Today was my day to do my final update for the Where-To-Guide's annual Civic Center dining feature. Each year, in the September/October issue, I write short reviews of many of the restaurants near Davies Symphony Hall and the Opera House. My timing is for the beginning of the Opera and Symphony seasons.
Opening night for the San Francisco Symphony is September 3; for the San Francisco Opera, it is September 5.
I could not have picked a better day to do my walk-around. At mid-day, the temperature in San Francisco was in the low 80s. I loved it...didn't even need the sweater that I brought, just in case it was not as warm as I expected. Of course, back in the 'Creek, it is 103 degrees as I write this at 3 p.m.
By both the Opera House and Symphony Hall, tents were being put up. Presumably, these are where the dinners and parties before and after the opening nights will be held. Also going on this weekend in the Civic Center is Slow Food Nation 2008, a big food event, highlighting wonderful foods and drinks prepared with fresh, local, healthful ingredients...no fast food in this part of town or over at Fort Mason, the other venue for Slow Food Nation.
Something that has always intrigued me about warm days in San Francisco is that, while there are few days even in summer, when it is warm enough to go around without a light jacket, when the temperature rises, the streets are filled with people in the summery-est of clothing. Notice this woman crossing the street by the Opera House, with City Hall in the background:
Many of the Hayes Street restaurants now have sidewalk tables and today, they were the place to sit while having lunch. Note the sunbather in Octavia Park, eating his lunch at a table and catching some rays...kind of made me think of parks in Paris on warm days, when the world comes out to soak up some sun.
Since last year, there is lots of new housing in this area, known as Hayes Valley. To go along with it, many new shops and cafes. And many old favorites, such as Marlena's and Flipper's have spiffed up their Victorian facades.
Happy Summer Day!