Just moved to San Francisco and wondering what to do in The Mission? Why not choose your own adventure?
It’s Monday evening. You’re sitting in your bedroom in the Mission. You hear a dog bark in the distance and a breeze waft through the window – it’s the city beckoning you.
You put on your shoes and walk out to the street, to see what this vibrant neighborhood has in store for you.
You hunt for your new favorite book.
You decide to explore the bookstores of the Mission. First, you head straight to Bolerium Books on Mission, as this quirky bookstore specializing in rare books on social movements has quirky hours as well – it closes at 5:45pm. After perusing communist and socialist posters, you make your way to Valencia. You look into a window and see a hairless cat staring back at you. You’ve arrived at Borderlands Books. You explore the extensive collection of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Your nostrils flare as you smell fresh coffee. Your feet follow the scent into the adjoining Borderlands cafe. You take your coffee to go (remembering to pay in cash) and head up to 20th street. The inviting lighting of Dog-Eared Books pulls you in. You ask the friendly staff for a recommendation and walk out one book richer.
You want to party – Monday is the new Friday!
You grab some of your roommates and head over to Uptown, a dive bar on 17th and Capp. You get the attention of the bartender and order some beers, which you pay for with the crumpled bills in your pocket – it’s a cash-only bar. You squeeze into a worn-down but comfortable booth and overhear some bar patrons arguing over the Giants and the A’s. You hear the distinct clacking of a cue and an 8 ball and wander behind the bar to find the pool table. You and your roommates scavenge some quarters and rack up. After 40 grueling minutes, you realize none of you are any good, and move on to the pinball machine. You finish your beers and head back onto the sidewalk.
You need to feel the grass between your toes.
You see a clear sky without a sign of fog and grab a picnic blanket. You invite a friend to meet you at Dolores Park. Once you get there, you spot a group of people surrounding a tightrope. You watch a woman gracefully walk its length. You’ve been meaning to try new things, and you muster the courage to approach the group. A man attempts the slackline and dramatically falls to the ground. You decide you’ll try some other time. You lay out your blanket right as your friend arrives. You bask in the late summer light.
Suddenly, you feel a growling in your stomach. It’s time for dinner, and you are surrounded by incredible restaurants.
You are in the mood for something light.
The bright colors, the lively bar, and the delicious small plates of Loló draw you in. You sit by the window and look out at Valencia street, as busy as ever on a Monday night. You examine the menu and curse the skies you have to pick just one dish – tonight you order the arugula salad, but decide you’ll come back for the calamari and octopus gorditas (and their incredible sangria).
You feel like food AND fun.
You walk through the doors of The Sycamore, looking forward to their gastropub fare. You order the famous roast beef sandwich and some mac & cheese bites. You check your watch. It reads 7:23. Perfect, you have just enough time to come up with a clever team name for the weekly Monday night trivia that starts at 7:30, hosted by Quiz Master Keith. After a two hours of trivia, and an order of fries for the table, you leave the bar in 4th place.
You want to eat al fresco.
You mosey on over to Southern Pacific Brewing. You order one of their own brews (even though you noted their guest taps are just as tempting) and finally decide to order their Bahn Mi sandwich. You snag a spot at a table outside and watch the dusky sky become night. You’re thankful you brought your scarf, as the evening breeze that dances across your face has become cool.
As the final hints of sun fade from the sky, you feel the Mission tugging at you to keep exploring. It’s a call you can’t ignore.
You give in to your sweet tooth.
You approach the charming exterior of Xanath Ice Cream and look inside. You hold the door open for a child as she skips out the door with a fresh cone. You walk in and sample their three different vanilla flavors – you’re surprised by how different, and delicious, they all taste. But, tonight, you are feeling a little more adventurous. You purchase a cone with a scoop of Saffron and a scoop of Fig.
You have got to groove.
You walk into the sultry, dimly lit Amnesia bar, knowing they offer music every night of the week. The sounds of bluegrass hit your senses and you find yourself swaying to the music. You order a cider and walk up closer to the stage to watch the musicians do what they do best. You join your neighbors on the dance floor and let your feet do the talking.
As your night comes to an end, you head home. When you walk through the door…
You hit the hay.
You wind down in your comfy bed, ready to take on whatever Tuesday brings.
You tell your housemates about your night.
You regale your housemates hanging out in the shared living room with tales of your epic Monday night in the Mission.
You grab a midnight snack.
…but you fall asleep before you can indulge.
You ignore the call of the city.
While in bed you think back on your night–yes, it was epic, but was it epic-est? It’s okay, you tell yourself. Some things are better left for next Monday night.
The End… or is it?
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