On Location (or Not): Serendipity


Welcome to "On Location," a micro-feature taking you to little-known cinematic locations of SF and taking a look at the films shot in the city by the bay over the years.

Originally the idea was to curl up with a glass (ok, a bottle) of wine and watch the John Cusack/Kate Beckinsale schmaltz-fest Serendipity the way it was meant to be seen: while wiping tears from the sides of my eyes and grinding Dorito pieces into my couch cushions. While researching for the article, and perhaps already under the influence of too much Barefoot Pinot Noir, I surfed upon a site that’s already pretty well nailed it, and a different kind of article began to take shape in the old noggin: Where would Serendipity take place if it took place today, in San Francisco?

For anyone unfortunate enough to not have witnessed this cinematic masterwork, Serendipity is the story of two star-crossed lovers, one who lives in New York and one in San Francisco, who meet cute at Bloomie’s over a pair of cashmere gloves they’re both totally crushing on. Despite the fact that they both have significant others, they go out for ice cream and then go on one AMAZING date in New York City, and then go back to their respective lives and never see each other again. Until fate intervenes. Basically it’s just like Sliding Doors except John Cusack is Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsdale is …Gwyneth Paltrow–and then they kiss at the end (spoiler alert!). Without further ado, here are a few of the many possible SF scenarios. Enjoy!


His job: Freelance “Writer”

Her job: Non-profit Arts Dev Associate

The meet cute at: Amoeba Records over a wall copy of Daniel Johnston's Hi, How Are You?

They get ice cream at: Twirl and Dip in Golden Gate Park

They spend one incredible day out: Roller skating in Golden Gate Park

She writes her number on: A copy of Georges Bataille’s “Story of the Eye”

He writes his number on: A dirty coaster from 500 Club

Her best friend: Roommate who secretly worries she is the second best-looking member of household

His best friend: Roommate who secretly finds him childish and annoying

They finally reunite at: Zeitgeist


His job: Unspecified at Tech Job™

Her job: Director of Marketing

The meet cute at: Tartine, over the last scoop of bread pudding

They get ice cream at: Smitten in Hayes Valley

They spend one incredible day out: Wandering between Gamescape, Cookin' and Comix Experience

She writes her number on: Unused copy of Rem Koolhaas' S M L XL

He writes his number on: Bitcoins

Her best friend: iPhone 5

His best friend: Mod-Chipped Playstation 3

They finally reunite at: Annual Google Christmas party


His job: Entreprenuer with Conspicuous Amount of Free Time

Her job: Yoga Instructor (with Conspicuous Amount of Free Time)

The meet cute at: Balboa Cafe over the last Pisco mojito

They get ice cream at: The new Bi-Rite on Divis

They spend one incredible day out: Drinking wine flights at Bin38

She writes her number on: His arm

He writes his number on: Expired Amex black

Her best friend: Any blond over 5'6"

His best friend: Large brown Bouvier des Flandres named Amit

They finally reunite at: Balboa Cafe, exactly 1 week later


Contrary to popular belief, consuming an entire bottle of Barefoot in mere moments doesn't always yield the most cogent insights. If you've got your own great scenarios, post 'em in the comments!