Our Painted Lady was tucked between modern storefronts and the crumbling concrete blocks of Soviet-style tenements, a tenuous breath of Victorian charm at the edge of Japantown.
Within walking distance of some of the best noodle houses in San Francisco and (if you’re willing to hoof it) of the best dim sum restaurants in Chinatown, our home away in The City for Thanksgiving sat at a prime location.
A hop over Van Ness finds us in the city’s Tenderloin, a neighborhood of ill-repute. But it is always the gritty, rough parts of town that also give way to the unique bars and boutiques that attract an adventurous younger crowd: oyster houses and poetry readings and tap houses, and even a bar that carries the monicker Edinburgh Castle, home to tattooed hipsters and British cider and Belhaven on tap. Arguably less dodgy at night than it is during the day, the Tenderloin isn’t as scary as people think; if this is the worst San Francisco has to offer, all of us tourists can breath easier.
Our hush-hush location is a result of diligent searching: we always like to stay in interesting places, and we usually prefer the privacy and freedom of self-catering accommodations to the stuffiness of hotels or the overly-familiar social experiment of B&Bs. To find the perfect spot for every vacation, we tend to head over to VRBO, Vacation Rentals By Owner. This great little site allows you t o search by location and keyword, so results can find places in Volcano, HI with a hot tub or a ski-in/out cabin in the Grand Tetons or a townhouse with an open kitchen and within walking distance of everything in San Francisco. While we have come across strange (even neurotic) property owners, each of the places we’ve rented through VRBO has been incredible and perfect. Our Painted Lady in San Francisco was no exception.
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