San Francisco Journals

Ten Days by the Bay

Best of IgoUgo

An April 2000 trip to San Francisco by stranger

Quote: San Francisco is an American rarity; cosmopolitan yet unpretentious, surrounded by natural beauty and infused with European charm.

Hotel Monaco

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
I would have been happy sleeping in the lobby of the Monaco,with its high, painted ceiling and gilded spiral staircase. Each room is equipped with Web TV,cable TV (with Nintendo), a data port line, hairdryers, and an iron& ironing board. My room, the Casa Blanca, was furnished with a Queen-sized canopy bed, red Chinese lacquered armoire and a bamboo desk. I felt like a character in an E.M. Forster novel. Or one of the Rolling Stones.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Hotel Monaco
501 Geary Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 292-0100

Tara Mitchell

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "friend's place"

Quote:
My friend’s building is typical San Francisco Victorian. The 1-bdrm. apartment had a huge picture window and an amazing view of the Bay, which is a good thing, since the rent she pays could buy three apartments most other places: She tells me rents have now surpassed those of Manhattan.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Tara Mitchell
#8-83 Clapperton St.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
705-730-0357

Sushi Groove South

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Sushigroove"

Quote:
Supercool, with an in-house DJ. The Sake cocktails are gorgeous (I recommend the Killer Cosmo) and the atmosphere is very laid back. I started with the Shrimp Tempura in a sweet/spicy sauce, followed by sushi and sashimi. The beef tenderloin sushi was perfectly marinated, and the spicy tuna roll was the best I’ve ever had. And anyone who says San Francisco has no “beautiful people” missed this place.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Sushi Groove South
1516 Folsom Street
San Francisco, California 94107
(415) 503-1950

Puerto Alegre Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "El Puerto Alegre"

Quote:
It’s no-frills Mexican and they serve the best Margarita in San Francisco. It’s noisy, it’s usually packed, and the carne asada tacos are too good to be true. Dinner for between $4 -$12. What more could you ask for? Hmmm...how about another margarita...sounds like a good idea.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Puerto Alegre Restaurant
546 Valencia St
San Francisco, California 94110
+ 1 415 255 8201

Stinson Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
(To get there: After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, take Hwy. 101 North approximately three miles to the 'Hwy. One, Stinson Beach' exit.) One of the loveliest, most pristine beaches I’ve seen, Stinson Beach is perfect for surfing, kayaking, even hangliding. I chose to comb the sands for shells and then settle down with a book. The immediate environs include the Bolinas Lagoon Reserve, where seals, great egrets and blue herons go to unwind.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Stinson Beach
Town of Stinson Beach at the Pacific Ocean
San Francisco, California

Market Street

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Matt Davis Trail"

Quote:
Hike up the majestic 2,567-foot-high Mount Tamalpais; all levels of hiker will appreciate a large network of maintained hiking trails that lead up its slopes. A short hike up the Dipsea Trail (off the Panoramic Highway just south of town) provides dramatic views of the beach, Bolinas Lagoon, and the Pacific Ocean.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Market Street
Market Street
San Francisco, California

Alamo Square Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
This park is great because it sits smack in the middle of the city’s great architecture. Great place to stroll and read. Lots of hippies-in-denial like to congregate here, waiting for Jimi Hendrix to come back from the dead. Hey--who's that guy over there playing guitar with his teeth? Some people...

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Alamo Square Park
Steiner, Scott
San Francisco, California

Ab Fits

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Owners Christopher Louie and Howard Gee, designers themselves, espouse the philosophy, 'It’s never the body, it’s always the clothes.' Which is good news for those of us under 5’4; they stock the most flattering jeans and pants by French, Japanese, and Italian designers, as well as cashmere sweaters, handbags, and cowboy hats. I recently scooped up an armload of boat neck tees in candy colors in addition to the cutest socks I’ve worn since I was three. Nanette Lepore, Trina Turk, and Shopgirl are among the designers they carry. Go visit them.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Ab Fits
1519 Grant Ave
San Francisco, California 94133
+1 415 982 5726

Villains

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Guys will find Diesel gear as well as other hipster labels with a high tech bent. For girls, there are little dresses, fierce tees by Paul Frank, crocheted tops, and footwear. They also carry Too Faced, the fabulous cosmetics line that is so popular among sophistos and club kids. Stop by Villains before you hit 26 Mix.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Villains
1672 Haight St
San Francisco, California 94117
+1 415 626 5939

Good Vibrations

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
If you're in the market for a love aid, tube of lube, or some good-quality porn (and who isn't?) Good Vibrations is your friendly neighborhood sex emporium. Unlike the seedy patchoulied smut bodegas who claim to offer the finest in Adult goods, Good Vibrations is a welcoming shop, encouraging to even the most squeamish pleasure goods purchaser. Like me.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Good Vibrations
1210 Valencia St
San Francisco, California 94110
+1 415 974 8980

