Thursday, October 3, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town with Juliet Blackwell

Top 5 Places to visit in Haight-Ashbury

When you’re a witch not totally “out” to the world, a good place to hide is the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco. And while there, you might as well own a vintage clothing store…especially if you’re the kind of witch who picks up on vibrations from textiles. Let’s visit the neighborhood where Lily Ivory passes her days, with Oscar, her miniature Vietnamese potbellied pig, by her side:

1. Aunt Cora’s Closet—this is about the best vintage clothing store out there, and that’s saying a lot for the Haight Ashbury neighborhood, where there are quite a few. Stop by Aunt Cora’s Closet and say hi to Oscar, Bronwyn and Maya. You just might find the perfect vintage outfit, or get Bronwyn to mix you a custom tea blend, or ask Lily for a bit of a love spell…
2. Wax Museum – The San Francisco Wax Museum is actually closing, and I feel responsible! Seriously, I made something happen there at the end of Tarnished and Torn, and I’m afraid I might have had something to do with its demise. But it’s still worth going by and taking a look – located in San Francisco’s tourist mecca of Fisherman’s Wharf, it’s sandwiched between Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum and one of a thousand shops selling Alcatraz souvenirs. Buy some crab and sourdough, check out the sea lions, visit the arcade at the Mechanical Museum. Even though it’s a tourist trap, I have a long and abiding fondness for Fisherman’s Wharf.
3. Taco Truck -- Lily is often stopping for tacos in the Mission or at a Taco Truck – and if you try one, you’ll see why. These are served the real Mexican way: two or three tiny fresh corn tortillas laid together and loaded with grilled meats, veggies, etc. Lily doesn’t eat pork now that she has a pig as a pal, but the chicken and veggies are amazing. The taco truck that sits outside the Best Buy on Harrison is delicious—but there are lots of favorites. Just ask the locals, they’ll know.
4. Coffee to the People – this is a real name! I couldn’t make this stuff up. Coffee to the People is a Haight Ashbury institution, and harkens back to the Haight Ashbury’s famous Summer of Love in 1967. The coffee’s wonderful, the patrons are…interesting, and the art is wild. It has to be seen to be believed.
5. Booksmith – what could be better than an independent bookseller? How about an independent bookseller that carries a great collection of books, has a friendly and intelligent staff, and stays open late? The Booksmith on Haight is a real bookstore, and it’s a great one!

Author’s note: All these places, with the exception of Aunt Cora’s Closet, really exist! San Francisco’s such a fun place to base a book…it’s easier to use the existing wonderful locales, rather than making them all up. I might, however, use artistic license from time to time…

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Visit Juliet Blackwell at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter. Her latest Witchcraft Mystery is Tarnished and Torn and is in stores now.


  1. I would have never thought of San Francisco as a cozy anything, but these descriptions have perhaps given me a better perspective. :)
    Years ago (& I mean maybe 43 -45 years), hubby & I visited SF for a weekend. We went to Fisherman's Wharf area and went to the Wax Museum -- I remember it as being wonderful. Sorry to hear it is closing. Think we also did Ripley's Believe It or Not. Wish now after reading this description, we'd made it over to Haight-Ashbury and the Coffee to the People.

  2. Thanks, Donna! I do find San Francisco surprisingly cozy :-) And the Haight is so much fun!



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