Smile is a cool novelty and gift store that also sells photo supplies. The stuff is really novelty and probably wouldnt appeal to most people, but if you are just that kind of person, youll probably love this place. For example, they have 3-d sculptures of dog heads that have been made into clocks. Not for everyone, but if thats your thing, youre going to LOVE it.
This museum is dedicated to all sorts of design and crafts. Im not such a big fan of the museum in general for its exhibits, but it should really be noted that this place does do a lot of great events for the society, such as AIDS awareness and disaster training.
The Kertesz Gallery, near Nob Hill and Union Square is kind of hidden away on a side street you might not necessarily go down, but you really should make the effort to find it. They have a huge range of paintings from old classical European, to Impressionism, to very modern and contemporary stuff. It is a beautiful place to walk around and soak up some art.
First of all, I have a confession to make: I cannot stand wool. I hate it, its just way too itchy. That being said, my sister LOVES it. Thats why when she was visiting and we were walking towards Union Square, she had to go into Three Bags Full. She is a much better judge of it than I am, but I can tell you that she LOVED this place. The clothes are very stylish and have a great look, and as far as wool goes, its not too too expensive.
Ive never been a fan of Payless, Ive never been a fan of Loehmanns either... call me a girl, but I love really nice beautiful shoes. That is definitely what Nobel Shoes has. They specialize in really very stylish shoes that are incredibly comfortable. I have maybe four or five pairs from there at home, and I really wear them all the time!
Thats the odd thing about Karikter, is that I dont really honestly think I like the stuff, but I find myself spending an awful lot of time in there. They mostly have really kitschy, kind of novelty things for your house, home dcor, lots of strangely shaped, brushed metal clocks that my brain tells me I should hate, but I think I kind of want one! Check out the paradox for yourself.
Relin certainly is an oasis amongst the many tourist traps of China Town. Mostly, the stores here pander cheap, low quality merchandise, but Relin offers really nice, good value, and good quality jewelry and clothes. They have a lovely selection of silver and jade, and the jade isnt the pale cheap stuff... no, no, this is the really nice, rich, deep green jade. Very very nice.
I went to Bay City Barbershop one time when I just needed a little trim before a meeting with a client. I was having lunch in North Beach and saw the place as I was walking down the street. I popped in there and they did a very quick and efficient job. The barber is a really funny guy too and made the experience all the more enjoyable.
The 3rd Street Gym is probably the only truly authentic boxing gym in San Francisco. Why lie? This is kind of a soft, prissy city. You dont find any of that in the 3rd Street Gym. Its located in kind of a rough neighborhood, but thats good. You wouldnt want a place like this in the Marina anyway. I love the 3rd street gym and all of its trainers.
The Elephant and Castle has the most authentic feeling of all the pubs in the Financial district. Its sort of in a back alley, very quiet, and relatively unused street downtown, which lends it a little peace from all the city noise. The food is here is hearty and good, and they have a good selection of beer. The bartender is really cute too.