Weekend guide / Remembering Ferlinghetti and piano concert in Hayes Valley

It's Friday, February 26th.

Hey there, San Francisco. Happy Friday.

There’s a lot of new folks here, which is so cool. I really appreciate you all following along! 

If this is your first newsletter from The SF Minute, I just wanted to quickly explain the schedule we’ve been following for the past five weeks or so. On Mondays through Thursdays, we send out a newsletter at around 5 pm PT that’s filled with the top local news stories from the day. 

And on Fridays, we take a bit of a break from the news and send out a “weekend guide” in the afternoon, around 2 or 3 pm. It’s usually filled with articles I come across throughout the week of things to do, restaurants to try out, etc. Hopefully, these guides can spark an idea or two for you, especially as things start to open up again. 

And with that… here are some things to consider for your weekend ahead.


📝 Remember Lawrence Ferlinghetti. San Francisco lost a literary legend this week—the poet and co-founder of City Lights Books, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. You can read some of his poems online here, including a handful from his famous 1957 collection, “A Coney Island of the Mind.” 

Revisiting Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl,” which Ferlinghetti was arrested for publishing, might be another way to honor San Francisco’s first Poet Laureate. The New York Times also put together an 11-minute video on Ferlinghetti that’s worth a watch if you haven’t already. 


🍹 Venture back into the FiDi and grab a drink from Kona’s Street Market, which just opened near 3rd and Market Street on Thursday. It looks like reservations for Kona’s outdoor patio are fully booked for this weekend, but you can still grab one (or more!) of their street market-inspired cocktails to-go. The Kona’s team (also behind the Union Square bar Pacific Cocktail Haven) partnered with the Filipino pop-up Pinoy Heritage for the food side of things if you wanted to grab a curry beef hand pie to-go as well.


🍕 Stock up on fancy, frozen pizza. Eater SF came out with a good list this week of top frozen pizzas in the city that included restaurants I didn’t know sold frozen pizzas (like Del Popolo, Delfina, and Casey’s). They look super tasty and might be a good option if you don’t feel like cooking. 

Speaking of pizza (and not cooking), I’ve been meaning to mention that I tried Above Ground, the vegan pizza spot on Mission (between 17th and 18th), and thought it was really good! Worth checking out, especially if you’re trying to cut down on your cheese intake (like me). Tonight, I might finally splurge and order-in from Baia, the new vegan Italian restaurant in Hayes Valley (where Jardinière used to be). I’ll make sure to report back my findings 😋


💃 Watch the San Francisco Ballet from your couch. The Ballet’s current program (or, as it’s calling it “Digital Program 02”) looks really cool. One piece even features dancers performing in Golden Gate Park and across the empty rooms of the SFMOMA. You can stream it online for $29 through March 3rd.


🎹 And finally… My next-door neighbor Cooper Grosscup is a first-year composition student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and on Saturdays around 11 am he plays piano at Mercury Cafe in Hayes Valley.

Cooper recently found the piano on Craigslist for free, had his tuner-friend Brandon fix it up, and convinced Mercury owner Nick that the front right corner of his cafe was the perfect spot for the restored Baldwin Acrosonic. 

Last Saturday, Cooper said it was “really cool” to see the parklet outside of Mercury filled with people. “It seemed like people were really excited to hear and experience live music again,” he said. “I think it feels precious now after people have been mostly listening to recordings and Zoom concerts. To have real music in the air is pretty awesome.” 

Cooper said he plays a mix of classics (like Bach and Erik Satie), his own compositions, and jazz standards from The Real Book. 

So if you're in the area around 11 am this Saturday, grab a coffee and come listen to Cooper. He’s really good! Trust me, I hear him through the walls every day 😊


That’s all for today! Thanks again for tuning in and a great weekend. - Nick B. 


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