Profile: Kate Kelly, TV News Reporter San Francisco 2010 -
By Joe Eskenazi
Kate Kelly has been a fixture on Bay Area television screens since 1984. Nowadays, the Cow Hollow resident is a fixture somewhere else, too: the city's myriad ball fields, where she cheers for her teenage children. In fact, Kelly jokingly protested to SF Weekly that she could opine on little else than her preferred youth sporting venues. That turned out to be wildly inaccurate; the Marin native knows San Francisco backward and forward after a quarter of a century at KPIX. But, for the record, she prefers taking in games at the new fields at Crocker Amazon Park, and notes that a gopher-hole–related ankle injury at Beach Chalet Field isn't a matter of if, but when.
When Kelly isn't on TV or the sidelines, she enjoys walking around her own corner of the city. There's Rose's Cafe or the Boulangerie on Union, Johnny Rockets (for the kids — wink, wink), or just coffee at Peet's and quiet time at Book Passage on Fillmore. "We all have our haunts," she says.
A more vigorous walk might find the Kellys taking the family Labrador through the Lawrence Halprin–designed gardens in the Presidio and down to Crissy Field; a cup of joe at the Warming Hut isn't mandatory, but it is nice on a typical San Francisco day.
Like most San Francisco residents, Kelly and her husband thought hard about leaving for the suburbs when they had children. Unlike most city residents, they didn't. Kelly notes that San Francisco "is not a super-easy city for little ones." But now that her kids are old enough to go out on their own, "I'm thrilled I stayed." Abundant public transportation — to sports practice, naturally — and a variety of restaurants; free events in the park and at museums: This ain't so bad a place to be. "There's so much to do here, and so much education you get from living in the city once the kids are a little older," she says. "We stayed in the city, and now I'm so grateful."
Also, counterintuitively, this is a great place to fish. Or at least go through the motions. Kelly is a dedicated fly-fisher, and one of her favorite hidden gems is the fly-casting ponds near the buffalo paddocks in Golden Gate Park. Prior to fishing season, Kelly totes her rod down to the ponds and works on her technique in the heart of the city. "There are always some old-timers there, some guys and women who know so much about the sport," she says. "They're really generous with their help."
Oh, there is one more place Kelly enjoys taking in a game: AT&T Park. But her kids aren't playing there, or at least not yet. And it just isn't a game unless you hit up the Ramp beforehand: "You get a burger and a beer, and you're fine."