The Ferry Building in San Francisco was a grim, gray place most of the years we lived here, the sort of terminal that makes you regret your transportation choice. Commuters would scuttle through a wretched plywood-lined corridor as fast as they could to escape. Then, after the Loma Preita earthquake, they tore down the freeway that loomed over it and started an elaborate renovation of the building and the plaza in front that took bloody near forever.
Now it’s beautiful, airy and light and filled with food oriented local businesses, befitting San Francisco’s fascination with gorgeous nibbly bits. Since this is San Francisco, all that work and money were meant to create a destination for tourists. As any good working girl will tell you, you gots to keep dem johns happy. There was an attempt at claiming it would be a benefit for the hordes working in the nearby financial district (like me) but I never took that seriously.
All that is why I’m now sort of amazed to find myself actually shopping there pretty often. It’s four blocks from my office and the best butcher in town is in there. I can stop by, snagged some sausage and get on BART and be gone in no time. Amazing. Plus, let me sing the praises of Miette, a charming french bakery that packs their goods in shopping bags so faggy, I’m always concerned about getting bashed while I carry them. Their banana cream tart is singing to me from the refrigerator even as I type this.
I still feel like I’m popping over to Disneyland to go to the hardware store ever time I cross Embarcadero to go into the Ferry Building, but that can’t keep from the Golden Gate Meat company or from Miette’s gingerbread.