Weekend guide / SF bagels and final trips to Cowgirl Creamery

It's Friday, March 12th.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

Happy Friday! It’s a beautiful day and looks like Saturday will have some sun as well before the rain on Sunday. So soak it up while you can! 

My parents (fresh off their second vaccine) are in town this weekend. Talk about things starting to feel normal again! But of course, there are differences. Instead of a long dinner at their favorite Italian spot in Cow Hollow (Pane e Vino), we picked up Thai food last night from Farmhouse Kitchen’s new window on Fillmore and grabbed a six-pack from Woods on the way back. 

It was cool, though, to show them what a “Slow Street” was and walk by all the outdoor parklets that popped up in Lower Haight. Entertaining visitors in a post-vaccine era! I’m sure there will be new guide books written for this. 

For now… Here are some things to consider this weekend… 

🍞 Figure out what you’re going to barter with at Barter Bread. This week local reporter Elena Kadvany wrote an awesome profile for us on the Bayview couple who aren’t selling their loaves but bartering with people for them instead.

Some items on the couple’s barter “wishlist” include home-cooked meals (they tend to eat meat-free), a virtual class or lesson, and a service in your field or hobby. So get your thinking caps on! Orders for this upcoming week’s pickup for their country sourdough, pretzel bread, or 100-plus-year-old sourdough starter must be placed by Monday, 3/15. 

💞 Go visit Blanche the swan at the Palace of Fine Arts. Blanche’s mate Blue Boy sadly passed away this week from poisoning that officials suspect came from eating too many pennies. Parks and Rec issued a tweet saying not to throw coins in the pond and to not feed or approach Blanche when she’s onshore (it stresses her out, they said). But going to the Palace of Fine Arts for a picnic or whatnot, and sending some love to Blanche might be a nice thing to do. 

🙌 Grab a San Francisco bagel. The New York Times piece this week about the rise of the California bagel scene caused quite the stir. So why not check out what the commotion is all about? Midnite Bagels can be found on weekends in cafes around SF, including Linea Caffe and Hedge Coffee in the Mission and Pinhole Coffee in Bernal Heights. (I’m sure they’ll go fast, so you’ll probably want to get there early.) 

Not mentioned in the NYT story, but grabbing attention for its California-inspired New York-style bagels is Poppy Bagels, which makes its doughy treats available at Noe Cafe on Saturday mornings. Also, Schlok's offers its bagels and schmears out of The Snug on weekends, though it’s already sold out this Saturday and Sunday. You can subscribe to Schlok's newsletter here to get alerted early for next week’s batch.

Chicken Dog Bagels (I know. That name, right?!) which operates out of Pizzahacker is another option for Saturday morning. You can pre-order on its website or just show up starting at 9 am. 

🚲 Take a walk (or bike) down the Sanchez Slow Street to check out the completed street mural between 24th and Elizabeth Streets.

Amos Goldbaum, the artist behind the painting, told me today that he’s happy with how it turned out but wished he could “make the street 15 degrees steeper or set up a viewing platform so people could take in the whole thing.” But, he said, “it’s been cool to see people investigate it piece by piece and slowly figure out the different elements.” 

Also, he told me, his back (from painting an entire city block at an awkward angle) was “miraculously ok.” 

🧀 Make one last trip to Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building. The Chronicle reported on Thursday that after 18 years, Cowgirl Creamery is closing its iconic cheese shop in the Ferry Building on April 10th.

“No ferry traffic, no locals except on farmers’ market days, no tourists,” Amanda Parker, managing director of Cowgirl, told the Chronicle as for some of the reasons for the shuttering. “We tried really hard to make it work and ultimately it’s just not an operation we could sustain any longer.”

Cowgirl will still sell its cheeses in stores and at its Point Reyes location, but it will be missed at the Ferry Building for sure. 

🗑 And finally… Go out and pick up some trash! If you missed our talk with 20-year-old climate activist Edgar McGregor this week, it’s worth a listen. 

McGregor picked up trash at his beloved Eaton Canyon park down in LA for 589 days straight until he officially claimed it to be “free of municipal waste.” 

I loved his answer when I asked him how people should get started. Here’s what worked for him: “I grab a bucket, I grab some gloves, I shut up, and I go out there and I pick up some trash.”

So if you don’t have gloves and a bucket already, maybe take a trip down to your local hardware store this weekend. McGregor said his toughest pickup was his first one, but said to “just get started and you’ll find your way.” 

That’s all for today! Thanks for following along this week, have an awesome weekend, and we’ll see you back on Monday! Talk soon. - Nick B. 

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