The staircase at the Mechanics' Instute.
We've mentioned the Mechanics' Institute here before in passing...and the more time we spend there the more we love it. Although we like to consider it our "secret hideout" it's way too awesome to keep to ourselves. Founded right after the Gold Rush, the place has an amazing and colorful history as a center for education and innovation in San Francisco (Back in the day, the Institute hosted yearly industrial fairs that helped launch companies like Levi's, Ghiradelli chocolate, and Singer Sewing Machines...). Today the Instutute hosts all kinds of interesting events, film screenings, and talks, and has the longest continuously running chess club in America. But the reason we spend so much time at the Institute is their remarkable and extensive book collection. Imagine having your own private branch library with huge leather chairs, long wood tables, just bursting with every sort of book, magazine, and newspaper you could desire. Oh, and it's always super quiet and cozy in there too (which makes it a great place for a catnap as well...).
Tours of the library are offered every Wednesday at noon, and right now they're offering 20% off gift memberships. So for all our curious pals out there who are interested in joining, let us know. We'll hook you up!