It’s not everyday our City By The Bay delivers the goods at sunset, especially in the summer, but when summer comes right before Christmas, how can you possibly complain?
L.A. can’t do that! (Well they could, but most Metallica band members live in the bay area (Bassist Robert Trujillo is the holdout), so that makes them legit Giants fans, except for Trujillo…BEAT LA!!)
Turn the volume up…
So how is the snow up in Tahoe…I mean really?
As many of you know, I fancy myself a bit of a skier. I watch the weather like a hawk, I have multiple websites and friends I refer to for snow reports, radar imagery, forecasts, and après ski hangouts. If I can, I play hooky from San Francisco real estate any time there is even a hint of a storm. It’s why we live here, and it keeps me sane after countless hours of negotiating, touring property, and talking about real estate.
There is a lot of hype in the San Francisco Bay Area right now about the storm that just blew threw, and the one that is rolling in as we speak, so I thought I’d give you the honest to goodness (don’t post this on Facebook, because it isn’t gloat worthy) truth. It is bony!!! So many rocks! All over the place. Even with the 20″ Mt. Rose just received, it is essentially on top of nothing. If you think Squaw and Alpine have it any better, you’re wrong. Reports I received today from friends that skied there today can be summed up in two words, “It sucked.” There is no base.
If you come up for this round of snow, do not expect to be able to rip pow like you see in the movies or may have done last year. Expect to see a nice line of freshies, point it, and ski it as hard, but tender as you possibly can for fear of what is lurking below. Rocks, stumps, trees, you name it. It’s all just barely under the snow and ready to grab you.
These are what the bases of my skis look like after today. You’ll notice a few core shots.
Anything under two feet of fresh, and you might as well stay home in San Francisco and call this year a bust. If they get three or more feet, it will be a different ball-game, and I will owe all of you that read this and stayed home a beer, because that will mean more cold smoke pow for me!
In all seriousness, if you find yourself up this way, give me a shout and we’ll take some turns and discuss real estate on da lift!
Woohoo! It’s snowing!
…but it is rocky, very rocky, and insanely windy, so don’t be surprised if a lot of resorts are on wind lockdown tomorrow (Wednesday).
…but…Woohoo! It’s Snowing!
[Update 2/29 @ 21:30 hrs: Snow at Alpine Meadows is really, really good. Go there!]
-More Reasons We Live Here [theFrontSteps]
-I’m Gonna Have To Call You Back The Next Coupla Days…I’ll Be In Meetings [theFrontSteps]
Like I said in a post a few days ago, there are things in San Francisco that just make this place great. Things that keep us living here, dealing with parking tickets, traffic, fog, and exorbitant real estate prices. The restaurants and eateries in San Francisco are certainly right on top of every person’s list as to why they love this city, and why tourists come to visit. Food, food, and more food.
San Francisco is an amazing food city, but it’s a tad overwhelming when it comes to dining choices. Sometimes, you just need someone to tell you where to eat NOW and while they are at it, give you a little motivation (in the form of discounts). I’m not sure if you all know (I’m sure many of you do), but there is a great website/service called BlackboardEats that can help us all do just that.
It’s a no brainer, really.
Each week, they send me 2 emails with a restaurant review, written by a local food critic with a corresponding perk—think Groupon with amazing taste and without upfront costs. It’s like a special online club for restaurant aficionados (which I am not).
If you travel, they are in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago too.
I’ve discovered some amazing restaurants I would have otherwise overlooked, and I’ve saved a ton of $$ with them. As a result, I’m sharing this find (if you haven’t found it already) with you, and I’m even going to give them a little love in my marketplace over there on the right column (no, they aren’t paying me).
Check ‘em out.
Make no mistake, this blog is about real estate. But real estate is all about location, location, location, and San Francisco happens to have some pretty damn good restaurants, shops, trails, architecture, museums, and so much more in so many great locations, all of which directly impact the value of real estate. (How many times have you seen in marketing remarks “Close to shops, restaurants, transportation”?) There is a reason people live in a city…to be close to the things they love.
So, I’m going to start sharing some of my favorite places.
