11/14/2012 06:56 am ET Updated Feb 03, 2013

Elad Yifrach Loves San Francisco

Elad Yifrach is the founder & creative director of L'OBJET, a high end home goods brand specializing in Mediterranean-inspired design. His work as a designer of everything from plates to candlesticks to frames is intended both a spirited homage to artisanship and an attempt to exceed what seems possible. Prior to founding L'OBJET in 2004, Elad enjoyed a successful career as an interior designer based in Beverly Hills.


Dear San Francisco,

Some might say it's impossible to fall in love at age five, but, as a kindergartner coming to America for the first time, that's exactly what happened to me. Maybe it was how the fog-diffused light illuminated your finer features. Perhaps I was simply struck by your effortless elegance. Maybe it was my vantage point, which made everything about her seem larger than life.

Whatever it was, it still is. I can honestly say that my love remains as deep and true to this day as the first time I laid eyes on you.

I remember that moment so well. My mother was at the wheel of our rental car as we rounded the Marin headlands. The top was down and anticipation was high as the Golden Gate reared into view. The drama. The grace. I knew in an instant we had chemistry.

First the white-capped waters and vibrant green coastline and then your skyline rising through the mist, spires and rooftops glinting in the morning sun. The vista seemed as magical as an view could possibly be. Not something out of a fairy tale, but real, making it all the more astounding.

We spent our days as most tourist do, my mother dutifully checking out all the requisite sights; Knob Hill, Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street, The Palace of Fine Arts. We rode the cable cars and picnicked in Golden Gate Park. Yes, we sampled more than our fair share of Ghirardelli chocolate. It was a whirlwind of sights and sounds and flavors. My calves ached happily from marching up hills.

Visiting as an adult, my appreciation has only deepened. No other city combines the elegance of Europe with such a uniquely American personality. More than anything, it is the contrasts of the city that I find endlessly appealing. The progressive, tech-driven urbanity juxtaposed with the pristine natural surroundings. The world-class museums and the galleries stuffed with the work of underground artists. And from the haute cuisine to the smoked ducks of Chinatown to the funky farmers markets, this is a city that loves its food. I make it a point on every visit to see what seasonal delights the masters at the cozy, romantic Zuni Café have come up with.

But what delights me most about these visits is that my first love is been validated. This was not a childish infatuation; it remains a real and lasting, forever kind of love.

Until we meet again,
Elad Yifrach