How I See San Francisco: Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler is the author of seven novels, including "Why We Broke Up," "All The Dirty Parts," and the popular children's series "A Series of Unfortunate Events," which was awarded both the Peabody and Writers Guild of America awards for its television adaptation. Daniel is a San Francisco native and still resides in the city with his kids and wife, Lisa Brown. Daniel shares with us what makes San Francisco such a special place.
What does a typical day in San Francisco look like for you?
Swimming in the bay at the Dolphin Club, working in a café, cooking for my family, laughing hysterically with my wife.
Which neighborhood, other than your own, do you like to explore?
Lately, I’ve been wandering the Richmond. I like the quiet streets and the oddball businesses.
Where do you like to view sunrise and sunset?
Not to brag, but the sunset’s very beautiful from my porch. I usually don’t mind sleeping through the sunrise, but the very occasional view walking back from late-night karaoke, up 14th St., has a pleasing feel to it.
Where do you indulge your artistic side in San Francisco?
Pretty much anywhere I can lay my legal pad flat. I did a little writing on the 24 Divisadero bus just the other day.
Are any of the locations in A Series of Unfortunate Events based on San Francisco locations?
Lonely locales with secrets lurking just under the surface? Perish the thought.
What's your favorite annual event that happens in San Francisco?
We just had it: Tashlikh, the Jewish ritual of casting our sins in to the water, usually in the form of bread. There’s a yearly gathering at Ocean Beach, with bagpipes, s’mores, musicians from the Saint John Coltrane church, and assorted local sundriness.
Which restaurant is still on your list to dine at in San Francisco?
Zuni, of course. I take people there I need to convince of something, and the chicken for two does the work for me.
Where and what would you choose for your last meal in San Francisco?
I’ve already chosen the specific chair at home in which to die. I guess a piece of toast? Something that goes with a martini.
What should every visitor to San Francisco do at least once?
Go to Ocean Beach and dip one’s toes in the Pacific.
What’s one part of San Francisco that you wish visitors knew about?
Mitchell’s ice cream. Grab coffee and walk down Guerrero or Valencia streets, and then sit on a bench with a chocolate-dipped cone and observe a diverse San Francisco unified and happy with dessert.
Any final advice for visitors coming to San Francisco?
The Rice-A-Roni thing is real. All real San Franciscans have a box on their person at all times. When you enter an establishment of any kind, brandish the box of Rice-A-Roni and people will know you’re a local.