It’s no secret anymore, and the cat is so far out of the bag it’s not even funny, but Trouble Coffee on Judah, almost at the beach, is one of my favorites. I’ve long gone in solely to purchase “the Hammer” espresso beans and pour my own cappuccino at home, and never indulged in their toast (guilty of inhaling the occasional surf snack…or whatever the hell it is they call it though). Until yesterday.
I had the “Toast”. All I can say is that it is hands down the best cinnamon toast I have ever had, and you should try it too.
Outer Avenues real estate is pretty damn hot as well, as mentioned in my post the other day. A little update on that, we were beat out. Still not a done deal with buyer #1 though, so anything can still happen in our favor.
There you have it. Trouble Coffee, yet another reason to live in San Francisco.
Those of you that have read this blog for a while know that I have a thing or two for good coffee. In fact, I took it upon myself to definitively settle the debate as to where is the best coffee (house) in San Francisco and hundreds of thousands of people joined in the decision. That was great, but this could be even better…free coffee.
It’s the newest in new startups (I believe they launched two weeks ago), and if you ask me, it’s a great idea, simple in concept, and simple in execution, but oh so delightful in reward. Buy four coffees in San Francisco and get one free.
Step One, Join:
Step Two: Find Participating Coffee Houses:
Step Three, Buy Coffee, Get Free Coffee:
Step Four, Invite Your Friends. Get More Free Coffee:
Step Five, Share Free Coffee With Me.
Simply brilliant if you ask me, and even more brilliant if/when they work the purchase of beans into the equation. I happen to be enjoying some Sweet Tooth at this very moment.
Due to the large green/blue blob shown below, yours truly is snowed in. And isn’t it great that within a “short” (I put the quotes because when the snow is falling and the entire Bay Area is driving, it’s anything but short) drive from San Francisco you, and all of your closest friends and family, can be neck deep in a trademark Lake Tahoe walloping.
Too bad Interstate 80 was closed most of the day yesterday. Looks like another day of choke powder skiing for your editor. Damn.
WOW! The “best” coffee (house) in San Francisco nominees streamed in last week, thanks to a nice little link from Yahoo!, and it looks like we may now have the most comprehensive list of San Francisco Coffee (Houses) ever on one ballot. Needless to say, our tiny list was well shy of what is truly out there to enjoy, and it looks like we have some coffees to taste. But for now it’s time to vote.
Which San Francisco Coffee (House) is THE BEST by majority vote?
We leave it to you. Please vote, please tell your friends, Tweet it, “Like” it, share the link (http://thefrontsteps.com/2011/03/14/bestcoffeesf/), then print the list and visit each and every one of these places. Whatever you do, don’t let your favorite coffee (house) lose!
[POLL IS CLOSED. WE HAVE A WINNER, AND WILL PUT UP RESULTS SHORTLY. THANKS TO THE 2,250 PEOPLE THAT VOTED!]
If your fav coffee (house) didn’t make the ballot, feel free to mention them in the comments or add them in “other”. As always, thanks for hanging out on theFrontSteps, and thanks for telling your friends.
Once again, the direct link to this post: http://thefrontsteps.com/2011/03/14/bestcoffeesf/.
[Update: Word is spreading on multiple sites, including SFGate, so we may actually get a "People's Choice" here....and a few thousand votes.]
Other Popular Polls:
-San Francisco or New York City, If You Had To Choose [theFrontSteps]
-San Francisco’s Sexiest Realtors 2009 [theFrontSteps]
-Cole Valley Versus Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]
-San Francisco’s “coolest” Neighborhood, La Mission…Hands Down [theFrontSteps]
Voting is taking place. FOLLOW THIS LINK.
Not too long ago (okay maybe it was back in July of 2009), we did a little post about what seemed to be dominant turf run by Blue Bottle Coffee and Ritual Roasters, and which one we thought was better. Being a little bit ignorant (but more in tune than most), we were under the impression those were THE ONES, but we were wrong. Very wrong.
The post gained in popularity, was linked to from all over, and a few comments came in showing us the light and urging us to try some of the other great coffee (houses) here in San Francisco. Since then we have tried just about all of them, and it’s hard to conclude a favorite, but we thought there must be a way to solve this riddle once and for all, because tastes change and what was “best of” in one magazine yesterday, certainly doesn’t mean it’s “best of” today, right here, right now.
