One of the many great things about my new found freedom is being able to work from practically anywhere, anytime. I just need my MacBook, my Canon, a pen and my notebook, a good book to read, and since I work well while caffeinated and in a sugar high, a tasty cup of coffee and some sweet treats would be preferable.
And so, I have been spending a lot of time lately making the rounds of the coffee houses in the city to come up with my list of the coolest cafés.
Let me start with the one closest to home, Farley’s at 18th Street in Potrero Hill.
Farley’s is truly a cool neighborhood coffee shop with lots of community events and activities like the Annual Pet Fest they host every Halloween and their evenings of live jazz and standards played by local artists.
Another cool thing about Farley’s is their wall where they display the work of local artists and photographers. For November, they are showcasing the charming photographs of the pets and kids in costumes at the Pet Fest taken by “Photo Booth” photographer Christopher Irion. Stanford actually made it to the wall! Can you spot the red corgi?
Farley’s beans are hand roasted by a local coffee company in the East Bay. My favorite Farley’s sweet treat is their rich and yummy brownie.
Other notes: a cup of coffee is $1.75; wi-fi is free; there is outdoor seating; cookies and pastries are available and you can grab a sandwich nextdoor at Hazel’s Kitchen and enjoy it at Farley’s.
The Dogpatch is actually a great neighborhood for dogs and dog lovers. There’s Esprit Park at Minnesota between 19th and 20th where Stanford loves to run and chase balls. The park isn’t fenced-in but is large enough and surrounded by quiet streets that it’s practically safe for dogs to be off-leash. And best of all it’s only two blocks away from home!
Then there’s Pawtrero Hill Bathhouse and Feed Company with a large and clean self-serve bathing facility. They have the tastiest treats and the coolest toys and accessories.
And not far from the Dogpatch, in the Bayview District there’s Pet Camp, Stanford’s home away from home. What we love most about Pet Camp is that they have outdoor playgroups. They have this huge outdoor play space where dogs can run around or just hang out and enjoy the sun. All play sessions are monitored by camp counselors who are the friendliest people around. Check out Camper Cameos, a blog where they post photos of their adorable campers.
Well, I’m certain Stanford doesn’t mind all these cool places, but at the end of the day there is something that trumps everything else: dinner!
Stanford met a very pretty young lady over the weekend. She was wearing a lovely red Flamenco dress with matching lovely red earrings and red shoes. And what was Stanford wearing? A charming Peter Pan outfit with a matching dagger!
They met while waiting to have their photographs taken at Farley’s 19th Annual Pet Fest.
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday in Potrero Hill. The line was long for Christopher Irion’s famous Photo Booth but it was full of cheerful faces of dogs and kids alike dressed up for the occasion. There was King Arthur. There were ballerinas and cowboys. There was a lot of bumblebees and ladybugs wagging their tails. There was even a green iguana with pink and white bunny ears, not a pooch dressed as an iguana but a real live iguana! It’s Farley’s Annual Pet Fest after all.
I am crazy about Stanford. I am crazy about the way he lays on his back and raises his short legs way up when he wants belly rubs. The way his butt sways when he walks. The way his pointed ears perk up when it’s time for his walk. The way he barks when you say speak. The way he rolls over for a treat.
I am so crazy about my little boy.
Dennis and I adopted Stanford in 2008. We wanted a Pembroke Welsh Corgi so badly and was having no luck in finding one in the Bay Area until we came across Stanford’s profile at Petfinder, the on-line database of adoptable pets. Stanford was a stray rescued by Shannon and Kim of 4 Paws Rescue in Ogden, a suburb of Salt Lake City. We instantly fell in love with Stanford’s handsome photos and even though it meant either flying or driving to Utah in the middle of winter, we were determined to take the chance and hopefully take him home to San Francisco.
We flew to Salt Lake City the weekend after our application for adoption was approved. We rented a car and drove to a local pet store just outside Salt Lake City where we would meet Stanford for the first time. I can remember very clearly how Dennis and I were very anxious as we entered the store. We were so worried that we wouldn’t be a good match but as soon as we saw Stanford’s smiling “please-take-me-home” look on his face inside his crate, we knew for certain that he was ours.
After going through the paperwork, we got him a dog tag, bought supplies for the long drive home and said our farewells to Kim and Shannon. Off to the city we went. Luckily, the drive through the Sierras was not at all bad. We stayed the night in Winnemucca, Nevada and then continued the drive back to California the morning after.
Stanford has been enjoying life in the city. He loves to eat. He loves to run and chase balls in the park. He loves anything that squeaks. He doesn’t care too much for window blinds, vacuum cleaners and paper shredders. We actually have been through quite a lot in terms of vet visits in the past year and a half, from scratched eyelids to tummy aches. When we first got him, Stanford would limp after too much running. We later found out that his limping was caused by being a little bit overweight. Did I say he loves to eat? But he is now slim and trim at 30 pounds and, overall, he is in excellent shape.
Whenever Stanford greets me with his handsome face every morning and each time I come home from work, I can’t help but be thankful that we found each other. It breaks my heart when I picture Stanford as a stray looking for something to eat out in the cold. But it warms my heart that Stanford is now safe and enjoying a happy life with Dennis and me.
I think all dogs (and cats, too!) deserve a second chance. A second chance to a happy life of belly rubs and squeaky toys. The San Francisco SPCA is a great resource for anyone looking to adopt homeless cats and dogs in the city. And for anyone looking to rescue corgis in particular, the Golden Gate Pembroke Welsh Corgi Fanciers is a great place to start your search.