Mission & More with ModCloth Founder
Susan Gregg Koger
I am constantly traveling for work to tons of amazing places, from New York and Los Angeles to London and Berlin, but right now, I'm living in one of the greatest cities in the world: San Francisco. As a kid I always said I wanted a job that involved travel - my mom reminds me of that if I complain that I’m tired! But these days, I crave staycations -- we've only relatively recently moved here, so it's still new and full of places to discover. I love spending a weekend being a tourist in my own town. It's also awesome to wake up in my own bed with my dog.
I love to shop for unique finds, and seek out new vintage stores. When we moved from Pittsburgh, we packed only our closets, so I'm always on the lookout for housewares to decorate our place here in San Francisco. Shopping is both business and pleasure for me, as I've always got an eye out for inspiration for our vintage and in-house designed products on ModCloth.
The places you should definitely see
1. On a sunny day, you should always spend some time people watching in Dolores Park.
2. While you’re in the neighborhood, go wait in line at Tartine. Sure, it's kind of a pain, but the Morning Buns are worth it, and it's a quintessential San Francisco foodie experience.
3. The same goes for Bi Rite Ice Cream -- I love their salted caramel flavor.
My favorite places to eat
1. Eiji in the Castro is a little sushi place that makes delicious homemade oboro tofu, I'm a big fan.
2. Beast and the Hare is an American gastropub in the Mission that makes amazing rabbit stew. I've never liked rabbit before, but this is really tasty. For the less adventurous, they have a great burger.
3. La Ciccia is a cozy little bistro that's usually packed, so we get there early for the spicy octopus, which is really great.
The activities not to be missed
1. Anyone coming to San Francisco has got to get out and experience nature, and there are tons of ways to do it. We like to go hiking in Marin, and we've been trying new spots every time we go out. I love the Marin Headlands, which is right over the Golden Gate Bridge. It's especially nice when it's cold and foggy here in the city -- you can drive right out and be in the warm and sunny headlands.
2. The Alameda Point Antiques Fair (a.k.a. the Alameda flea market) takes place the first Sunday of every month in the East Bay. My job has taken me to flea markets around the world -- and this one is probably my favorite. You really have to be prepared to walk and walk and walk, but there are amazing finds for those willing to look. Bring a hat, it gets hot. I've found a lot of great clothing, accessories and housewares. In fact, we just met a guy there who makes tables out of reclaimed wood, and we ordered one for the back deck.
3. Other than the seals, the Musée Mechanique may be the only good reason to go to Fisherman's Wharf. I'm kind of obsessed with it, and for anyone who is into vintage stuff, it's kind of heaven. It's always cool to get a fortune from the Gypsy Fortune Teller.
My hidden gems
1. There's a place in the Mission called The Touch on Valencia street -- there's always a sale sign out front, and its a little dingy and dirty from outside. You have to dig around a bit, but I've found some great furniture there that's well priced. We found this cool modular, sixties cabinet for our kitchen and got an incredible deal. It's worth going, but you have to be able to dig a bit and picture what it might look like in your house.
2. The Apartment, another vintage store in the Mission, has a cool mural of bird coming out of a birdhouse outside. Every time I go there I can spend hours sorting through old photos. I recently picked up some vintage language learning flashcards. You never know what you're going to find, but it's fun to poke around.
3. I love my local hole-in-the-wall Cambodian restaurant, Angkor Borei. Their cashew nut chicken is one of my favorite dishes.
4. As an aspiring mixologist, I love to taste new cocktails; it's inspiring for me. I don't have a favorite, but every time I go to Bourbon & Branch, I try something new.
My travel tip
Maybe it’s a cliché, but it's true - bring a sweater. It's actually colder in the summertime than you'd believe. Before I came here I thought people were exaggerating about the cold in the summer. Believe it. I always have a scarf with me, just in case.
The place I’m most excited to go next is South America. I hear a lot of great things, and I've never been, so we're thinking of going to Argentina and Chile for Christmas. I'm always excited to go to a place I've never been before, and this is a whole new continent to explore!