Sunday’s walk

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 amazing—just like the orig­i­nal Philz.

What sets Philz—even as a chain—apart 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.

Inside the Potrero Branch

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.

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