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"She moves through the city like it’s hers, which—of course, it is.” -Kim Gordon

Last Sunday I had my best, most glamourous, mellow day in this city. If you have the internal fortitude to skip Fisherman's Wharf (please), this is the day a true San Franciscan is begging you to have instead. You will thank me.

The day started with a monster walk. From SOMA to North Beach and lunch at Tacolicious. (My recommendation: the Marina Girl Salad with shrimp, minus the dressing, add one glass of rosť - pink wine at lunch, no shame in that.) Up and over Coit tower, down one of the secret-ish stairways through the magical hidden gardens of this beautiful city. I took photos for tourists, I felt inspired every moment, and I literally smelled the roses.

On the way back from North Beach we paused in Union Square. I had just read an article that said you really don't have to look perfect to shop in luxury shops. So I thought, why not. In I went, wearing my monster walk outfit: beat up Converse All-Stars, black yoga pants, an off-the-shoulder, super long sleeved T-shirt, with slightly wind-burned cheeks and walk-tousled hair. I decidedly-unselfconsciously visited Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and Valentino.

VALENTINO. I can’t say enough. The opulence, the rockstuds, the lace, the bright, glam, sparkly, gold, mirror, glass and leather brilliance. The black jumpsuit I can’t stop thinking about. If you miss this experience in order to visit a tourist trap it will actually hurt my feelings.

With every impeccable design detail, the thing I loved the most and that maybe surprised me most was the absolute warmth of the person who showed me around, Moussa. Dressed to the nines, sweet, calm, sophisticated and kind. With a pocket square, black round glasses a gorgeous accent (it sounds British with a mix of French and a sprinkle of Lovely). He made my first stroll through Valentino feel like a trip to a modern art museum.

Yesterday I walked back in and brought my new friend a Moto bkr and he couldn’t have been more gracious. Dear Valentino, just when I thought I couldn't love you more, you showed me warmth and lovliness in addition to overwhelming beauty. 

Friends, do me this favor: skip the tourist traps. Take this walk, smell some roses and visit Valentino on Grant Street. If you're tempted to feel intimidated by the glamour, remember this post and just DON'T be. You can decide to be unselfconscious, it's worth it. Cute nails, a little lip gloss, a genuine smile, a pretty bkr and some confidence - that’s all you need. You don’t need to buy everything (though you will want to). And you won’t regret doing it. It's an opportunity to open yourself up to some of the beauty in this world you might otherwise miss.

Repeat after me: “This city is mine.” And just like that, the world will open up to you so much bigger than it was before.

 x.tal