So….it’s time for a definitive online vote: “Best Coffee (house) in San Francisco“. By “best” we leave that up to you, because we know there are a million variables to consider. For example: espresso or drip; wi-fi or print only; cappuccino or quadruple nonfat venti macchiato. We just want to know what makes you drool.
Voting will begin on Monday (3/14/11), until then we’re accepting nominees. So whether it’s the coffee that is actually being poured or the name and location on the label (think Trouble Coffee pouring De La Paz), we want to hear from you and your friends.
The nominees so far [NOTE: These are just nominees. Voting starts 3/14/11, so please come back.]
[Update: Voting started. FOLLOW THIS LINK TO VOTE.]
-Four Barrel Coffee
-Ritual Coffee Roasters
-De La Paz Coffee (Trouble)
-Blue Bottle Coffee
-Barefoot Coffee (Epicenter Cafe)
-Contraband (Coffee Bar)
-Hearth Coffee Roasters (Brown Owl Cafe)
-Verve Coffee Roasters
-Bello Coffee and Tea
-Equator Coffees & Teas
On Monday we’ll begin the Battle Royale, and the winner of “Best Coffee (House) In San Francisco” will be crowned soon after.
[Update: Thanks to Yahoo! for putting us on their homepage. Feel free to put your nominee in the comments below or email us. We'll add them all to the list and poll for Monday. While we have your attention, have a look at Yahoo!'s new local page for San Francisco.]
It has been a long hard battle for our winners this year. We had more nominees than in any previous contest, and our web traffic went through the roof (over 40,000 new visitors for this contest alone!) Contestants were pumping their Facebook and Twitter accounts spreading the word, and sites all around the world linked to the contest. To say it was well-read, would be an understatement. But who cares about that crap!? You want to know who won, right?
Looks like San Francisco edged out the greater Bay Area contestants, but not by much. It was a very close contest.
[In case you missed all of the nominees, click here to check them out.]
We had a blast with the contest, and we thank our nominees and winners for being such good sports. You can send in nominations for next year’s contest to theFrontSteps@gmail.com, or put it in the comments below.
With this, we bid you a safe and happy holiday season and Happy New Year!
We do have one more post for the year, so look for that tomorrow It’s up. Otherwise, we’re taking a brief hiatus from theFrontSteps to focus on PocketListings.net, so make sure to check it out and follow @pocketlistings on Twitter for updates. Scheduled launch in January 2010.
[Friday a.m. update: We know the suspense is killing you, but you'll have to a wait a little bit for the announcement of our finalists. We have properties to show, and contingencies to lift (and a bit of a hangover). You'll know soon enough....and now you know (click to see the finalists)....and let the voting begin, Click to Vote For the Winner! (Polls open 6am Monday 12/14.)]
[Sorry! Polls are now closed! Please submit nominees for next year to theFrontSteps@gmail.com, but come back here tomorrow for the finalists!]
The day is finally upon us….voting for the 2009 Sexiest Realtor in the San Francisco Bay Area has begun, and we’ll have a winner soon. Before we begin, we’d like to point out a few things:
1. Due to the number of nominees this year and our reach beyond San Francisco into the greater Bay Area, we decided to throw all of the beautiful nominees up at once. However, there are three groups battling it out amongst themselves (Group A, B, C) both in the Women’s and Men’s competition. The winners from each group will advance for a final round of voting next week. Winners from this round will be announced this Friday.
2. Women are first, men are below, so don’t forget to check them boys out too.
3. In order to attempt to limit the number of duplicate votes, we have disabled the re-vote feature, so if you really want one person to win, spread the word to your friends instead of clicking over and over on that one name . If it appears there is a problem, let us know (theFrontSteps@gmail.com).
4. After this contest, we are going to go on holiday from blogging on theFrontSteps to help build the best place for all of those pocket listings (PocketListings.NET) so many of you agents are holding on to and hoping to sell. Try not to miss us while we’re away, and definitely follow Pocket Listings on Twitter to keep updated on progress. We’ll be back here soon enough.
5. As always, comments are (currently) open and any inappropriate content/comments will be deleted immediately at our sole discretion.
6. Updates on the contest will be provided below for what we’re seeing behind the scenes.
So….without further adieu, let the fun begin! Have a good look at the beauties below, VOTE, and tell your friends/colleagues! Good luck to all of you nominees…time to start blasting your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts!
