scooter road trip, Alemaney Farmers Market, Flora Grubb Gardens and the Dogpatch
Yesterday was a beautiful day, and when there’s ample sun in San Francisco, one has to capitalize on the opportunity to be outdoors before the FOG rolls back in. After a workout at the gym Saturday, I hopped on the scooter and made myself a little itinerary. From SOMA I would head south to Bernal Heights via Folsom, check out the oldest still-running farmers market in San Francisco, then head east to the Dogpatch, home of Flora Grubb Garden Center. Heading back from Flora on Third, I spontaneously decided to take Evens to Bayview, and explored the hinterlands along the all-but-unknown India Basin shoreline there, studded with warehouses, powerplants, junkyards and the like. I was delighted to see an amazing view of the city skyline from there, to boot!
If you’re a fan of farmers markets, you’ll love Alemaney. The selection of produce is extensive and varied enough to include lots of fruits and veg I ‘d never encountered, and all of quite high quality. I bought some cherries and strawberries for the crisp I’m going to make tomorrow.
I discovered something called the tay berry, billed as a cross between a black berry and a raspberry, so I bought some of those, too.
And the donut peach. . . ! It’s sort of short and wide and does look like a doughnut, and it’s incredibly sweet. I will toss a few slices of those in the crisp, too. The prepared food vendors are topnotch, including great soul food, MEXICAN and wood fired pizzas made to order. . . I had a salvadoran mushroom and cheese papusa for breakfast. . .
From here I wound my way to the Dogpatch. It’s a neighborhood of heavy industry, warehouses and a nasty reputation for being rough. It’s not pretty but there’s something I find kinda cool about the aesthetic, the rusted metal, huge cargo ships just off shore and the bare bones of the power plants. Lots of abandoned buildings which is a shame because as I said, the view of the San Francisco skyline from here is pretty cool. Some say this neighborhood could be the next up-and-coming success story and I hope it can be revitalized. The City extended light rail service to the neighborhood and some artists and small business owners are gradually moving in, like Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, of my previous post!
Flora Grubb is another star of the neighborhood, with her gorgeous store that celebrates the idea of reclaiming discarded materials and making art of them. More than rare plants and an amazing succulent collection, she’s educating people on new and creative ways to pot and display plants, a talent which has earned her recognition beyond the city.
Check out this centerpiece of the store, an old car that Flora turned into a huge planter.
Flora Grubb must have been celebrating a sunny day as well- there was a food vendor tent set up in her garden selling huckleberry lemonade and fried chicken sandwiches, and even whoopie pies. I was happily surprised to see my buddy Michael waiting in line for plants, we haven’t seen eachother since last year, so we had a spontaneous lunch and caught up right there in the garden.
The ride ended with a leisurely exploration of the industrial coastline before heading back into the city. Thank God for gorgeous days, and for scooters!