Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Wanderlust Librarian | The Ferry Building - My forever friend

The Ferry Building is lively at lunchtime! 
Golden Gate Park. 
The beach. 
Cable Cars.

Everyone has a different relationship with San Francisco. My relationship started with food. My parents had friends in the City and they made delicious Indonesian food. While tagging along with her mom in the City, this young Bloggess enjoyed Japanese sponge cakes, Chinese almond cookies, Pad Thai, and distinctly Asian smells while shopping for groceries on Clement Street (luckily, not all in the same trip!).

The ceiling is stunning in the
Ferry Building
As I got older, I discovered scrumptious cakes at Schuberts, artful (and tasty) Dim Sum in Chinatown, Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach and new flavors of ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe. But in all of my City expeditions, nothing says ambiance and food like the Ferry Building.

Built in 1898, the Ferry Building was a place where people coming to and from the East Bay would enter or exit their ferries. Today, there are still ferries that come in and out throughout the day from places like Sausalito, Alameda, Oakland, Vallejo, and South San Francisco. The schedules are available here.

Not only is the building visually stunning from the outside, the inside is something special to behold. On the Ferry Building website, the historical pictures of the inside of the building aren't much different than how it looks today. The architects used the bones of the building to construct something modern and unique while maintaining the grandeur of the original structure. 

Today, when people come off the ferry, they are greeted by shops and stalls full of wonderful things. When I visit, I always get something special from these three stalls (click on the stall name for more information):

  • The Cowgirl Creamery: Cheese upon cheese upon cheese from everywhere you can imagine. Cheesemongers will help you find your favorite! (I love the Mt. Tam)
  • Blue Bottle Coffee: One of the best in the City! Roasted locally, this coffee is bold, smooth and heartwarming. It's like a hug. A hot cup of coffee on a foggy San Francisco day is fantastic!
  • Acme Bread Company: The smell alone lures me in like a trap. It's heavenly. The bread is fresh and the taste is divine.
The bookstore looks out onto the
Ferry Building indoor sitting area

Tucked away behind Peet's Coffee shop, there lives a lovely little bookstore called Book Passage. The store is not very big but the charm lies in the high shelves with the ladders leading up to the ceiling. It's not a "sit down and watch people "bookstore, but a "comfortable browsing nook". They have a fun, eclectic mix of books and it's always fun to find a treat there! 

What would a gorgeous waterfront marketplace be without a view? Depending on the time of year that you visit, your view could be the Bay fog rolling in, ships lolling in the water, or the lights of the Bay Bridge twinkling to your right. Life isn't too shabby sitting with a cup of coffee by the water! 

My lunchtime view
When you feel you'd like to stretch your legs around and take a walk, go West down the wharf and enjoy the sights!  On my walk I found a number of lovely, quiet sitting spots and BYOC (bring your own chess/checker) tables. There are always a lot of joggers and tourists, but I've never felt overwhelmed by people. It's a casual kind of busy that I enjoy being a part of. 

There is never a bad time to visit. The City has a personality and shine all its own. If you want to take transit, just stop at the Embarcadero BART station and look towards the water. The Ferry Building's clock tower will show you the way.

A small piece of advice: take your time and enjoy your experience. 
Have a relaxing and delicious adventure!  

One of my favorite stalls

Mountains of cheese dominate my dreams.

Blue Bottle coffee calls to me
Miette makes my heart happy with
perfectly tasty sweets! 

This classic trolley car
looks like so much fun to ride! 
This is a chocolate factory.
It smells amazing AND gives free tours! 

The bread is called a Pain Epi. You can break the segments
off to enjoy rolls of goodness. I also bought my favorite
Gruyere cheese! 

The waterfront without the Ferry Tower would be like a birthday cake without a candle.
from Ferry Building website

1 comment:

  1. The Ferry Building is an adventure in and of itself. I agree to take your time, so you can either snack somewhat continuously or have breakfast and lunch with shopping in between. Il Cane Rosso has yummy breakfast choices (as does Cowgirl's Milk Bar). You can park at Jack London Square in Oakland and take the ferry right to the back door!