How I See San Francisco: Maker Colleen Mauer
Colleen Mauer might not be born and raised in San Francisco, but she has called the City by the Bay her home since 2001. Jewelry has become a part of her daily routine. It is the source of her inspiration. She uses texture, color, sounds and tones as her tools for transforming a simple section of material into a unique piece of jewelry. She loves creating collections that complement any style, from casual and everyday to chic and timeless. When she's not at work in her studio in the Mission District, you can find her roaming the colorful streets of San Francisco for her next inspiration for Colleen Mauer Designs. Here's how she sees the city she calls home.
Describe your perfect day in San Francisco.
Rise early, bundle up and take a morning walk along Ocean Beach up to the Sutro Bath ruins. Then enjoy an early afternoon brunch at Foreign Cinema before heading to Kabuki Spa for a massage and relaxation. Pre-dinner drinks at the Royal Cuckoo then dinner at The Blue Plate with good friends. And finishing the evening with a lively sing-a-long at the Castro Theatre.
What should every visitor to San Francisco do at least once?
Explore the parts of San Francisco where you don’t often find tourists. One of my favorite streets in San Francisco is on the opposite side of the city from the famous Lombard Street. Be sure to check out Vermont Street between 20th and 22nd Streets for a similar curvy ride. Then definitely spend some time exploring the Potrero Hill neighborhood. It’s the places off the beaten path that are usually the best.
What’s your favorite place to take a photo or read a book?
Bernal Hill Park. This is the part of the city where my San Francisco journey began. I can easily look over the Mission and Bernal neighborhoods while enjoying some of the best views in the city. Feelings of nostalgia always inspire me to snap photos. I spent my first night in San Francisco at a youth hostel in the Outer Mission back in 2001. Although it’s no longer in existence, I can see that part of the mission from Bernal Hill.
Where do you indulge your artistic side in San Francisco?
I am in constant observation of my surroundings, and subconsciously I am inspired by architecture, colors, contrasts, and textures in nature, so San Francisco is a most inspiring place to live. You’ll surely find me most indulging my artistic side in my own studio with my apron on, torch in hand. When I can find time to have a quiet morning by myself, you’ll hear the music blasting, a big cup of hot tea in hand, and me in my happy place.
What’s your favorite event that happens in San Francisco?
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. If you’re lucky to be in San Francisco during the beginning of October, pack a picnic blanket and a cooler filled with enough goodies to enjoy a beautiful day of music, people watching and good times. There’s something magical about that hour when the sun begins to set and the music echoes through the park. It’s crowded, but I love going every year. It’s one of my favorite traditions.
Where and what would you choose for your last meal in San Francisco?
Zuni Cafe will always hold a very special place in my heart. Not only was I once a part of its staff, I love the food, the ambiance and the feelings I get when I dine at Zuni. I was lucky enough to work under the late Judy Rodgers and perhaps it was her meticulous attention to detail and service that made me cherish this place--even now, nearly a decade after I worked there. It could also be the cold Tomales Bay oysters and mignonette paired with a glass of bubbly, or the perfect Caesar salad tossed with Acme bread croutons and made-to-order dressing. If not, I am certain that it’s the pile of shoestring potatoes alongside the roasted chicken, which is definitely worth the one hour wait. And if you’re fortunate enough to be there when they are serving the pot de creme--well, then it’s been the perfect last meal. But the gateau Victoire or the espresso granita could also finish off the dinner with a bang. Treat yourself to a beautiful Willamette Pinot and enjoy a slow meal and really amazing company. The ambiance will make you want to stay all night.
Which restaurant is still on your list to dine at in San Francisco?
Atelier Crenn. Dominique Crenn is a female entrepreneur and a lot of her story reminds me of my own journey in San Francisco. I am so intrigued by her restaurant and how her food and stories on each plate are inspired by her memories of food and nostalgic feeling and poetry. I can’t wait to go sometime soon.
Who do you follow to keep up with San Francisco news?
48 hills and MissionLocal are my definitely go-to when I want to read up on all the happenings of the city.
Any last final advice for travelers in San Francisco?
Bundle up, especially in the summertime. I always tell my visiting friends and family to dress in layers. A 75-degree day can quickly become 15 degrees cooler when you least expect it. Learn to love Karl the Fog in all of his glory. The fog is the essence of this city. The misty component makes the city mysterious and filled with unexpected people and experiences. Indulge in the food (especially local seafood) and be sure to carve through our 49 square mile stretch until you reach our breathtaking coastline of this gorgeous city. And once more: embrace the fog. San Francisco wouldn’t be San Francisco without it.