sf // fort mason

For some reason I've been having trouble sleeping in on weekends lately. On the bright side, waking up at 8am means I have tons more time to explore! A few weeks ago, on one of those early rise Sundays, I decide to visit SF's beloved Fort Mason. Uncertain of what to expect (a castle? a fortress?), I am quite surprised upon arriving at my destination and finding myself in a park (and a nice one, too).

I had heard there was a great farmer's market on Sundays, but the latter is initially nowhere to be found. Instead, I end up in a lovely community garden full of flowers, succulents and other plants. With its incredible peacefulness and many benches, this would be the perfect spot to read a book.

I then take a path that leads me to a large meadow - which I learn is called "Great Meadow" - with a near 360 view of the city and the water (with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, as always). The park contains just the right amount of people - there are a few cyclists, a class of brave morning yogis, old men on benches. It's not overly crowded and would make a sound picnic location.

The farmer's market turns out to be located at the Fort Mason Center, down by the piers. After descending a rather long stairway, I walk to the waterfront and admire the lovely view. Not too sure what's on the other side of the water, but perhaps someday I'll check it out. I then quickly browse through Flax, an art supplies store similar to Brick's. If you're a painter, I highly recommend paying Flax a visit, as its watercolor and acrylic sections are especially large.

If you're more of a reader than an artist (or if you're both, like me!), you'll be happy to spend a good hour at Readers Bookstore, which is in one of the buildings next door. The proceeds of this non-profit bookshop actually go to the San Francisco Public Library, helping to fund its various events. It has a selection of all types of books at reasonable prices (think slightly cheaper than Strand), as well as CD's, vinyls and vintage prints.

Now onto the actual farmer's market (the reason I've made it all the way to Fort Mason in the first place). Well, what can I say? It features over a dozen booths with local fruits, veggies, bread, pastries, canned goods, and even fresh fish! Oh, and there's also a bucket of pay-by-weight sprouts. I love sprouts. And yes, there's plenty of fruit sampling available. And food booths, including one with delicious-looking dumplings. There are a few outdoor tables to sit at and enjoy the noms you pick up, but it must also be lovely to climb back up to Great Meadow and have a picnic there!


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