Walk & Talk: SF Girl by Bay

They don’t call her SF Girl by Bay for nothin’. San Francisco blogger Victoria Smith is well versed on these 49 square miles—steep hills, trendy shops, and all. Recently, we spent a day exploring the city’s most pet-friendly spots with Victoria and her pup, Lucy. On the way, we talked local favorites and things on the horizon.

How long have you been in the Bay Area? What brought you here?

“I’ve been here for 20 years! I moved after I started feeling a little restless in Los Angeles. I was freelancing at the time, and I could work anywhere. I’d loved San Francisco since I was a child, when I would visit with my family. So I up and moved, not knowing a soul!”

SFGBB - JOIE DE VIVRE - 006Photo by Cindy Loughridge

Your blog focus on design—of the interior, fashion, and art varieties. Do you get any design inspiration from time spent in the great outdoors?

“Definitely! I love the city’s proximity to nature. It’s a big city, but there are green parks and great hikes all around, along the coast and across the bridge in Marin. I take my dog for regular hikes at Fort Funston on the weekends to recharge and refresh my mind. There’s no place like it!”

Describe your style ethos in five words.

“Easygoing, bohemian, eclectic, friendly, artistic.”

Most beautiful architecture you’ve seen in SF, be it in a historic building or a little café?

“I love Coit Tower in North Beach. It’s got such fun history! It’s a monument named for Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy (and eccentric) patron of the city’s firefighters. When she died, she left a bequest “for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city I have always loved.” The funds were used to build both the tower and a monument to Coit’s beloved volunteer firefighters. The Public Works murals added inside in the 1930s are lovely, too, and the 360-degree views of the city from the top are unsurpassed.”

VICTORIANPhoto by Victoria Smith

What are some of your favorite interior design trends?

“I quite like the resurgence of brass and copper plumbing fixtures. They look fresh and bright in comparison to plain old stainless steel fixtures. I also love all the really colorful vintage Boucherite rugs from Morocco I’m seeing a lot these days. Each one is unique and adds so much personality to a room.”

Best spots for consignment shopping (furniture or fashion) in the city?

“I love Stuff on Valencia Street in the Mission. It features two wonderful floors of vintage treasures! Cris on Polk Street in Russian Hill is fantastic for designer fashions.”

Big things in store for you! A book launch and a new home in LA. Tell us about the book.

“The book is a photographic journal of San Francisco by neighborhood. I photographed and wrote it with the goal of sharing the quirky bits of San Francisco that I love: the colors, the vibrancy, and its uniqueness to any other city in the world. In it, I share my top unexpected spots around the city, the places I take friends and family when they come to visit.”

RED'S EMBARCADEROPhoto by Victoria Smith

What else are you reading these days?

“I love Erik Larson’s books. I just finished Thunderstruck. He has a great way of fusing fact with fiction. Another recent read was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, a fun page-turner.”

And the move to LA! That’s huge. Who’s got the better burritos? What about “artisanal toast”?

“Ha! I’m not sure, but I think there’s some pretty great burritos in LA that could give San Francisco a run for its money! I don’t know if artisanal toast has made its way south yet, but I’ve heard Dinette has amazing waffles!”

Where was your last great adventure?

“I just got back from Tulum, Mexico. While there, I taught an Ace Camp workshop with Rena Tom of Makeshift Society. The course was on Developing Creative PartnershipsI’d never been to Tulum and it was on my must-visit list for a long time!”

sarahderagonPhoto by Sarah Deragon

Read more about Victoria’s day at our San Francisco hotels here.

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