3 Places In San Francisco You Must Experience

2018 has been all about finding a better work-life balance. While running my own business from home gives me the freedom to make my own schedule, most of the time it feels as though I’m never not working around the clock. With mental wellness and stress management as a priority of mine these days, I’ve been making an effort to set boundaries and unplug whenever necessary, especially during those periods where I find myself in a creative rut. So whenever I feel the need to breakaway from the computer, or happen to be out and about for a meeting or event, I’ll take a couple of hours of “me” time while visiting some of my favorite spots in San Francisco. Since parking in the city is an absolute painI like to request rides using my Uber app and then schedule pick up times from each destination, thanks to the convenience of Uber’s Scheduled Rides. This way, I’m able to carve out just enough time where I can still make it home to crank out a few more hours of work before hanging up my hat for the day. Because it’s all about balance, right? These are just a few of the places around town give me that brief but meaningful respite . . . and frankly, just make me happy. Where do you like to unwind?

THREE GEMS, de Young Museum: Not many people know about James Turrell’s Three Gems. And even fewer people realize that experiencing the renowned artist’s “skyspace” is free of charge. The renowned artist’s subterranean installation is nestled in the Osher Sculpture Garden of the de Young Museum. Follow the signs to a downward sloped path, where you’ll see a massive, cylindrical retaining wall surrounding a concrete stupa. Inside the domed structure, look up and you’ll see an oculus, through which the sun shines and suddenly, you realize you’re being enveloped in light and sound (let out a soft “hum” and then you’ll know what I’m talking about). Take a seat, watch, listen and soak up nature at play.

20th CENTURY CAFE, 198 Gough Street: A pit stop at 20th Century Cafe is a must whenever I’m in Hayes Valley. Even if I only have time for cake. A divine slice of 10 layer Russian honey cake, to be exact. Trust me, it’s heaven. This particular morning, I had a breakfast date with Todd, which meant we got to indulge in a delicious spread of Eastern European inspired favorites – perfect for two. If you have a chance to visit this charming little corner cafe, don’t miss owner and chef Michelle Polzine’s housemade bagels, potato knish and poppyseed babka. And the honey cake. Whatever you do, don’t forget the honey cake.

PEEPHOLE CINEMA, 280 Orange Alley: The Mission District is chock full of hidden gems. After years of spending time in the neighborhood, I still stumble across new delightful finds each time. I recommend getting dropped off at the ever bustling Valencia Street and discovering all of the incredible boutiques, cafes, and floral shops on foot. You might even find a hole in the wall theater. Literally! At the end of Orange Alley is, believe it or not, a dime-sized hole in a wall that plays a constant stream of silent film vignettes. Blink or you might miss it. For a brief 2 minutes, you can immerse yourself in cinema and relish in such a creative and brilliant public installation.

(photography by Todd Wagner; this post was created in partnership with Uber, all opinions are my own; Mara Hoffman coat available here, Freda Salvador mules available here, Saint Laurent hat similar here)

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