the nylon guide to san francisco


everything not to miss in the bay area.

To celebrate our annual America issue (on newsstands now!) we're putting together the ultimate guides to our favorite US cities. And who better to contribute to them than you, our readers?! We had an open call for submissions and here are the big winners for San Francisco, from the most delicious bakery to the best place to make eyes on the Golden Gate Bridge. (We'll wait while you plan that trip to San Francisco, and if you want to stay in the loop about events going on while you're in SF, sign up for our NYLON Daily newsletter--it's totally free but filled with awesome parties, shows, sales, and more.)

Best Cafe: Ritual Cafe (1026 Valencia St)

Delicious coffee plus a chill environment makes Ritual Cafe a must-see cafe. 

Best Bakery: Tartine Bakery (600 Guerrero St)

An endless menu of sweets and sandwiches is just the start of why you should visit Tartine. 

Best Food Truck: The Creme Brulee Cart

But really, what's better than mobile creme brulee?

Best Restaurant: Fat Angel (1740 O'Farrell St)

Head to Fat Angel for amazing cocktails and fresh, yummy foods. 

bAny place with a neon sign and a jukebox is a place we want to be. 

Best Party Spot: Hifi Lounge (2125 Lombard St)

DJs, beers, dancing... it's got it all!

Best Place to See Bands: The Fillmore (1805 Geary Blvd)

If a band is going to play in San Francisco, they're going to play at The Fillmore. 

Best Destination for an Arty-Afternoon: The De Young Museum (50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr)

With an awesome location and tons of cool exhibits you could spend a whole day hanging out at the De Young Museum.

Best Movie Theater: Castro Theatre (429 Castro St)

It's a historic theater with that plays the coolest old movies, what more could you want?!

Best Scenic Spot: Twin Peaks Park

It's not the home of Laura Palmer, but it'll do.

Best Boutique: Mira Mira (3292 22nd St)

With Chloe Sevigny listed as their girl crush and pics of Chloe Norgaard on their website, this is a boutique we can get behind. 

Best Vintage Shop: La Rosa Vintage (1711 Haight St)

Period clothing and '60s vintage are among the cool stuff to find at this boutique. 

Best Record Store: Amoeba (1855 Haight St)

Housed in a converted bowling alley, this record store is the home of all things awesome. 

Best Book Store: City Lights (261 Columbus Avenue)

Part independent publisher, part book store, City Lights, founded by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, is the place to find a great read and fan out over the fact that this store first published Howl.

Best Store To Fill Your Apartment: The Apartment (3469 18th St)

It's definitely fancy, but the great sleection of vintage goods is worth the splurge. 

Best Spot No One Knows About (Yet): Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th St)

Half bar, half music venue, Bottom of the Hill is about to blow up, so make sure you get there first to get a table. 

If You Can Only Go To One Place In My City, Visit: Valencia Street

San Franciscians agree that a stroll on Valencia followed by a picnic in the park is the best way to spend a day on the Left Coast. 

Nail polish is for novices

Fashion label The Blonds is known for its high-intensity looks that you'd only wear if you wanted to stand out (and who doesn't?). For its runway shows, wild press-on nails are the beauty step that can't be missed. So, since the brand has partnered with CND since it was founded, we thought it best to get prepped for the show with Jan Arnold, CND's co-founder.

See why you should take your nail look from a zero to a 10, in the video above.

Shot by Charlotte Prager
Edited by Gretta Wilson
Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Production Assistant: Polina Buchak
Featuring Jan Arnold of CND Nails and The Blonds



Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

It would've been nice if someone said the word "fat"

Back in November, Rebel Wilson claimed to be the first plus-sized lead in a romantic comedy when she appeared on Ellen to talk about her role in Isn't It Romantic. Wilson was not only wrong, but she was—even if inadvertently—erasing the work of Black plus-size actresses like Queen Latifah and Mo'Nique, both of whom have expansive resumes that include romantic comedies.

Wilson's comment isn't the first example of white women taking up a little too much space in the fat acceptance ethos. It's actually quite common. But there is a reason why women like Wilson—women who are blonde, pretty, successful, and white—get put front and center in calls for body positivity. In the same way that feminism—the movement from which body positivity was born—has often failed to address how gender intersects with other identities like race and class; so, too, has body positivity been championed as a cause for otherwise privileged women. And that's why it's no surprise that Isn't It Romantic, which aspires to be both a spot-on mockery of rom-coms and a celebration of body positivity, is actually a perfect example of how very white both the movie genre and the body positivity movement tend to be.

