This ended up being a few walks, or a long walk with several stops along the way.
First was discovering that there is a Philz Coffee at Fourth and Berry Streets. I used to get coffee from the original Philz on 24th Street back when I used to hang out in the Mission more than I do now. Now there are several throughout the Bay Area and while the atmosphere of the new ones can’t compete with the original, the coffee is amazingjust like the original Philz.
What sets Philzeven as a chainapart from other coffee shops is that they make every cup individually. It takes a little longer, but you know that your coffee hasn’t been sitting around even for a few minutes. Philz has a number of colorfully-named coffee drinks. I’m not talking about lattés or whateveraccinos, though they can make pretty much anything. When I say coffee drink, I’m talking about real coffee, in blends, sometimes spiced, that are artfully combined for a cuppa joe with sublety and personality. I recommend the Philharmonic to anyone that drinks caffeinated coffee. I drink decaf, so I have to settle for some Sumatran with a little cardamom. That’s as close to a Philharmonic as you can get with the decaf beans.
After coffee and some time spent on a park bench in the sun in front of the China Basin Building I was treated to lunch at Serpentine, the new (if it can still be called new) restaurant opened by the people that run the Slow Club over on Mariposa. Lunch was great, though a bit heavy. I think I like the atmosphere at the Slow Club better than Serpentine.
On the way home I went back over the hill and stopped in at the new Potrero branch of the SF Public Library. I hadn’t been inside my neighborhood’s own library branch, so it was high time I checked it out (no pun intended.) It’s a small branch and not all that well stocked with books, except for the periodicals and children’s books. But that is to be expected of a neighborhood branch. If I want a specific book I’ll look for it on the SFPL website and within a day or two I can pick it up at my branch. The point of having neighborhood branches is not to try to replace the main library but to provide services and a place to bring children so that they can learn to use the library. If the collection is a bit sparse but the book I want can be sent there and held for me until I pick it up, that’s perfect.
The library would be a success without any books in it just because of the great view of the City one gets from North-facing picture windows on the top of Potrero Hill. Getting to spend a little time there was a pleasure. I also needed to renew my card. The last time I had to look something up on OED Online the SFPL website informed me that my library card had expired. They still let me access the OED, but I remembered that when I dropped in and the helpdesk took care of my expired card in just a few moments.
I forgot to turn off the GPS while I was in the library, so that’s why there are all the crazy divergent lines on the path on 20th Street. While I was indoors the GPS got confused about my location and started making wild guesses based on too few satellites.
After the library I walked the rest of the way home and called my mother.