New York You Make it Happen

There’s something about New York that stays with me long after I’m back home in San Francisco, something that doesn’t get washed away once I’ve fallen back into my usual day-to-day routine.

New York gives me a renewed appreciation for San Francisco. It reminds me why I live in a city, why I love cities, and it motivates me to treat San Francisco the way I treat New York — with more of a sense of adventure and a willingness to go out of my way to experience more of what a city has to offer.


During our four days in New York, we hit up six coffee shops (eight if I count each Blue Bottle location separately). Blitzed from the red-eye, we stumbled into a tiny Cafe Grumpy location in the Lower East Side and then had more coffee on the High Line (where we saw our dentist). We had macchiatos in Brooklyn where we sat in front of the actress Hope Davis, and we had coffee in the East Village next to a mural of MCA. On our last day, we got coffee at a little espresso outpost located in the back of a working barber shop.

And it got me thinking about some of the coffee shops in SF that I rarely get to. Sightglass, for example, has a seriously gorgeous cafe in the Mission. It serves good coffee and carries excellent pastries from Neighbor Bakehouse, and yet, I’d been there just once because the location isn’t particularly convenient for me, and I tend to get turned around in that part of the Mission.

When we were hunting down sandwiches on our last day in New York, I thought about Cane Rosso in the Ferry Building. I’d loved their sandwiches, and I thought they were some of the best sandwiches in SF. But I hadn’t been there in at least a year, even though it’s walking distance from work. I put off going to Cane because I didn’t want to brave the crowds of tourists in the Ferry Building, and I’d have to go early in order to avoid the lines.

Being in New York helped me get beyond these excuses and think beyond my well-worth path between work and home. It made me realize that by only going to places that were convenient or familiar, I was limiting my experience of SF and my life here.

And so on our first week back from New York, we went to that lovely Sightglass cafe in the Mission and had coffee and pastries among the techies and yoga-mat toting customers. And then we crossed town and got more coffee at Andytown in the outer Sunset where there were parents and kids inside and three dogs tied up outside.

We took the dog to Ocean Beach — easy access to the ocean is another thing I appreciate about SF after being in New York — and then we stopped at Outerlands, which had expanded over a year ago but we’d yet to check out the new space. (The design was better than the food).

And last week, I took an early lunch break and went back to Cane Rosso, where I confirmed that the brisket sandwich is still delicious.


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