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  • Paul Mansfield

Empujar Y Halar in the Parkside neighborhood

Updated: Feb 3


There exists a place, nestled into the western side of San Francisco, a cosy neighborhood, a place for daily living, learning & people going about their business in a 'Push/Pull' manor of making their dreams happen. I often go to the El Cafe coffee shop, as a social refuge during this Pandemic, to connect with other Sunset locals, who enjoy their morning coffee, and to enjoy the good 80's music vibes and friendly staff who work there.

It's in the little things.

Dashae, the head barista at El Cafe, points out that when you see the little rings, that hike up the inside of the demitasse cup, they indicate the freshness and full body of the espresso drink; much like the legs that form inside of a wine glass. He also mentioned that espresso grinds, as he pulls them in the espresso machine, can be ever so slightly effected by the weather conditions and the Pacific Ocean, that's just down the block.

Push & Pull | film speeds vs espresso pulls

One can see that Dashae makes every morning, a journey into taste, and curating the espresso drinks for his customers. And during this economic downturn, that's saying a lot. Serving Nomadic Coffee has been his bread and butter for awhile now. For my part in our daily grinds, I'm usually bringing in the latest Photography discovery; creating new ways to shoot, share and enjoy photography has been my passion for some time.

In Plain Sight

One day in January, I was photographing my gear bag design concept, in plain sight. It felt as if I were in the Piazza Del Campo in Siena, Italy, getting ready to be a traveler in the grand square. Lots of customers were starting to open-up and chat with me, making fun observations about the neighborhood mural, which inspired me to keep-on my creative endeavor of designing these vintage camera kits for my on-line boutique.


These kind of Photo Pop-up moments have been a great way to test the waters and see what the interest is out there for such products. And in a way, there's a little bit of make believe going on; pretending what it would be like to be traveling in Italy, say, and with a stylish gear bag and range finder camera strapped around one's neck.

Back to Modern Day

El Cafe is one of the coffee houses that managed to stay open during the Pandemic, that has raged on for almost a year now. It's latin owned, like Antigua Coffee Shop & Chalos; also located on Taraval street. What makes El Cafe unique is it's proximity to McCoppin Park, and is a favorite spot for local Taravalians to visit. What you'll find are 3 sisters, Yolanda, Patti & Claudia Finkle who own and run the shop with a lot of originality and an eye on great local food; Panini sandwiches and yogurt smoothies are a must-try. Come in October, during 'Diaz de los Muertos' and you'll be in for a fun surprise!


El Cafe is located at 1400 Taraval Street & 24th avenue in the Parkside Sunset




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