Special San Francisco Post: North Beach First Fridays by Steven

Thank you to all our loyal readers for supporting “Surviving LA on a Budget” and reading our previous 100 posts. While our other staff member Golda prepares her reviews on Casey’s St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival in Downtown Los Angeles and the Melrose Trading Post, this 101st post will be a special one-time post on an event that occurs outside of Los Angeles. Occasionally our staff visit our home in the Bay Area for the holidays. On one of these visits, I had the chance to attend an event in the heart of San Francisco. Since our first post for the blog was on First Fridays at Abbot Kinney near Venice Beach, I would like to dedicate our 101st post on First Fridays at North Beach in San Francisco.

Similar to Abbot Kinney First Fridays, North Beach First Fridays is an event that happens on the first Friday night of each month. It aims to promote local art galleries, restaurants, and various businesses in North Beach. One of the venues that is a part of North Beach First Fridays is Macchiarini Creative Design on 1544 Grant Avenue. This family-run neo-modernist jewelry store and gallery was founded by married couple Peter and Virginia Macchiarini in 1948. Their son Daniel Macchiarini and granddaughter Emma Macchiarini Mankin now continue on the family tradition. When I visited the studio, I was amazed by how inviting and passionate the owners were as they spent time explaining the history of their business and the story behind each particular sculpture and jewelry. Afterwards they led us to their workshop behind the store that they use to create their beautiful handcrafted jewelry and hold their workshops for anyone interested in learning metal arts. While Macchiarini Creative Design has been around for over sixty years, Art Attack SF opened last Winter.

Located on 2722A Hyde Street near the Hyde Street Cable Car terminal, Art Attack SF is a new art studio that exhibit and sell artworks from local artists. Some artwork to look for include Helen Keys’ ceramic fortune cookies, which together represent the Occupy Wall Street movement’s attempt to change fate, and Aguirre Amber’s ceramic skeletons on rotisserie skewers, which symbolize her status as the child of a Holocaust survivor. Some of the artworks on display are also interactive, allowing visitors to move individual pieces around. In addition, Art Attack SF occasionally hold parties and other engaging events for the public to get the community more involved in the art scene.

Another art gallery that opened recently is Modern Eden Gallery on 403 Francisco Street. Modern Eden Gallery is a venue I’m familiar with due to my involvement on an Academy of Arts film shoot that utilized this location two years ago. When I revisited this gallery during First Fridays, they were showcasing an Edgar Allan Poe themed gallery with paintings, statues, and of course, lots of ravens. They feature monthly exhibition so your experience at Modern Eden Gallery will always be a new one.

Of course, one can get really hungry visiting so many local businesses during North Beach First Fridays so make sure to visit HRD Smokin’ Grill on 532 Green Street. Featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” HRD Smokin’ Grill specializes in delicious Asian fusion food. They offer a cheesesteak sandwich with Mongolian beef drizzled in sweet hoisin sauce and a side of french fries. My favorite is their featured dish, fried sweet chili pork chops. These tender pork chops are encased in a thin, crispy sweet chili crust. With fries and tangy wasabi coleslaw included, these pork chops are a meal good for two people.

These are just some of the various charming businesses you will find in North Beach First Fridays. Over time, I can only assume that more venues in the community will participate in this monthly event. The next North Beach First Fridays will be held tonight from 6 to 9pm so be sure to visit if you’re in San Francisco! You can take the 8BX, 8X, 30, 41, and 45 Muni buses. Be sure to visit our Facebook page for more photos, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @SurvivingLA.

If anyone is interested in working on a “Surviving SF on a Budget” page, please e-mail us at survivinglaonabudget@gmail.com.

Until next time,
Steven

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