When I lived in the Outer Sunset, it was at the crossroads of 46th and Judah, the second to last stop on the N-line before San Francisco fall’s off into the Pacific. Wedged between Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach, the Outer Sunset was the perfect landing pad for someone fresh out of a small town. Populated largely by families and surfers, it’s a quiet neighborhood with a smattering cute restaurants and coffee shops, like the illustrious Trouble Coffee, whose excellent coffee I subsisted on that first cold, foggy summer. I’d snag a cup to warm my insides, and retreat into the lovely little alcove that is General Store to keep out of the mist.
Offering a host of beautifully and simply designed objects, General Store started out as a design collective originally founded by Serena Mitnik-Miller and Mason St. Peter. It opened it’s doors to the Outer Sunset in 2010 and opened a second location in Venice Beach in 2012. Both locations carry a selection of beautifully curated items, from both local artisans and vintage sources.
So many little treasures live between these walls, and the garden space in the backyard would be the perfect place to enjoy a cup of Trouble and flip through a print copy of Tiny Atlas Quarterly. Hop off the N-Line at 46th and find your way to this place, or check out their online store for a gold mine of goodies.
Back in September I mentioned that I was moving out of San Francisco, so these photos are a bit dated. I snapped these shots of my room right around the time I decided to move. It’s kind of bittersweet looking at them again. Walking into that apartment for the first time was like walking into a dream I’ve had since I was 16 years old. I fell in love in this room, spent hours reading and editing photos and writing on that bed. I talked and laughed and commiserated with dozens of friends–both new and old–on that floor. Those walls know so many of my stories. They were my sanctuary when life was just too much, when the hustle and bustle of the city wore on me, I could retreat to this space that was mine and it was as much a part of my experience in San Francisco as the city itself.
I have the tendency to rearrange my room compulsively every three months or so, so this was what my room looked like right before I packed it all up to move. I went through dozens of iterations though, and I imagine that room had seen countless more arrangements of furniture and knick-knackery. Our building was over 110 years old, precisely the sort of classic, old San Francisco Victorian building that I had imagined living in my entire adolescence. I used to watch the sunset seep across the sky behind Sutro Tower and try to imagine who had been there before me. Who had sat in that window and looked down at the river of humanity flowing past on the streets below. I had stood beneath those windows myself, a 16 year old child on her first solo trip to San Francisco, and imagined myself living on this street, in one of those apartments overlooking the chaos of Haight Street. For months after I moved in I couldn’t believe that it was real, that I was living that fantasy my 16 year old self had envisioned all those years ago.
There will always be a special place in my heart for this room, and the city in which it is located. I learned so much about myself while living here. I fell in love, I made many wonderful friends, I experienced so many amazing things and made so many incredible memories. I’ll never be able to walk down Haight Street without pausing beneath those windows and thinking about the girl I was when I lived there. These pictures will help me remember.