Sexiest Realtor San Francisco Bay Area 2009 Female Nominees:
[Sorry! Polls are now closed! Please submit nominees for next year to theFrontSteps@gmail.com, but come back here tomorrow for the finalists!]
What competition would be complete without the men?!
Sexiest Realtor San Francisco Bay Area 2009 Male Nominees:
[Sorry! Polls are now closed! Please submit nominees for next year to theFrontSteps@gmail.com, but come back here tomorrow for the finalists!]
Make sure to come back and see the results this Friday. We currently allow you to see the results in real time by clicking “view results” in the poll, but we usually take that privilege away at some point. ;-)
Thanks for visiting theFrontSteps. Don’t forget to visit and bookmark PocketListings.NET, and FOLLOW POCKET LISTINGS ON TWITTER. If you’d simply like to follow theFrontSteps you’re welcome to do that too.
The contestant’s websites: Amy Harrington; Barbara Ellis; Shannon Arterburn; Ginger Wilcox; Luba Muzichenko; Jenn Davis; Danielle Lazier; Marie Carr; Thena Luu DiNapoli; Miyuki “Mia” Takami; Diana Kaus Koll; Amy Levins; Marika Fishman; Dace Dislere; Kimberly Airey; Alix Fagersten; Olivia Hsu Decker; Alicia Sanguinetti; Andrea Hesselein; Kiesha Stephens; Athena Lagace; Farrah Wilder; Jana Page; Lisa Weber; Cameron Bamberger; Robyn Bentley; Chaele Cooper; Payton Stiewe; Kevin Boer; Milko Encinas; Kevin McLeod; Eddie O’Sullivan; Daniel DerVartanian; Mark Choey; Frank Nolan; Scott Symon; Sean Proctor; Rob la Eace; Butch Haze; Rick Teed; Shelley Trew; Maximillian Armour; Joel Goodrich; Ron Whitney; Brendon & Kevin Kearney.
[Photo Source: Noah Berger]
We received this email last night from the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, and we’re sure you all heard about the Emergent Closure of the Bay Bridge yesterday due to a “cantilever section made over Labor Day weekend[,which] snapped and crashed onto the upper deck of the span late [yesterday] afternoon, striking three vehicles and forcing the indefinite closure of the region’s busiest bridge”, but in case you hadn’t, now you know.
If you live and work in the city, emails and events like this should have little impact on your daily life (like us), but if you’re B & T, you’re bumming…
Golden Gate Transit Bus, Golden Gate Ferry and Gate Golden Bridge Customers:
In light of the closure of the Bay Bridge [last night] Tuesday, October 27, and the unknown timing of its re-opening, we want to caution all our passengers to expect delays on our systems during the closure. At the Golden Gate Bridge, we will have all lanes in the Toll Plaza opened by 4 am in anticipation of heavy southbound traffic and the roadway will be configured with 4 lanes southbound into San Francisco for the morning commute. Golden Gate Ferry will be prepared to add a high-capacity Spaulding vessel to operate after 7 am from Larkspur to San Francisco, depending on the passenger demand. Golden Gate Transit buses will operate as close to schedule as they possibly can, given the traffic.
Oh…we often forget we have a lot of out of town readers that might not know what exactly “B & T” means. Maybe one of our readers can clarify, because we don’t dare go there. ;-)
Yet another one of the many “reasons we live here” in the city.
The FrontSteps likes to remind us of the reasons why we live in this fine city. Sometimes it is easy to forget: for instance, the third say in a week you find a ticket under your windshield wiper. I overheard a gentleman on the N-Judah the other day who, in response to a friend asking if he wouldn’t miss the city once he moved away, said “If ever I miss San Francisco, I will take a dump on my own doorstep and write myself a parking ticket.”
Such anger. No, we need to step away from the DPT and look around at our sparkling water views and ridiculously gorgeous architecture. And we need to visit the Academy of Sciences museum– for free.
If you’ve been scared off by the lines which have still not dwindled, let me assure you, a visit is worth the wait. Not only is the building spectacular, but the exhibits are as well. Plus, the roof is alive! And the planetarium is like an I-MAX theater. There’s even a rain forest!