Body Manipulations

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
I was in the market for a nose piercing, so I stopped in. They take a kinder, gentler approach to scarification and tattooing. And, let's be honest. If you're not going to have a kind person scar you, who ARE you going to have scar you? Good jewelry, reasonable prices.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Body Manipulations
3234 16th St.
San Francisco, California 94103
(415) 621-0408

City Lights Bookstore

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
What it’s like: 'A sort of library where books are sold,' is their slogan. I hesitated to include City Lights, since it seems like a San Francisco cliché. Still, it is one of the great bookstores in the country, as it caters to the Academic and the Intellectual in all of us. Benches on the lower level make it easy to browse, which is good since the European hostel set and the last few starving artists who can afford to live in the city can’t afford to buy too much.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

City Lights Bookstore
261 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 362-8193

Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Ferry Plaza Farmers Market"

Quote:
Since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, The Embarcadero has become the promenade of Choice for a waterside weekend stroll. On Saturdays and Sundays, fruit and vegetable growers, restaurateurs, and and fisherman set up stands at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, and local craftspeople set up stands across the way in Justin Herman Plaza. The dot com-yuppies come out in full force for this, so be warned.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market
At the corner of The Embarcaderro and Market Street
San Francisco, California 94105
(415) 291-3276

North Star Ski Resort

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "North Star"

Quote:
I went toward the end of the season, when the snow was about 4 feet deep. Lots of powder, lots of crowds and lots of sunshine. I have to say that, since I don’t make a habit of standing up on planks of plywood and hurling myself down mountains, I was counting on North Star having a lovely little lodge in which I could sip hot toddies. Alas, my Alpine hopes were shattered when I saw the 'lodge' which was just a food court and was about as comfortable as an airport. But if you ski or snowboard, this won’t matter to you, I’m told.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

North Star Ski Resort
11025 Pioneer Trail
Lake Tahoe, California 96161
(800) 466-6784

Alcatraz Island/The Rock

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Alcatraz"

Quote:
There probably weren’t as many bird colonies and flower gardens back when Capone was incarcerated there, but it made the day even lovelier for me and my boyfriend. We took a stroll through the prison with the help of a self-guided audio tour, then chatted with the Park Rangers about Machine Gun Kelly. Hmmm...doesn't seem like such a bad place to spend 15-20...

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Alcatraz Island/The Rock
San Francisco Bay
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco 94133
(415) 705-5555

Cable Cars

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
A great way to see San Francisco. Very touristy, But it’s a must-do. Plus, you get the added bonus of feeling like you're in the opening credits of 'Full House'. I was afraid of falling out, but that fear proved baseless.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Cable Cars
401 Van Ness
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 673-6864

Fort Mason

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
If you’ve ever seen Hitchcock’s Vertigo, you’ll recognize the view from Fort Mason. It’s arguably the best vantage point from which to view the Bay. Have lunch At Greens, the out-of-this-world vegetarian restaurant.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Fort Mason
At the corner of Laguna and Beach streets
San Francisco, California 94123
+1 415 441 3400

Silver Statue Guy

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "'The Silver Statue Guy'"

Quote:
I’m not too sure what this guy’s story is, but he’s a staple in Union Square, where the tourists Coagulate. He is spray-painted from head to toe, every pore and orifice, every stitch of clothing, in silver. And he sits, or stands, perfectly still for hours straight. There may be more than one of him, even. I don’t know.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Silver Statue Guy
Union Square
San Francisco, California

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Cherry Blossom Festival"

Quote:
The Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Spring's arrival and the Japanese culture which is so strong in the Bay Area. The winsome cherry blossom symbolizes all that is beautiful, courageous and temporal. Also, there's a great variety of live entertainment and Japanese food/cultural exhibits for when you get bored of looking at trees. The festival runs from April 8 - April 16.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival
At the corner of Post and Fillmore streets
San Francisco, California 94115
+1 415 563 2313

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "SF MOMA"

Quote:
The renowned SF Museum of Modern Art was the first on the West Coast devoted solely to twentieth-century art. Collections devoted to Media Arts and Architecture are most notable, and the Department of Photography includes works by Stieglitz and Ansel Adams as well as works of the 1920s German avant-garde and the European Surrealists of the 1930s. The bookstore is a terrific repository of design curiosities, jewelry, and periodicals.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
151 Third St
San Francisco, California 94103
+1 415 357 4000

Mexican Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Located at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, The Mexican Museum offers a vital artistic contribution to the Bay Area. It provides a “self-representational view of Mexican Art and culture through the millennia.” The museum's permanent collection holds more than 9,000 objects in the following five genres: Pre-Hispanic Art, Colonial Art, Folk Art, Mexican Fine Art, and Mexican American/ Chicano Fine Art. It’s a moving and impressive view onto the art and culture that has informed the history of San Francisco..

