Going Asian at Chinatown and Japantown, San Francisco

Thursday September 12 2013

Today I made two strolls around town that were quite different from each other.

I started my day at Chestnut Street, just around the corner, with a real laid back atmosphere. Loved it! My favorite store was (of course) Paper Source, and I learned that not being able to view the Pottery Barn website outside the States, doesn’t make me miss out on anything: this is not my kind of store. From Chestnut Street I walked along Fort Mason towards Ghirardelli Square. I was hoping to visit some kind of factory, but sadly GS is nothing more than a little commercial district with at least three different Ghirardelli merchandise stores. On the other side of it though, there was the cutest little beach, with a view of Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Perfect spot to give your feet some rest and enjoy some of the overpriced Ghirardelli chocolate you I just couldn’t resist on buying, haha.

After I dropped of some bags at my “Home away from home” and played with the cats for a bit, I took bus #45 to Chinatown. Take a right on Jackson Street, into Ross Alley, but don’t walk too far, because it’s easy to miss: Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. Did you know fortune cookies were actually invented in the States, and not in China at all? Just take a peek inside the factory that has been supplying SF Chinatown of fortune cookies since 1962, to see how they make fortune cookies here in San Francisco and even write down your own wishes to be put inside a cookie.

Because I’m way more of a Japan-lover than a China-fan, I walked through Chinatown in quite a rush, heading for Japantown next. I took Post Street, but if you can, take the bus or even a cab, because this is quite the stroll and there’s nothing really there for you to see. Japantown itself is quite the experience, especially East and West malls of the Japan Center. Take for instance Kinokuniya Book Store (West) with hundreds of Japanese (and English) books and magazines and lots of them on arts and/of crafts.

On my way back home I decided to take Fillmore Street and I could not have made a better decision. This street is amazing all the way from Japantown to Chestnut Street. Here you’ll find some amazing stores like Zinc Details, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Aesop and Kiehl’s, and of course Peet’s (seasonal coffee is currently Maple Latte, nomnomnom).

Because I was quite content with my choices today, I treated myself to a Greens 2 (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon) juice from the Pressed Juicery and a huge cup with just a tiny bit of frozen yogurt with gummi bears on top from Cultive. I love how you Americans make everything three times bigger than I’m used to back home in Europe…

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Shopping at Market Street & Union Square, San Francisco

Wednesday September 11 2013

Shopping on one of the first days of your holiday is always a good idea as you can explore the shops and put your favorite items on a wish list. With your wish list in mind, you can distribute your pennies during the rest of your stay. I’ve added some items to my wish list of my favorite stores in this district, which I can easily revisit on the final day of my stay: Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret, Anthropologie, Sephora and Crate and Barrel to. Yesterday I only bought some cute Japanese items at Muji (9th Street), because that walk is too long to take again.

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Home away from Home in Cow Hollow, San Francisco

Tuesday September 10 2013

Above: Californian palm tree // a street view // kale and apricot salad // Regina’s place

When flying (directly) to SF with KLM here are some tips: use the KLM app for online check in and receive a QR code instead of a boarding pass, this will save you lots of time at the airport. Log in with your Facebook account to see who you’ll be sitting next to in the plane with KLM’s Meet and Seat (video). Use KLM’s Movies & More app to preview the entertainment guide. One last tip, when arriving in SF: the BART takes you downtown just as easily as a cab, in less than 20 minutes and will cost you no more than 10 dollars.

Leaving the BART station the first thing I saw outside was my dream car. The first thing I saw when the cab driver helped me get my bags out was a palm tree. It is so great to be here. This is The States, wow, 9000+ kilometers away from home and loving it!

Best location to stay is probably Cow Hollow. This small neighborhood, bordering the Marina, was used for cow grazing below Pacific Heights (hence the name) and a settlement for fishermen.  Now this area populates the young (25-45), highly educated and well-off. It is a vibrant, popular and still peaceful and safe neighborhood with lots of restaurants, boutiques and spas. Convinced? Try to arrange your stay at Regina’s home in Cow Hollow, in which you rent a room with private bathroom. Just read the reviews she has gotten…

On my first afternoon I did a little walk around and noticed that Union Street, Fillmore Street and Chestnut Street are the places to be. Union Street hosts a gigantic Sephora, with lots of “I-need”s that you can’t buy in The Netherlands! Like for instance nail polish by Marc Jacobs or the Sephora by O.P.I. At Home Gel Color System.

I’ll try to live a bit healthier here than I did back home the last couple of weeks, so salad bars and fusion food are my goal. I immediately succeeded the first restaurant / bar I walked into: Brixton, also on Union Street, where I enjoyed a kale and apricot salad. Walked around the corner onto Fillmore Street to get some stuff for breakfast the next morning at Real Food Company.

Kale and Apricot Salad
Local mixed organic kale tossed with fresh apricots, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, toasted pinenuts in our housemade Miso vinaigrette. Finished with grated grana padano.

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Sweet Monday Morning

Monday September 9 2013

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First Date At The Golden Gate

Thursday September 5 2013

First Date At The Golden Gate is one of my favorite new nail polishes, from the limited San Francisco collection by O.P.I. I can recommend the set with four minis, though I still do have to get used to the square O.P.I brushes.


New collection : Acne Studios

Tuesday September 3 2013

Don’t you think the new AW 13/14 collection by Acne Studios is absurdly great?


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