Friday, May 18, 2012

Watch this space for "Lunching In Public"

An obscure San Francisco public space, a picnic lunch from nearby, and it's... the soon-to-be-occasional Lunching in Public feature.

Idea courtesy of spouse Joel, who has most of the sweet and funny ideas around here, and who does very much approve of lunch.

Starting soon, maybe even tomorrow, we'll find a picnic spot in a minor park, or, if we can, in a zoning-mandated public area of private property -- the kind that SF Chron architecture critic John King has been campaigning to have treated and maintained as genuinely public space (see here and here). We'll take pictures.

Then we'll post a review of our experience as members of the lunching public, maybe providing some history or context on how our space of the day got to be what it is.

Opening challenge: to see if we can find a functioning market or restaurant and a public area of a private building open in the San Francisco Financial District on a weekend. We'll try not to rely on the Ferry Building farmers' market unless necessary. Tasty as that place is, it's too easy.

If however you yourself will be buying lunch in the Ferry Building, here's an opening Lunching in Public tip: don't even bother looking for a place to sit with your lunch anywhere in the crowded Ferry Building area itself. Carry your food and drinks over to Pier 1, the next pier north along the waterfront. Turn right where Taqueria Pancho Villa used to be (now a Starbucks), where the metal benches and tables are bolted to the pavement out front. Walk out onto the pier along the walkway facing the Ferry Building. Have your picnic on one of the benches there. Those benches are nearly always empty. No good reason why. Great view of the Bay Bridge, peace and quiet, wind shelter, seabirds, what's not to like?

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