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Taken from SFGate (May 22, 2005)

ON THE TOWN WITH: Michael Franti

Musician feeds body and soul in Mission haunts

by Aidin Vaziri

Michael Franti
Spearhead's Michael Franti hangs out at La Solea,the cafe famous for its
dance classes, while a Brazilian dance group practices.
Chronicle photo by Lance Iversen
When Michael Franti is not off in Jamaica making albums with his band Spearhead, doing spoken word shows or filming political documentaries in Middle East hot spots like Iraq, the Palestinian territories and Israel, he can usually be found in the yoga studios and ethnic cafes in San Francisco's Mission District. These are the places that feed his body and soul while he waits for this fall's release of the group's next disc:

El Farolito, 2779 Mission St. "A classic taqueria in the Mission. There are many other potential choices, which would all be legitimate, like La Taqueria and Pancho Villa. But El Farolito is the perfect late-night eating spot post-bar and club. The carne asada always hits the spot.''

La Solea Cafe, 3376 19th St. "This is a new spot, a morning favorite of mine. You can practice yoga, take Brazilian and African dance classes and order up some of their great cafe fare. Fresh juices, teas and pastries all available in your new Mission District living room.''

Bissap Baobab, 2323 Mission St. "This is the sister restaurant to La Solea where you will see and meet people from around the world. I've been going to this restaurant for years for their amazing Senegalese food, homemade juices and lively atmosphere. Bissap Baobab is San Francisco's true international gathering spot.''

Ti Couz, 3108 16th St. "An indoor/outdoor cafe where you can people-watch from the sidewalk tables. The crepes and salads are fantastic, but my favorite is the citron press.''

Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking, 85 Liberty Ship Way, Sausalito. "A great adventure company that gives guided kayaking tours in Richardson Bay.''

Yoga Tree, 1234 Valencia St. "One of my favorite places to practice yoga. They have some amazing instructors and the vibe of the place is very warm and inviting.''

India Basin Shoreline Park, Evans Street and Hunters Point Boulevard. "India Basin is a beautiful park where I like to go for a morning walk or a kayak paddle.''

Rainbow Grocery, 1745 Folsom St. "San Francisco's premier worker-owned natural food co-op. I go to Rainbow for all my groceries.''


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