San Francisco

My New Commute thinks I’m a sloppy dresser and wants me to improve. It suggests a pair of knee-high boots, or a quirkier pair of eyeglasses. My New Commute, hypocritical in its stance against wardrobe safety blankets, would be especially pleased if I stopped wearing the same black skirt every 2-3 days.

If I play my cards right each day, My New Commute saves a seat for me. My New Commute tends to save that seat next to an old Asian man who likes to tie his produce bag to the seat rail with a shoelace and ten knots, effectively blocking me in. My New Commute laughs while I try to free myself. Usually, I laugh too.

My New Commute would prefer that I listen to my ipod at an acceptable volume for others, as my new morning commute doesn’t particularly care for the likes of Diane Cluck or that one Editors song on repeat. My New Commute wants me read, but instead makes jokes about my illiteracy amongst the others who faithfully bring their books.

My New Commute hates to be compared to the Old Commute, and would like me to inform you just how much more respectable it is than its predecessor. While both Commutes host their fair share of residents from Electric Crazyland, My New Commute has a lower tolerance for the be-fecaled and shopping carts.

With 9 stops between my front door and office, My New Commute loves to lure the possibility of new people and their friendship in front of my face. Conveniently, My New Commute separates me from the most interesting subjects with thick glass and swift doors, leaving all hope behind on the platform as it whisks me away to the next station.

Wanting to appear useful, My New Commute puts on an advertisement each day for all the new shops, salons and markets I could now call my own. My New Commute wants to make a Giants fan out of me, and wouldn’t mind if I wanted to enjoy the big gaudy mall downtown. My New Commute wants to interest me in spray tanning, secondhand clothing and ugly European furniture as well.

In rolling carelessly by the homes and workplaces of old loves/enemies, My New Commute would like to trigger memories and spawn daydreams — but in the end, My New Commute is just an insensitive bastard who likes to toy with my mind.

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Do not ride the N-Judah. Do not stop at Durty Nelly’s. Do not carry on to the Sunset Super. Do not engage in whimsy when purchasing live creatures. Do not expect Gladiator-style action when presenting your kittens with langoustines.

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A few weeks back, Ciaran indulged me in a spot of tea at Garden Court. Petite sandwiches, fruit tarts, Brit scones with clotted Devon cream, chocolate truffles, Earl Grey and a few infusions of Albemarle Fizz transported from the lush hotel bar.

Worth every penny. You should go.

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Wake up with a hangover won on Martuni cocktails after a night out at the symphony. Ward off the ills with a slice of pizza and a cup of creamy coffee, both of which you spend no effort to procure. Catch an unexpected bus while running late, standing on a street devoid of taxis. Arrive for your meetup on the dot, the exact minute of expectation. Watch a great film. Afterwards, stumble upon a beer bust. Share it with a good friend and loved one. Walk your buzz off in 70F, sunny SF weather. Catch a short line at the creamery, where double dip cones of mint chip and classic vanilla can be had. Carry on to another bar, where the truly hot maid makes you a spot-on Michelada with her first try. Find yourself later at sushi, where the chef gets it right each time. Go home, walk dog, settle down and then sleep.

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Photo: noremmie

One of the smallest and most obscure parks in San Francisco, Jack Early Park is actually a landing perched high atop a hidden staircase on Telegraph Hill. Views of both bridges, virtually unknown even by locals, keep this park in your pocket and share it with those you love.

Jack Early spent 25 years tending to the park himself after the city pooped on his idea. 63 steps up with buckets of water, soil and countless hours tending to the foliage, Jack achieved something incredible and then gave it to his city to enjoy.

Finding it is a bit of a trick. The narrow staircase starts on Grant Avenue, just north of Chestnut Street. If you’ve made it to Pfeiffer Street (technically a small alley) you’re almost there. Look for a plaque at the entrance gate and go where it takes you.

The park is only open during daylight hours and the steps are locked at night.

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