Rasputin Music is a music store chain originated from Berkeley where they have their main shop. Their San Francisco store is in an extremely good position on Powell Street, very near Market Street.
If you are a fan of alternative music genres, Rasputin Music may be your best bet in San Francisco; more so in the downtown. They stock records on three floors. The ground floor is really miniscule, but the second and especially the third floor are bigger.
You can buy both CDs and vinyls from the shop. They also buy recordings. Thus some of the items may be second-hand. If this is a problem for you, check with the staff for any specific disc you may find.
www.rasputinmusic.com, 69 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 800 350 8700
I, Sanna and Aapo visited the finnish interior design fair, Habitare on Friday evening — before the mass invasion on Saturday. The newspapers, magazines and TV programs have given extensive coverage for the fair, and we were trying to figure out “the new black” in interior design.
If you haven’t heard yet, Helsinki is currently celebrating a design week and there are all sorts of design related happenings around the city. A few interior designers have renovated flats on sale around the city to showcase their skills — and to get more money for the seller.
As we are moving in five weeks, we hoped to get a lot of ideas how to fill the empty space in the new flat, which is twice as big as the current one. Unfortunately (or fortunately for our wallets), the fair was bland and there were no specific items that caught our attention. Frankly speaking, there was one — but we are still pondering whether it would fit our flat or not.
Some of the booths, as shown on the images, were very nicely designed and they served more as a food for thought than the actual furniture.
Kate O’Briens is another typical example of Irish pub around the world: they sell Guinness and some Irish whisky, and the interiors look like a countryside pub in England — except for a few Guinness ads here and there.
These places are good for one thing: drinking. Kate O’Briens, located near the corner of 2nd and Folsom, is not an exception. If you are a bigger group of people, this place is good to have a few drinks and maybe some snacks before moving on. They serve also food, but the portions are better for accompanying drinking than being a culinary experience.
www.kateobriens.com, 579 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 882 7240
If you are a sports fan or playing billiard is close to your heart, try out Jillian’s in Metreon center in SoMa area, next to Yerba Buena Gardens.
The bar is biggish and consists of two separate spaces: one is dedicated for eating and drinking and the other has the pool tables. There is a collection of huge screens on top of the bar, so you can watch sport channels while drinking yourself under the table or enjoying a fat rich dinner.
The pool tables are rented per hour and the price depends on the day and the time. For me, the prices seemed quite steep and I would not pay them with my own money, but I really do not know the street prices of pool.
www.jilliansbilliards.com, 101 4th Street (in the Metreon entertainment complex), San Fransisco, CA, USA, +1 415 369 6100
I have learned during a few last months that the sushi portions in Japanese restaurants in the USA are quite small; the difference to the normal situation is huge, as most portions are simply too much for the uninitiated.
Sushi Rika is an exception to this rule. Both nigiris and rolls have good amount of rice and the nigiri toppings are not small either. Unfortunately, the rice does not taste much anything, so you may experience some hardships getting everything swallowed.
The service is fast and courteous. I asked a seat on the bar, and the sushi chefs chatted briefly with me and offered an extra nigiri for free.
Sushi Rika, 900 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 923 1141
Recently I’ve made an astounding discovery in my own behaviour: I tend to find good clothes for myself only when I’m travelling. When I browse the shops in Helsinki, I found seldom anything worth buying — but I tend to run into such items while travelling.
Don’t understand this statement so that the shopping possibilities in Finland or Helsinki are poor — I found a lot of clothes in Oulu and Turku, both smaller cities than Helsinki. And I may find the clothes in the same department store that I visit regularly in Helsinki…
This is odd… Maybe I’ve become sort of blind for anything new in Helsinki and just go through the stores as I’ve always done, and when I’m in a new store, I keep looking closer and be more curious about items than in my home town.
I’ve experienced the same also in San Francisco, as I’ve been there so many times that I know the shops around Union Square and thus I’ve promptly failed to find anything worth buying during my last visit…
The latest trend in Californian sushi restaurants seems to unfortunately be fusion kitchen: adding all kinds of ingredients that are not part of Japanese sushi experience. Fortunately, there are still restaurants that provide normal basic sushi meals.
Mikaku is a midsized Japanese restaurant near the Chinatown gate on Grant Avenue — a few blocks from Union Square to northwest. They have a full selection of Japanese meals, including also sashimi.
If you are eating alone, try to get a seat at the desk — the chef is really fast preparing the sushi and it is a joy to see such controlled minimalistic movements. If you can speak Japanese, you can have also a chat with him.
The sushi is good, albeit nigiri sushi would benefit a bit more rice. The taste is excellent and the smoked eel and avocado roll is just absolute bliss to tastebuds.
323 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 781 6730
When I told to people living in the Bay area that I will spend a few night in Hotel Nikko, they all said that it is a really nice hotel. Either they have never been here or there is a difference between their and my standards.
The hotel room is big and the amenities in the bathroom are ok. However, the whole hotel has a bit run-down feeling, there is no bathrobe or slippers, the quilt is too thin to be warm enough, and the furniture is ugly. I could continue the list, but you get the picture.
If you do not mind these things — and thus feel at home in almost any US hotel — this is a great choice, as the location is excellent, there is a good gym, indoor pool, sauna, a good restaurant and host of other stuff. The only issue is the steep price.
www.hotelnikkosf.com, 222 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 394 1111