sf // nearly vegan diner + mcd


Lydia is going back to the UK for the holidays, and we decide to go out for brunch together before she leaves. Our chosen spot is St. Francis Fountain, an authentic diner on the corner of York and 24th Streets. Founded in 1918, this breakfast/brunch establishment is clearly a favorite amongst locals. We are lucky to arrive just early enough to snag a table, as a line quickly forms mere minutes after we've settled in.

The menu contains a surprisingly large amount of vegetarian and vegan options, which is rare for a diner (I mean, vegan diner food is basically unheard of). Lydia orders a small stack of vegan blueberry pancakes with a side of vegan chorizo hash. I order the 'Vegan Thing', which is indeed still available despite no longer being on the physical menu. Pictured above, the Vegan Thing is all you could ever want from a brunch dish: a pile of spuds (= homefries) topped with fresh salsa, guacamole and green onions. (OK, maybe it's not all you could ever want, but when your friend orders pancakes, you're pretty much covered.)

Oh, and I also order a (totally not-vegan) chocolate milkshake, and it's possibly one of the best I've had in SF so far. And yes, I've tried quite a few over the past five months.

I drop Lydia off at the 24th Street BART station and wish her a safe trip home (she's a bit of a nervous flyer). Then, I catch the bus to the Dogpatch, where I intend to visit the Museum of Craft and Design (MCD). It's been on my museum bucket list for a while now, and I have rather high expectations.

Before the museum, though, I visit a lovely boutique called Spicer, which is the perfect type of store to buy gifts. Sadly, I'm way ahead of my holiday shopping by this time, but will keep this place in mind for future gifting errands.

The MCD is a short walk away, also on 3rd Street. I purchase my $6 student ticket (yes, I'm trying to make the most of my McGill ID until it expires in August 2017. Shh...) and spend a few minutes browsing the museum store. The latter is like a mini MoMA Store: it has a great selection of design books and accessories of all kinds, for adults as well as for little ones. It's perhaps even better than the MoMA Store, as its more human size makes it less daunting.

I then discover the museum collections. Located at the very entrance, the first piece is Chris Eckert's Mixed Messages. It consists of a series of 24 telegraph machines lined up against a wall, clicking away in a rhythmic background track. Past these machines and in the front of the museum galleries is Anja Ulfeldt's Of Sound. This second installation piece also involves noise, and consists in a wall of cast iron drainpipes that give the illusion of producing flushing and other water sounds. I enjoy these two pieces and wish to see more of them.

The first actual exhibit, Beyond the Pour II: The Creative Process, appeals very little to me. While I do enjoy some of its pieces, I find the majority of them to be of rather poor (pun not intended) taste. And this has nothing to do with the fact that I don't care for wine.

Fortunately, my visit to the MCD is somewhat redeemed by Marianne Lettieri's smaller exhibition: Reflections. The latter fits my aesthetic much more. Not only does Lettieri use found objects (which I love) as her principal medium, but she also turns the trinkets she collects into artworks I find deeply moving. There's a certain nostalgia in Lettieri's pieces, and I can feel her love for these seemingly trivial objects radiating from her works. I would have loved for the galleries to have been entirely dedicated to Reflections, and hope to come across more of Lettieri's works in the future.

Mixed Messages by Chris Eckert at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Mixed Messages by Chris Eckert at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Of Sound by Anja Ulfeldt at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Beyond the Pour at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Beyond the Pour at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Beyond the Pour at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco  Beyond the Pour at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Beyond the Pour at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco  Beyond the Pour at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Reflections by Marianne Lettieri at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Reflections by Marianne Lettieri at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Reflections by Marianne Lettieri at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Reflections by Marianne Lettieri at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Reflections by Marianne Lettieri at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Reflections by Marianne Lettieri at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Reflections by Marianne Lettieri at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Reflections by Marianne Lettieri at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

Reflections by Marianne Lettieri at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco

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