With only 48 hours to scour the bayside city of San Francisco for the perfect creative spaces and inspirational visuals, you would think I would come back with only a few goodies for you. But you would be wrong. I not only traversed the entire city on foot (except for one 1.8 mile trip on a 1940’s tram) but was out of my hotel door by 7:30 am after a late night of amazing Argentian food with old friends. By 10:30 am my feet were throbbing but it was all worth it: found the most amazing places so that you can go and finish that masterpiece if ever you find yourself in the Bay Area.
So if you are going to San Francisco (yes, please do sing the song now- it is only fitting) there are so many places to hide away and get to work. My favorite were the public spaces that are nestled quietly into the city landscape, totally free of the bustle & noise. This collection of spaces, usually adorned with greenery and art are set up for public use. The locals have dubbed these places POPOS (privately owned public spaces.) To find the complete listing of where you can hide away for the day, visit: http://sf.curbed.com/maps/sf-best-popos-parks-san-francisco or visit the city’s listings at http://sf-planning.org/privately-owned-public-open-space-and-public-art-popos#overview.
My favorite way to travel by foot is with a Salami Baguette in hand. I nibble on throughout my trekking and La Boulangerie was a great space to make that habit a reality. For those a little more health-conscious than dining on a salami baguette slathered in butter, they provide amazing fresh food and clean open spaces. La Boulangerie has a modern Euro-flair to it that was refreshing. You can camp out here all day if this is your style. Lots of light and tables.
La Boulangerie was not the only French inspired place to hang. I spent a good chunk of my morning drinking hand pressed cafe and freshly squeezed orange juice at a multi-function space called Rouge et Blanc. Opening its doors each morning as a coffee & breakfast local, it magically transforms into a wine bar for evening guests. So you can literally stay here all day and write, draw or dream…
For those of you that are more late night, need a little liquid courage to find your inner voice, there are places fro you too! Bar Works are workspaces, though not free, that are popping up all over San Fran. These NYC inspired locals are new to the Bay Area so use this link to find their most recent additions.
There were so many great spaces around the city to just stow away for hours and write. I found spaces under buildings and over streets. This dual staircase led me to an overpass where I could stow away at a roof-top table and write with the world passing right under my feet. If you are needing to describe the feel of an urban city, this would be the spot. You can find it at Commerical and Sacramento, in the Financial District. Plenty of places to grab a tea or coffee for your overpass writing session too. And everyone is entirely too busy to bother you here so you will get lots of alone time.
On my way to the Ferry port, I walked through the Embarcadero Center and found a lovely collection of below building spaces to spend the day creating. If one is full, have no fear, there were about 20 more all over the place.
If open air spaces are more your muse, then walk or take the tram down to Pier 39. Yes, it is touristy and
full of cliched shops, but it is also filled to the brim with a collection of visuals to help any writer along with their story, or painter with their landscape. At the end of Pier 39, there are plenty of benches and seating facing Alcatraz Island, the seal lions, a floating island restaurant and the coastline. I started my journey to Fisherman’s Wharf from Union Square on foot, and then I boarded a vintage tram to quickly make the 2-mile trek to the wharf.
At the end of Sacramento Street was where my visual high really went into overload. For that reason, I will post the pics all together, for your writing inspiration. The places visited in these pics are Vaillancourt Fountain, San Francisco Ferry Building & Farmer’s Market with look out to Bay Bridge, Tram to Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39, China Town & Old St. Mary’s Cathedral. The inspirations are Sci-Fi, China, China Town, The Seaside, Battleships, Navy, Cathedral, Ferry, Bridge and Farmer’s Market.
San Fran did not disappoint this traveling writer. Every way my head turned, I was in awe of the inspiration. No wonder the greats Anne Lamont chooses this as her home-base. This last pic was my favorite of the bunch. In all of the spaces and places I was hell-bent on seeking out and finding for you, my fellow creatives, this lone writer says it all: inspiration and the need to write finds itself where ever it needs to be found.