Airbnb wins again
We're three for three so far on our Airbnb picks in Los Angeles and San Francisco with. Our latest score was this two-bedroom, one bath apartment on the edge of North Beach/Chinatown (Grant and Broadway) in San Francisco. The price - around $220 a night including a cleaning charge and the Airbnb fee - was far less than we would have paid for two decent hotel rooms for the two of us, plus my mom who was celebrating her 80th birthday.
The apartment was on the second floor of an old Chinatown building completely restored with new furnishings, flooring, bathroom fixtures and kitchen. There was no elevator, but we're all in good shape (including my mom) so climbing steps wasn't a problem. Rick, the owner, was working, so his friend, Jim, met us exactly at 4 p.m. as we had pre-arranged.
I love neighborhoods like this. Next door to the apartment was Yee's Restaurant, apparently known among locals for its roast duck (samples hanging in the window) and other Beijing and Shanghai specialities. Across the street was Sky Dragon Appliance and a shop selling tiny duck eggs and unidentifiable dried herbs and plants hawked in a sing-song voice by the owner who stood in the doorway most of the day.
One minute we could have been in Beijing or Hong Kong; the other in Naples or Palermo. North Beach has dozens of Italian restaurants and cafes, such as the historic Trieste and Vesuvio (next to City Lights Bookstore), hang-outs for the "Beat generation" of poets, writers and musicians in the 1950s.
Having a full kitchen gave us an excuse to spend $50 at Molinari's Italian Deli on wine, salami, cheeses, roasted peppers and feta-stuffed green olives. Best were the morning walks to Stella Pastry for coffee and a sfogliatella, a flaky pastry shaped like a fan and stuffed with ricotta and orange zest.
Posted by Carol Pucci at 3:54 PM