The below is completely lifted from the California Academy of Sciences “Plan a Visit” page. It’s worth looking into this free day since general admission is pretty steep ($24.95). I’ve enjoyed some of the boozy Thursday night “Nightlife” $10 affairs, but these are exceedingly crowded and perhaps less scholarly than a day visit would be.
So take your proof or residency and enjoy your reward for being a San Franciscan!
Having recently met some people who did not live anywhere near San Francisco, but certainly lived in a large metropolitan area that one could easily argue has a much more diverse population than San Francisco…okay fine, they were New Yorkers…we were surprised when after we said we live in San Francisco, the first thing out of their mouths was, “With all the gays?”
One would expect a relatively young, urban, and “with it” (we’d even go so far as to say hip) group of people to know that the times, they have a changed, and “people are people so why should it be” (How the hell did Depeche Mode get in our heads!). So who’s putting these thoughts in these (relatively young) people’s heads? So maybe the sample specimens we met were hardly representative of the population as a whole, but is that still the first thing that comes to many a person’s mind when they think of San Francisco…the gay population?
Sure, San Francisco has an extremely large gay, lesbian, and transgender population, but we’d be willing to bet there are more of them in your area (assuming you’re reading from outside SF) than you think. It’s just that San Francisco is open to all sexual preferences and everyone is free to let it all hang out (no pun intended). Beats living in Kansas, if you ask us, and is yet another reason we love living in San Francisco…diversity and all you gays!
We love ya! Don’t go changin’…
Having just purchased our first bag of “Sweet Tooth Espresso” from Ritual Roasters after more than six years of dedicated grinding, tamping, and pouring exclusively of Blue Bottle Coffee, we’re a bit torn as to what to do. We’ve had Ritual on many different occasions, but allowing their beans to enter into the home, and thus the home espresso machine, is akin to having an affair right in front of your one true love.
Well, we’re giving it a go and Blue Bottle is going to have to be patient, but it got us thinking about which is “better” (or perhaps more popular is the real question), and why.
Our argument is for Blue Bottle, for what they have done to transform the landscape of coffee in San Francisco and the way a good espresso drink is poured and consumed. They’ve also transformed otherwise dumpy locales into hotbeds of activity (Linden Alley in Hayes Valley, and Mint Plaza in SOMA), and one could argue had a direct impact on property values (commercial and residential) in those areas. Blue Bottle knew how to draw a crowd at the Ferry Building and somehow keep people interested when the line stretched around the building. They’ve built a following, and continue to crank out excellent coffee in the same manner as when they began. Service at their Linden location is always with a smile (Mint Plaza staffers could use a little help in that regard), and although loaded with hipsters, you don’t get the feeling you’re just not hip enough to visit Blue Bottle Coffee.
We’re still warming up to Ritual, and don’t know enough about their flavors and their store to draw a completely honest opinion (first impressions have all been good), but as stated, they’re in our grinder and in our home now, so we ask…if YOU had to choose, would it be Ritual Roasters or Blue Bottle Coffee? At the very least, you have to admit it is just one of the many reasons we live here.
Oh…as for the logo competition, you gotta love Ritual’s.
[Editor's Note: Or is there someplace we're missing that we need to try? If you say Starbucks, you should be shot, and/or deported to a life in Strip Mall Suburbia Hell, because we got news for you, that ain't coffee, and how Starbucks made it past San Francisco's Anti Chain Store Law is beyond us.]
Every time we leave San Francisco we’re reminded just how great this city is, and sometimes we write posts about it. We often have our words taken out of context and are continually blasted for being selfish, sleazy Realtors, and we must always aim to please everyone all the time, because anyone is a potential client. Not so any more. We don’t care if we don’t see eye to eye with you. So here goes…
Aside from property values plunging and being able to snatch up homes for pennies on the dollar (albeit in ghost developments where every home looks alike), there is limited cultural life to speak of outside of San Francisco, and no compelling reason to leave the city (by choice). Do what it takes to stay here, life is not better out there! Cars, people, portions, roads, stores, EVERYTHING grows in size exponentially, and we are 100% convinced America is still primarily Ford F-150 country. If we San Franciscans think we have this global warming, let’s all be greener than thou, thing in the bag and the tide is turning…think again. The rest of the country is so far behind it is not even funny, and most of them (bet they voted for McCain/Palin) just don’t seem to care. It’s saddening and maddening all at the same time.
