San Francisco

So the Girl and I may be spending a few days in sf at the start of April. Does anyone have advice on where to go, stay, eat?

Nightlife? I very much doubt The Armory of kink.com is on the list but everything up to that point is on the table.

I want to see all the stuff I grew up around in the movies, Chinatown, the Bridge, the Painted Ladies, that all night market where Jack Burton played cards in Big Trouble in Little China

I want to see old people doing Tai Chi at dawn as car chases stream by.

Seriously  though, we are maybe planning five days so lets hear it all.
Original Post

20 years since I visited SF, but plenty of memories remain.  Alcatraz was rad, and the security guys at the boat landing were still bragging about meeting Cage and Connery while The Rock (movie, not the actor) was filming there.  Lombard Street was fun.  So was a production of "The Phantom of the Opera" in a big old theater in which we sat in the rearmost seats in the highest balcony (having not bought tickets ahead of time).

 

Have fun!

I had an internship in Palo Alto one summer. I spent most of it very depressed, over-sleeping on the front porch of the dilapidated house (we were supposed to get housing at Stanford, but someone screwed up, and a dilapidated house was all we could afford to rent). 

 

I went to SF one day with the head secretary from the office we were at. Walked across the bridge. (The one to Marin, not Oakland). We drove back through SF without stopping.

 

Palo Alto fucking sucks. I can't speak for SF, since I only really saw that bridge.

Well, in that case, I'm an idiot too. The Golden Gate was in my mind all the time I was reading the Bridge Trilogy. It was real hard to make some of the narrative fit!

 

I've been to SF once, in transit to LA after a flight from Narita (North West overbooking scandal). Never left the airport - spent the entire time waiting for my luggage to arrive on a subsequent, much later, NWA flight from Japan via Hawaii. I'd have been better staying with the luggage.

Haha. I dunno. I guess... I expect myself to know American geography better due to being born, raised, and presently living here? Lulz.

 

edit: "here" = the US.

 

I live near Seattle, but still I expect myself to know at least a modicum of geography in other US cities.

Gaiman boardies are the real SF experts, Jocelyn Zombie and Chris damnIcantretrievehisboardnamefrommynoodle Tongster! actually in residence.

i go once/year and it's brilliant; I don't typically venture far, though I have seen a few cool places (ex-boss lived there and would show us around.). The Interval bar in Fort Mason is awesome, and there were a slew of food trucks pulling in on Friday afternoon, but that was September....  Gorgeous gardens/museums around, the Cartoon Art Museum near Moscone if you find yourself in that district, and a wicked little Speakeasy on Mission as well.

Giant Robot used to have a place there, but sadly they closed .. LA is their only refuge now, though the art goes international (WG keyed me into gr ~ 10(?) years back, so fucking great).

yeah, so vague but true, that's my contribution

Okay now I'm confused too. Having never been to San Fran or Oakland in the flesh, I kind of thought there was only one famous bridge there, the Golden Gate bridge, being the reddish humpy span shaped one; this being the bridge in the Bridge trilogy. Maybe my bridge names and pictures in my head are all skewiff.

Oh, hey, nope. The Golden Gate Bridge is *the* famous one. But there are plenty of other bridges, too: remember SF is on a penninsula.

East-West (80) bridge is the Oakland Bay Bridge of the W Gibson trilogy fame. North-South (101) bridge is the Golden Gate, which, again, is more famous outside of Gibson literature:

Screenshot from 2015-12-03 08:39:01

The Golden Gate

The Oakland Bay Bridge, even more confusingly, has (on a cursory glance) a similar profile, due to them both being suspension bridges.

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Photos (1)

For further context: Oakland at the other terminus of the Oakland Bay Bridge tends to be associated with poor black people. Marin County, at the other terminus of the Golden Gate, by contrast, tends to be associated with rich white people.

That should put the bits in the Bridge Triology about (I forget which characters) not wanting to go onto "the other side" of the bridge into better context.

Alcatraz is a must see. 

I was very impressed with the Prison Tour.  In addition, the trip back and forth to the Island is almost as good as the Prison Tour itself.

However, be aware its one of the city's most popular venues.  You could easily never get out there, if you think you can 'just show up'. 

