Places (like people) are neither all good or bad. Rather, it’s a complex list of factors and history which make up a personality. San Francisco is no different. A city named after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron St. of Animals Merchants and Ecology, has a plot of land known as the Devil’s Acre. You take the good with the bad, but my trip was no different. I let my feet be my compass and stumbled into a Church (as I frequently do) where one of my favorite Jazz records was recorded in and also walked away with a good cocktail recipe from the Devil’s Acre a short time later.

Grace Cathedral

Doing some tiny research before writing, I discovered Saint Francis was also considered the patron saint against dying alone. A graceful side note considering, the homelessness, drug use and mental illness which is an inescapable part of San Francisco’s landscape.

Vince Guaraldi at Grace Cathedral

I try to go to go to church when I travel, to light a votive for my grandparents and lost ones close to me. My brother purchased the Vince Guaraldi album for me, knowing I was a fan of the work. It was by complete accident I stubbed upon the church it was recorded in. Literally walked up a hill to see what was on top and found myself at Grace Cathedral. To have been there 50 years earlier and heard the piano echoing the church would have been something.

When traveling my preference is to belly up at a bar and order a NY Strip. Nothing over the top, I am not a food critic. A small indulgence that does not force me to stare at an empty chair.

John’s Grill where I am told the Maltese Falcon was written

On to the Devil’s Acre, where I grabbed a drink (or two).

Thyme Gin Gimlet