We are convinced if you move out of a city center, or urban area, your chances of getting overweight, lazy, uncultured, and bored grow with every day you spend driving your car to the store, shopping at Sam’s Club, eating at less than stellar restaurants (did we mention the huge portions), and generally living the American dream of excess. Are there exceptions? Sure, there always are, and we applaud those people living in “Red” America that are trying to make a difference and live a good, healthy life full of culture, stimulation, exercise, and education. We also applaud those people that have helped build and protect our country as many of them live outside of our Urban hotbeds.
Are we perfect? Absolutely not. Are the residents “out there” any less of a person than we are? Absolutely not? Are we better than them? No. But you can’t help notice these things when you leave San Francisco (pick a highway and drive East), and it reminds us, every time, how nice it is to be in the San Francisco Bay Area. So, if you or your friends are thinking of leaving this city to have a “better life” outside of San Francisco, have them give us a shout. We’ll set them straight. It’s not all roses on the other side of the grass.
Of course it is a lot cheaper and easier (not to mention the land is available) to take this
and make it this,
so perhaps we stand corrected.
If you must leave, we hope some of you departing San Franciscans can take some of the things you’ve learned here, and transplant them “out there”, so Americans can learn a little style, shrink in size, and realize this global warming thing is for real and it is no longer cool to consume, consume, consume.
If you live “out there”, and have proof to prove us otherwise, feel free to share in the comments below, or send us the proof via email. We’ll gladly hear your side of the story too.
With that, it’s on with the show….
[Editor's Update: Chew on this too.]
There are many reasons WE live here in San Francisco, and certainly many reasons YOU live here, so feel free to share with us. We captured this photo just yesterday evening on walkabout in North Beach, and thought, “damn that’s cool!”
Just another reason we live here…great (iconic) architecture old and new all around us.
It is Friday the 13th, and bad things are supposed to happen today. Not if you’re a skier/boarder, and not if you live in San Francisco or the greater Bay Area (of course it’d be better in Tahoe or Utah, but let’s not dwell on that):
That’s seven feet of snow in seven days for Kirkwood, and more on the way! Good to live in San Francisco isn’t it?
Twelve other reasons we live here. Got one? Send it in!
The best big wave surfers of the world converge just down our highway in Half Moon Bay…when conditions permit:
But when is a local boy, like Ryan Seelbach or Grant Washburn going to take top honors? The Santa Cruz boys are getting beaten pretty good, but what’s up with the South African and San Clemente boys stealing the local thunder?
Because guys like this can be your friends and clients. Ryan Seelbach, absolutely charging at Maverick’s, and bringing it home for San Francisco!
To gain some perspective on the magnitude of this photo and wave, Ryan is 6’6″…Break out your rulers and calculate that wave height for a second. Or go outside and find the nearest 5 story building, look up, and imagine it falling on you.
Photo Credit: Frank Quirarte (mavsurfer.com)
In case you missed it, Mav’s was again in the spotlight.
-Reasons We Live Here [theFrontSteps]
Our neighbor’s (Tiburon) “back yard”.
(Yes, that is the Golden Gate Bridge on the right, and the city of San Francisco just left of center.)
In case you are wondering, that back yard could be yours for $7,650,000, and you get 5300 square feet of “Romantic View Property” to go with it. Can’t afford to buy it, you can rent it for $19,500/month, but we’ll leave that debate up to you, and go ahead and make this reason we live here #10.
-Reasons we live here [theFrontSteps]
-Tiburon Property [property site]
-Rent vs. Buy [theFrontSteps with interactive graph from NY Times]
We’ve been seeing quite a few of these cars rolling around our streets lately (saw one today in fact, and the guys driving were definitely Italian), and welcome them with open arms. Not only do we think they’re ideal for those tight parking spaces, but they’re also all you truly need if you’re a verified urban dweller and cringe at the thought of hitting an open road. And of course, it makes us feel like we’re in Rome.
But what happens when it runs up against one of these:
Our Photoshop skills are barely beyond resizing an image, so anyone care to mash these together for us? Please! Pretty please….And as always, we’d love to hear and see any of your reasons YOU live here.
[Update: And a crash test video provided by anon8mizer.]
-More Reasons we live here [theFrontSteps]