Book your tickets out the island as far in advance as possible.  Try to get booked on the FIRST ferry out.  This will allow you to tour the site in uncrowded leisure.  (The Island gets crowded very quickly.)

I'd also like to recommend Muir Woods.

This is harder to get to, being outside the city.  However, if you've never seen giant sequoias in a natural environment, its worth the trip.  In addition, the contrast between the miniature temperate rainforest and the urban landscape of the city can be quite jarring.  

My brother lives in the suburbs of SF, and I've been visiting the place since the 80s.  The Alcatraz tour is an absolute must.  The audio tour has won lots of awards, and deservedly so. 

Climb Coit Tower for the view. 

Go to City Lights and buy a book.  Buy lots of books.  Support one of the world's great independent bookstores. 

Go to Ghirardelli Square and buy chocolate. 

Go to the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park for a culture hit. 

Go to the recently-renovated Ferry Building and find lots of decent food places (I like Gott's Roadside) and shops full of expensive kitchenware. 

Speaking of food... I got taken to the Tadich Grill on my first visit and loved it; cocktails at the Top of the Mark is a must IMO too.  Hong Kong Lounge on Geary was the best Chinese food place last time I was there a couple of years ago, and while you wait for a table head across the road to Royal Ground Coffee (their "Keith Richards" was a quadruple shot espresso, yum).  If you like garlic in *everything* the Stinking Rose restaurant is worth a visit. 

Movie locations?  Take your pick...

http://www.maphook.com/site/mh...emap.html?sfmoviemap

Somehow I doubt the goth/industrial clubs I went to back in the 90s are still there, so I can't help you with the nightlife, but you will find something to entertain!

You guys rock. I can't beat this board as a resource after 12 years still. If things as planned I will split yhe trip between 2-3 days with my academic life partner who I work with and 4-7 days w the Girl. He and I went to Flint, MI for example to view the urban decay. 

I couldn't help bit offer  up my 2¢ worth.

I lived in the bay area for a couple of years, more so, the mission district (near Delores Park and the Armoury).

My top picks are these:

Secret Pirate Bar: Smuggaler's Cove in the Filmore.

http://m.yelp.ca/biz/smugglers-cove-san-francisco

Bonus: The Sundance/Kubuki Theater is in the Filmore too. Catch a movie there, does not disappoint, ever.

Delores Park and the Murelas: Mission district, Velencia and Guerrero. Beautiful, food filled, lively and just wonderful to pass the day in the park.

Hayes Valley neighborhood. Dinner? Amazing brunch places, Germany restaurant and amazing outdoor metal installation art. A great neighborhood.

Twin Peaks. Get your camera and some hiking shoes. Great 360° views from the peaks, and it's really windy so make sure your hats are snug, if you wear hats.

And last but not least, Hoit Tower. It's a great place to visit. It's the Taj Mahal of SF.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whoops, I think I'm late to the party but I can't help but couldn't help bit offer up my 2¢ worth.

I lived in the bay area for a couple of years, more so, the mission district (near Delores Park and the Armoury).

My top picks are these:

Secret Pirate Bar: Smuggaler's Cove in the Filmore.

http://m.yelp.ca/biz/smugglers-cove-san-francisco

Bonus: The Sundance/Kubuki Theater is in the Filmore too. Catch a movie there, does not disappoint, ever.

Delores Park and the Murelas: Mission district, Velencia and Guerrero. Beautiful, food filled, lively and just wonderful to pass the day in the park.

Hayes Valley neighborhood. Dinner? Amazing brunch places, Germany restaurant and amazing outdoor metal installation art. A great neighborhood.

Twin Peaks. Get your camera and some hiking shoes. Great 360° views from the peaks, and it's really windy so make sure your hats are snug, if you wear hats.

And last but not least, Hoit Tower. It's a great place to visit. It's the Taj Mahal of SF.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This novel (I believe I've read all of them), is a thing of beauty: the writing IMHO -it is choice. I'm on my 3rd re-read and it won't be the last either. Except maybe the cliche "You deep" (at least it becomes a cliche in the course of this novel) omg it so gets on my nerves.

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