More often than not, people tapping away on their laptops and ipads in the San Francisco coffee scene won't look over to see kids at play. Well here's a change. Hayes Valley's Seesaw is a café and children's workshop in one. Sabrina Gabel, a child psychologist, and her husband opened Seesaw with plans to provide kids a learning studio as well as a lounge for their accompanying parents and neighborhood coffee enthusiasts. The clean design pulls from both the Danish and Korean aesthetic, a husband-and-wife collaboration, and insists that being around good design is beneficial even at a young age.
The latest project from entertainment designer Charles Doell of Mister Important Design opened last month at art fair ArtPadSF, and is as amazing as its sign proclaims. Chambers, a restaurant and lounge, is attached to the legendary Phoenix hotel, host of ArtPad and a rest stop for touring bands with a provenance for rock star fun. I took a little tour to showcase the details that make this a standout design.
This year, several San Francisco libraries have been remodeled to bring these community centers into the digital age. The Bureau of Architecture completed the Merced branch last month and collaborated with architects from Field Paoli and Joseph Chow to complete the Presidio branch that re-opened in March. With updates to technology, foundation, and LEED certification, our neighborhoods are now sporting some shiny new libraries.
The Merced branch is a mid-century modern gem. The noticeable changes include an expansion of the front entrance and children's reading room.
The first-ever Treasure Market Flea Market was this past Saturday and Sunday, and I made my way over for a toll-fare-free visit to San Francisco's Bay Bridge pass-through island for a perusal and a jaunt. I came home with a large abstract painting with questionable roots. Was the artwork an early abstract expressionist piece from a well-represented California artist or an attempt at drip painting from a local garage artist? The joy of shopping at a flea market is not knowing what great finds await you.
Back when I spent my time as the ultimate freelancer, I was exhibit A at the local Mission café, sipping away on a cup of tea gone cold and crumbing up my periphery with half-munched pastries. I had on my list of requirements for an adopted workspace an offering of reliable wifi Internet, electric outlets to power my laptop, and a decent tea selection. Café culture is at a height in the Mission district, and those available outlets were hard to find, so I welcomed The Summit with arms outstretched. And I didn't hesitate to contact proprietor Desi Danganan to find out how The Summit separates itself from the pack.
I've been frequenting Public Works, when my schedule allows, since it's opening party in September of last year. A few weeks later I asked Tyrone Tramner and manager Jeff Whitmore for a look into the design ideas behind Public Works. Started and designed by the main shareholders and former owners of the San Francisco venue Mighty, the motive of Public Works was to offer a community space reflective of the real needs and desires of the surrounding creative commonwealth.
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