How I See San Francisco: MoAD's Linda Harrison
Despite only living in San Francisco for a few years, Linda Harrison quickly rooted herself in San Francisco’s cultural scene. As the president of Frameline, the world’s largest LGBTQ film festival, Harrison oversaw one of the community’s signature annual events. She then served as Executive Director for the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), where visitors can enjoy contemporary and historical artworks, exhibits and educational programs, which reveal a common heritage that grows from the birthplace of civilization. Harrison may have departed San Francisco for new, exciting opportunities, but she'll never forget its exceptional cuisine, diverse culture and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
What originally drew you to San Francisco?
It’s such an international city. I can go to Paris and they know about San Francisco. You can’t beat the weather — especially after coming from New York and Chicago. I love the fog. I love being able to walk to different neighborhoods, roaming around, getting some great food.
Other than your own, what are your favorite museums in San Francisco?
The museum of the moment is SFMOMA. It’s just fabulous. I also love going to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. It’s so beautiful coming into the Legion of Honor and looking over that cliff. Also, the Asian Art Museum is great, as is the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Their shows are really cutting edge. I love that they have the Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, a great place to hang out and eat sandwiches and matzo ball soup.
I imagine you get a lot of visitors. What do you like to show off about San Francisco when friends or family are in town?
I like to start in Russian Hill. I love being able to take the Green Street steps over to North Beach, have coffee at Mario’s Bohemian or Original Joe’s, and then to Chinatown, going through all the little markets, and then up through the park. In a day you get the experience of so many neighborhoods in one little walk. Oh, and we’d probably visit the Kabuki Theater in Japantown for cocktails and a movie in their upstairs theater.
What do you think are some of the best-kept secrets in San Francisco?
I think the Vietnamese community that’s part of the Tenderloin is an area that you don’t really hear about, and yet the little pockets of restaurants there are really nice to experience. Also, it’s great to check out the independent films at the Roxie Theater in the Mission. And then right across the street, there’s this great Spanish tapas restaurant called Picaro. I also have to mention the little parks. You can almost always find a little park no matter what part of the city you’re in.