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Mexican Museum
Fort Mason Center, Building D
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 673-2200

Applesaucer in Concert

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Local music in San Francisco is struggling along as the infusion of dot-com yuppies threatens the lifestyle of struggling artists. But this band gives a glimmer of hope not only for the local musical landscape but for American popular music as a whole. Beatles-influenced harmonies and fugue-like orchestration combine with witty wordsmithing to make Applesaucer the most interesting band I’ve seen and heard since XTC, way back when. Check them out at www.applesaucer.com.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Applesaucer in Concert
Hotel Utah
San Francisco, California 94107
(415) 546-6300

Exploratorium at The Palace of Fine Arts

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Exploratorium"

Quote:
Awesome. If you ever watched The Bloodhound Gang Or 3-2-1 Contact as a kid, you’ll feel three feet tall again ehre. The exhibits are fully hands-on, and visitors are encouraged to play. I had so much fun that I forgot that I’m 5’4 and brained myself on the slanted ceiling in the “Alice’s House” exhibit. Sample some of the fun to be found at: www.exploratorium.edu/exhibits/index.html

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Exploratorium at The Palace of Fine Arts
15/17 Pier
San Francisco 94111
(415) 563-7337

Folsom Street Fair

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
October promises a feast for the eyes as the leather and bondage enthusiasts of San Fran emerge from their dungeons to parade en masse through the streets. It’s a celebration of individual expression that is sure to elicit some reaction from spectators. If you own a pair of chaps, this is the time to dust ‘em off. Go to: www.sfstation.com for up-to-date info

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Folsom Street Fair
At the corner of Fifth and Folsom streets
San Francisco, California 94103
+ 1 415 861 3247

Cafe Jacqueline

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Chez Jacqueline"

Quote:
The most romantic dinner date spot I’ve been to in a long time. Café Jacqueline serves only souffles, the rich, sinful, warm-your-tummy kind. My favorite is the Fruits de Mer souffle, which is fluffy and rich. It’s not cheap (Souffle for two is around $30), but it’s awfully charming. Then you can walk up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower for a little snuggling with your babe. Just bring a coat, ‘cause it gets so Arctic at that height that my love did not keep me warm.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Cafe Jacqueline
1454 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 981-5565

Beauty Bar

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
From Wednesday to Friday, a manicure is free of charge as long as you order a lovely little cocktail, sweetie. Sip away underneath the retro hair dryers and settle in for some great people watching. (If you get plastered enough, you won't notice when they give you some hideous shade of pink for your fingernails!)

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Beauty Bar
2299 Mission St
San Francisco, California 94110
+1 415 285 0323

Backflip

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Sidle up to the sleek bar up front for a martini or snag one of the little cabanas in back for some cocktail munchies. The décor is cerulean and the mood is very lounge lizard. When the weather’s nice you can kick back by the pool out back. Sorry, no wraps or acrylics available at this bar...

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Backflip
601 Eddy St
San Francisco, California 94109
+1 415 771 3547

Popscene

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
BritPop, mod, 60s soul, new wave, indie and electronica grooves with DJs Aaron, Omar & Jeremy. From the Rolling Stones to Supergrass, Moby to The Smiths, Popscene takes you back to the days of Doc Martin’s creepers and farther still to Vespa scooters and moptops. The crowd is a bit young, since admission is 18+, but the dancing is good and “the kids are alright.”

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Popscene
330 Ritch Street
San Francisco, California 94107
(415) 541-9574

26 Mix

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Half lounge, half dance club. It’s dark, the DJ spins house,trip hop, funk, drum and bass, and acid jazz. The sound system is boomin’, and there’s a little room to dance, but the atmosphere is conducive to conversation, too. There was definitely no “scene-y” attitude here. It felt more like hanging out in a Friend’s living room. In fact, most night spots in San Fran are low-key like this; it’s a nice change from L.A. and New York.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

26 Mix
3024 Mission
San Francisco, California 94110
+1 415 248 1319

Tips and Tricks

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Wear comfortable,(read: flat) shoes or you’ll blow out your knees walking down the hills. (I found I needed ski poles for some of those slopes.) The cafes, such as Café de la Presse (on the corner of Bush and Grant streets, right at the Gates of Chinatown) offer the best opportunities to get a feel for the San Francisco lifestyle. Public transportation consists of Muni, the Municipal bus system, and BART, Bay Area Rapid Transit. Muni costs only a dollar and is great for day transportation, especially since it’s impossible to park anywhere in San Francisco. However, if you’re without a car, plan to take cabs at night, since it gets chilly, somewhat dangerous ...Read More