Elipticals in Hayes Valley


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  • Sidecar Cocktail Parties
    Greg Gioia has been mixing drinks since he was too young to legally sample them. Now a self-proclaimed “curator to a lost generation,” he personally oversees every one of Sidecar Cocktail Parties' events with an expertise gleaned from his personal library of pre-Prohibition recipe books. He gamely walks his talk, rolling around a mobile speakeasy that reinforces its sizable selection of spirits with locally sourced, often handmade garnishes, tinctures, bitters, and syrups. Called Auntie Mame and Jay Gatsby's love child by some of his clients, and Greg by others, Gioia never ceases to entertain—and inform—while pouring his signature cocktails at both classes and private events. Those drinks, each made exactingly to historical specifications, include the classic martini (stirred properly, with dry vermouth), its lesser-known predecessor, the Martinez (which uses the sweet stuff), and other variants such as the Gibson (accompanied by piquant pickled onion). Other classics include the Manhattan, which probably dates back to the 1880s, and the Old Fashioned, which had already earned its name by that time. Gioia supplements these stalwart standards with newer creations, such as The Last Word, a deceptively potent mixture of maraschino, Chartreuse, and lime juice, and the Screaming Viking, which was invented on the episode of Cheers where they all went to the bar.
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    On Location
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Casa Hispana
    Every teacher at Casa Hispana is a native Spanish speaker with a deep background in education. Since 1985, they have been leading students through interactive classes of no more than 10 students that instill language skills in the form of games, songs, and conversations rather than rote lessons that only conjugate verbs without asking how the verbs feel. The teachers also organize social events such as storytelling groups, cooking classes, and trips abroad, helping students apply their classroom skills to real-world interactions.
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    12 Gough St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • San Francisco School of Bartending
    Stepping behind the bar at a nightclub typically results in being escorted off the premises. For students of San Francisco School of Bartending, however, it often results in a job. The school complements its 35-hour bartender certification course with mini shifts at a nightclub, where students learn to manage a crowded bar without responding “no” to every order. In classroom sessions, meanwhile, students learn the tricks of the trade, such as how to set up a bar, blend drinks, and free pour. Beyond directly drink-related skills, they also learn to properly handle money and craft compelling resumés. The flexible class times accommodate all schedules, and graduates can return to the school for unlimited job-placement aid.
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    1710 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA US
  • The Culinary Salon
    Chef Joe Mittenbrook hosts several classes per month at his personal culinary salon. The focus changes from class to class: one day, it’s French sauces, the next, it’s grilled cheese. Along with cuisine and techniques from a wide array of cultures, chef Joe mixes in bits of history and entertaining anecdotes to make each intimate gathering even more enjoyable.
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    16 Sanchez St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Auto Europa
    Since 1992 Auto Europa has been helping European vehicles feel a little less homesick. The ASE-certified technicians welcome imports such as Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, and Land Rovers with specialized training in European vehicles and online diagnostic computers that keep them updated on everything from repair information to wire schematics. Their services run the gamut from oil changes and tune-ups to small- and large-scale repairs for brakes, engines, and transmissions. Auto Europa also staffs master technicians that specialize in vintage restoration and auto-body and paint services. These technicians work deftly to maintain the dignity and pristine glory of classic cars so they look as sleek as they did when their tires first hit US soil.
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    1522 Bush St.
    San Francisco, CA US
  • City Pulse Acupuncture
    As a little girl, Rachel Hemphill listened wide-eyed to her great-aunts' tales of living and practicing acupuncture in China. Inspired by these stories, Rachel pursued a master of science in traditional Chinese medicine, then entered a clinical training program at Yue Yang Hospital. Today, she presides over City Pulse Acupuncture, where she carries on her great-aunt's lineage as a practitioner of the ancient art of acupuncture. The practice hasn't changed much over the millennia. Rachel traces constellations of entry points in the body before carefully inserting micro needles into them. This helps her manage energy flow and promote circulation in her customer's bodies, easing maladies that range from stress and arthritis to headaches caused by thinking about the physics of a black hole. She plucks colorful jars of raw or powdered herbs off wooden shelves to pair with patients or sends those suffering from muscular tension to massage therapist Jonathan Whitehorn. Whitehorn practices tui na massage, a Chinese therapeutic modality that soothes aches while enhancing energy flow and circulation. City Pulse Acupuncture also welcomes women hoping to conceive naturally or with assisted reproductive technologies. Drawing on five years of intense study with renowned fertility expert Dr. Lifang Liang, Hemphill develops personalized plans to enhance their fertility more effectively than blackmailing a stork.
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    513 Valencia St
    San Francisco, CA US