In the film, Wilson plays Natalie, an architect based in New York, who is single and plus-sized—the archetypal rom-com underdog. Very early on in the movie, she endures the double humiliation of both being hit by a runaway food cart and then accosted by its owner for not stopping it with her "cement truck"-like body. At work, Natalie is similarly disrespected: The office manager hands off troubleshooting tasks to Natalie; another colleague always tasks Natalie to throw out his trash; her assistant Whitney (Betty Gilpin) won't stop watching movies (rom-coms, naturally) while in the office; and Natalie is so afraid to present her ideas for more innovative parking garage designs that she isn't even widely known in the firm as an architect, and is treated like an intern.

But is Natalie just a doormat? Or is it that she isn't asking for what she wants? And isn't very nice about not getting it? If Natalie's life is any example, the bar on suffering is set pretty low for white women. In her personal life, Natalie lives alone with her dog, and seems to be pretty well-off, financially; her best friend is actually her slacker assistant, Whitney, and she's close with another coworker, Josh (Adam Devine), who gives Natalie constant emotional support. She's decidedly anti-romantic, having been told by her mother from a young age that there's no such thing as real-life fairy tales; she's level-headed and practical. But also, she's filled with self-loathing. This leads her to be crass, sarcastic, and disconnected from people. And it was this last part that was hard for me. As a fat Black woman who grew up broke, does not have an assistant, and would get fired if I didn't do my job well, it was hard, if not impossible, to root for her.

For Natalie, though, everything changes when she bangs her head while fighting off a mugger. Her mundane life is tinted through rosy rom-com glasses. Suddenly, all the things that sucked about her life are gone, and everything is beautiful and perfect. But was her life so bad before? It didn't really seem to be.

And yet, looking around the theater at the mostly white, female audience, I accepted that my feelings didn't seem to be shared. But that almost seems to be by design; this feels like a movie for a white, female audience. There is only one person of color in the movie who even has a name: It's Isabelle (Priyanka Chopra), who shows up about halfway through the film—after everything has been rom-com filtered—as a yoga ambassador and swimsuit model. But a name is all Isabella has. A supporting character at best, she doesn't have any connection to anyone other than her white boyfriend, and is sketchily drawn. We learn nothing of her familial or ethnic background, and, even when she is shown at her wedding, there is nobody from her family celebrating with her. This huge oversight is particularly bizarre, given that Natalie has already bemoaned the lack of diversity in romantic films.

Another huge oversight? The presence of the word "fat." I don't think I heard it used a single time. Natalie only references her weight indirectly, by commenting on the appearance of straight-sized women; when talking about her own body, the word "fat" is replaced with "girl like me." But by ignoring this aspect of herself, and refusing to address it head-on, Natalie is succumbing to the same fatphobia that shapes her world, whether she identifies it as being a problem or not.

Before her life becomes a rom-com, Natalie feels invisible at work and in the world. Some of this is certainly her fault, but fatphobia is also at play. Fatphobia chips away at the humanity of fat people from different angles. It means that Natalie gets used to being dehumanized; she doesn't expect others to have empathy for her when she's physically hurt, because they don't value her body. And it's no coincidence that Natalie's fantasy world includes a magically bigger apartment with unlimited clothing options, because discrimination against fat people isn't just a matter aesthetics and preferences—it affects everything from our ability to dress ourselves to our ability to make and save money, since there's a price to pay for being fat, even if it's just having to pay more to travel. Just as much as gender and race intersect with fat bodies, so, too, do economics and class.

I knew I could count on a plus-sized white comedian to take down a genre of films that prioritized thin women. But I ventured to see if Wilson could go further than that, and challenge what it means to be white and well-off and fat in the process; it isn't just about taking down rom-coms but about doing so in a way that isn't just a mouthpiece for white feminist values. But, in the end, that isn't what happened. Isn't It Romantic is fine, but it needed to do more than target an audience of girls who are 10 to 30 pounds overweight and still too jolted by the word "fat" to ever apply it to themselves, so they go for acceptable alternatives, like curvy, plus-sized—or thicc, if they're hip. But I'm not afraid to say I'm fat, I'm just disappointed I will be waiting even longer to see a realistic reflection of that experience onscreen.

Isn't It Romantic is in theaters now.