I am not fond of the San Mateo library system. Every time I try to go to the library, they are closed. I have found many of the books I was looking for, but I have had to place holds (which they now charge for) and wait to get items and especially come back often because of their hours. I understand that they have limited funding, but they need to be open more mornings and less evenings (after 7 pm I can't believe they have that many customers).
... you can't afford it. This yarn store does not have price tags, which is annoying. I did end up buying a couple of things there, some sale yarn that I ended up hating, and some double pointed needles, but the idea that I had to ask the cost of everything made it very unappealing to me to buy anything there. I wouldn't make an effort to go back to this store.
While most yarn stores sell the same commercially available yarns. Art Fibers sells their own yarn, which makes them a destination in San Francisco. If you are visiting (or local) and can only go to one yarn store in the Bay Area, this is it. Everything else you can buy online.
I haven't really had any problems with the staff at Uncommon Threads, although I have heard some horror stories. They have a lot of Rowan yarns, and standard yarn selections. They also have a large upscale baby yarn selection. I'm guessing that is due to their clientele and what their needs are.
They have baby toys and are pretty good about kids being there, but I don't feel too comfortable bringing my kids.
They aren't open Sundays so I don't end up going there that often.
I shop most often at Creative Hands. Their selection is good, the staff is helpful and the prices are pretty good. I like to look at their "oddball basket" where they have their sale yarns and I have found quite a few finds. They are moving in early April to a larger store in Belmont and I am looking forward to it.
Sheila and her lactation consultants are extremely helpful, whether or not you are purchasing something from her. I believe I bought one nursing bra from her and I got over one year of lactation support as well as many contacts and knowledge of breastfeeding. I wholeheartedly recommend this center, Sheila and Susan, and their website, babiesandmoms.com.
This school is one of the few bilingual Montessori schools, and a friend's child loves it. However, I have heard that it is closing after this year. It is a shame because it is a good program that is unique.
I went to this Gymboree when my oldest was 6 months old and enjoyed it but now 5 years later it has gone downhill. I signed up again with my second about 2 years ago and all the teachers had to use cue cards to know what songs to sing -- even the trainers had cue cards! They were really uptight about the stuff they were selling at the front of the store as well.
When my oldest was a baby we had a birthday party for him there and it was fun. This location fills up really quickly so you need to call way in advance for birthday parties. For my second's party we had to go to the Gymboree in Palo Alto because the San Mateo one was full. A Major drawback to some for the birthday parties is that you are only allowed to bring juice and cake, no full meals.
Another thing to note is that Gymboree is based in Burlingame so all the local shops are corporate owned. I took a class with a friend at a Gymboree in Maryland which was a franchise and it was very different.
PROS: indoor birthday parties until 4 years old
CONS: fills up fast, not professional teachers
I went to this hair place because a friend had some photography that was being displayed there. I asked for a hair dresser that was good with short hair and I got an okay hair cut but not exciting enough for me to make the effort to come back. It did have a nice fun setup and name, though.
I happen to love Amici's pizza, and I am pretty picky about my pizza. It is traditional wood fired pizza, with a thin crust and extra garlic if you ask for it. The San Mateo location is pretty small and can get crowded (I prefer the Redwood Shores one) but a great downtown location. I also love the Tuxedo Cake which is white and chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing. They could have more desserts, however, they only have the Tuxedo cake and cheesecake. All in all, I keep coming back to Amici's.