now. I first stopped in here with a friend who lived across the street a couple of years ago - imagine the cutest cards, the best smelling candles, the funniest baby onesies, and any other gift-type-item you could want and it will be here. 
  • Local Take - MY PEEPS! This shop first originated in the Castro location and then soon after expanded into this Sunset spot. My knitwears are available here year round along with handmade goods from other incredible local SF makers. I especially always love the cards, art prints, and jewelry!
  • San Franpsycho - quality tees and sweatshirts with SF logos. Super comfy stuff and I always love stopping in. 
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While I admit to shedding a tear or two (yes, for real) when we were finally done cleaning out the old Stockton Street apartment, I can feel it in my bones that this change is for the better and that there are big things on the horizon. Or maybe that's just the ship I can see in the distance from my new bedroom window...

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