Tenderloin to Embarcadero

18 August 2022

Lately, I’ve been taking walks in the morning before going to the office. I like to get coffee or pastries for breakfast while exploring different parts of the city. There’s something different about experiencing a city from the ground compared to a car or bus.

Today I walked from the Tenderloin to Embarcadero. Joann told me about a French bakery called Arsicault. They have a location near Civic Center in the Tenderloin so I decided, last night, to make a stop before going to work.

Arsicault Croissant

The almond croissant was deliciously buttery, crispy and flaky. The cappuccino was perfectly foamy. I generally rate cappuccinos by how ‘creamy’ the foam is.

Afterwards, I went towards a litte banh mi shop a few blocks away called Saigon Sandwhich.

Tenderloin walking

All over the Tenderloin, there are people wearing black long sleeves with the Urban Alchemy logo on them. I had no idea who these people were but looking them up now, it seems like they try to rehabilitate neighborhoods with bad reputations. I suppose I felt safer. There was a dude smoking crack on the street and one of the Urban Alchemy guys was like:

“Hey, hey, hey, you can’t be doing that here!”

I didn’t stick around for the end of that interaction, but it’s nice to know someone’s trying to do something about the Tenderloin. I’ve always found it a little disappointing that the Vietnamese part of SF is in the worst part of the city so it’s nice that that might change slowly.

And then I was at Saigon Sandwich.

I don’t think they’ve changed their prices in about 10 years. The sandwiches are still the same price of $5 since the first time I came here some 4 years ago with my friend Rebecca. We met when I was studying abroad in Taiwan during the summer of 2017 and have met up here and there in the past 5 years. She doesn’t live in the Bay Area but I try to make a point to meet up anytime I know she’s in SF.

Then off I was to the office.

Church looking building

I work at an office at Pier 5 off the Embarcadero. Well, really, I work remote, but we use our investors office to meet up from time to time. Saigon Sandwhich is about a 2 mile walk from the office. But I wanted to stop by Huntington Park so the total distance would be a little longer.

There were some interesting looking buildings on my walk up. Part way up the hill was a Victorian style house juxtaposed against the backdrop of a massive white concrete building.

Old building towards the park

The Victorian style architecture in the city is pleasant to the eyes. It gives the city an air of elegance to an older time. Granted, having been inside my share of these buildings, they’re are all aging now.

At the top of the hill was Huntington Park. I’ve heard it’s a nice park, and well, now I know it’s a nice park.

Huntington Park

It’s a little bit of greenery surrounded by some older mansion or church type buildings. I would think that these surrounding buildings would be connected to the park in some way but honestly I’m not sure if they have any relation.

San Francisco’s hills are hard for walking, but the elevation does have it’s perks. Today, I could see all the way, through the buildings, to the Bay Bridge.

Leaving the park

The city can be blanketed in fog on any given day, even during the summer, but today was a clear sunny day. Just my luck.

On my past walks, I’ve frequented Little Italy and China Town. Today’s path took me through a familiar part of town. Near China Town is one of my favorite coffee shops in the city, The Coffee Movement. There used to be an 70s style VW bus parked out front but it got replaced by parklet a few weeks ago. Today, there was a little crowd outside drinking coffee and chatting. I was already running late so I decided not to stop for another cup of coffee.

Going through China town is always interesting.

china town

In the morning, there’s always a bustle of old Cantonese people out shopping. Racks of vegetables laid out at street level remind me of the wet markets in Taipei. Everything about it has a strangely homey feeling. Maybe because I could see any of these people being my grandmother.

Farther down, there’s a coffee shop in a triangle building.

Triangle coffee shop

These triangle buildings are such a lovely shape compared the monotony of square buildings.

Path near Embarcadero

I love finding little nuggets of greenery in the concrete jungle.


And finally, across the street from the water front. I was just a minute late to my first meeting so I’ll count my brisk pace as a success.

After Work

After work, my coworkers and I went out for drinks at the ferry building. I don’t have much to say but I do have some photos to share.

ferry building

Humphry Slocombe always has a line out front, even at 7PM. I’ve had their ice cream from the grocery store but I still haven’t had the chance to stop by this location.

ferry building

Of course, the beautiful Bay and Bay Bridge in the fading light.

bay bridge

Our interns are ending their internship next week so this was a nice day to drink and talk after work.

Fort point brews the bird with the interns

This was my first summer being an intern mentor and I’d like to think I’ve done as well as I could. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t do a good job but I think they’ve both grown quite a bit since they started. I wish them the best. Maybe they’ll be back next year when they graduate but working at a startup always has it’s share of uncertainty.