Backdropped by Union Street's romantic sights, from Gough to Steiner, and Fillmore Street's illustrious shops, from Union to Lombard, the third annual Union Street Has a Crush on You Valentine Wine Walk fills glasses with vine-ripened flavors from around the state and across the world. Although this event is free to the public, pass holders enjoy free access to wine tastings, saving them the trouble of fumbling with billfolds and retina scanners. Participating wineries include Cresten’s Eden Canyon Vineyards, Rosa d’Oro Vineyards, and Terra Sávia, a champion of organic wine. Myriad merchants complement the wine sipping with opportunities for singles or couples to browse such bountiful commodities as organic food and lingerie. Although parking is available downtown, attendants are encouraged to consider public-transportation options so they can leave their cars, trucks, and saddled walruses at home.
If event promoter CrawlSF was a person, he or she might be one of the most fun people you could meet. A local nightlife curator and city guide, CrawlSF has also helped fill San Francisco with the conversations and laughter of revelers on its pub crawls—some of which have run for 11 consecutive years. Each four-hour tour cuts a path to drinking establishments through areas that include Polk Village, Haight Street, and other popular spots around town. Some events also pack fun bonuses, such as eating contests, and holiday-themed events might see revelers in festive costumes as they celebrate Halloween, Independence Day, or wear their Abraham Lincoln beards just because.
The selection at Pink Bunny isn't just sexy and unique?it's also safe. When founder Serene Martinez opened the online store in 2009 and the retail location in 2011, her goal was to provide non-toxic, odorless, and pthalate-free products that her customers could enjoy without worry. These days, the shop's stock still combines fun and safety in toys, gluten-free and vegan novelty candy, books, bridal goodies, and high-quality lingerie from all over the world. The shop is so well loved that it also won San Francisco Bay Guardian's Best Place to Buy Lingerie award in 2013, has appeared on Forbes.com, CNBC.com, and Marina Times, while CBS.com named them one of the five best places to shop on Union Street.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms The Fillmore into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces grateful dance floors with smile-baiting 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, girl-group garage rockers The Sandwitches enchant with sardonically lovelorn themes and harmonies, and pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios and hockey anthems about their cats. The Fillmore invites Groupon holders backstage after the show to meet the band, discuss musical influences, and take notes on hitting the elusive high Z note.
While You’re Waiting
When to Go: There’s likely to be a wait if you show up during the lunch-hour rush. If you’re in a rush yourself, try to grab a ticket later in the afternoon.
Inside Tip: The sandwiches are notoriously large. When combined with a side dish, one sandwich can easily feed two people.
While You’re in the Neighborhood: Walk down the block to Le Marais Bakery (2066 Chestnut Street) for a post-meal chocolate chip cookie, macaron, or hot chocolate.
Effectively capturing significant moments on film is a specialized art form, which can go unrecognized if not displayed well. To help their clients showcase their treasured memories in sophisticated arrangements, Photograph & Frame’s staff developed a system they call “modular picture framing.” This system cuts on cost, using a premade selection of framing goods. Clients can mix and match standardized museum-quality mats and frames, which are all-wood and locally made, to create design-magazine-worthy photo wallscapes. The staff also preserves photos with custom-framing options, cutting mats and forming frames to fit especially large family photos and snapshots that spill into the fifth dimension.
They’ve also curated a selection of photographs from local artists and archives to help patrons decorate their homes in sweeping seascapes and bustling city streets. To ensure the photos’ quality and level of detail, most of the images are developed in a darkroom on Fuji Crystal Archive papers.