San Francisco Journals

San Francisco - On and Off the Corporate Dime

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A March 2007 trip to San Francisco by Little Ayun

Lombard Street From Coit Tower Parking Lot Photo, San Francisco, California More Photos
Quote: This was a patented business-plus-a-few-days-extra trip, and my umpteenth visit to San Francisco. Has it gotten dull yet? Not a chance.

San Francisco - On and Off The Corporate Dime

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Overview

Lombard Street From Coit Tower Parking Lot Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
I escaped freezing, gray New England for four sunny warm days in San Francisco to attend a conference at the Moscone Center and, of course, sneak in a couple of extra days to sightsee, catch up with old friends, check out Lunar New Year festivities in Chinatown and eat Pacific salmon, Salinas Valley produce, and Scharffen Berger chocolate (Ghiradelli is for amateurs!).The Bay Area is practically my third home - I was born in nearby San Jose - and I'm still discovering new things to love about the city. Every time I visit, I have to check out what's new on Haight Street (I always say I'm just going to pop my head into Amoeba records before moving on to something more edifying, like a museum...Read More

Hotel Monaco

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Hotel

Hotel Monaco Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
I love an expense account, don't you? The Monaco is one of several Kimpton properties in and around Union Square, and all of them feature what might be my favorite random hotel amenity ever: Goldfish on request (housekeeping will take care of feeding little Swimmy for you). I checked in and claimed my goldfish at noon, three hours before the official check-in time, with no problems at all.Like the goldfish, everything about the Monaco that's great is in the details: L'Occitane toiletries, a book on Buddhism next to the dresser-drawer bible, a canopy over your bed that doesn't look like something ripped from a twelve-year-old girl's bedroom, Starbucks and Sugar in the Raw for the in-room co...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 11, 2007

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

City Lights Bookstore Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
I'm the sort of traveler who always looks for local independent booksellers in every city I visit, so it's something of a wonder that I'd never gone to City Lights before this trip. I think it has something to do with the fact that every photo I've seen makes it look like a closet. But photos lie! City Lights has three levels, tons of beat-up leather chairs for lounging (and many signs encouraging you to sit and read for a while), and enough old posters and memorabilia on the walls and shelf-ends to make the Beat Museum across the street just a tiny bit superfluous. Make sure to read the walls - framed letterpress editions of seminal short poems line the staircases. Jazz on the stereo, natch, and s...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 12, 2007

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

Ferry Building Marketplace

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Attraction

Ferry Building Marketplace Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Show up hungry. Seriously.Skip a meal or two if you have to - you won't regret it. The Ferry Building is a historic city landmark that survived every major earthquake it met (1906 and Loma Prieta), and ferries still operate from the building (albeit fewer than in the days when the only way to get into San Francisco was by water). The view from the water side of the building is fantastic, but it's what's inside that draws most visitors to the Ferry Building, and rightly so.Inside the building are more than 40 shops, restaurants and cafes, mostly selling gourmet food. There are two stores focused on olive oil, three fishmongers, a couple of butchers, a patisserie, a confec...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 15, 2007

Ferry Building Marketplace
1 Sausalito, San Francisco Ferry Building
San Francisco, California 94111
(415) 983-8030

Amoeba Music

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Attraction

Amoeba Music Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
I visit San Francisco every year or two, usually for no more than a couple of days, and I always, always, always have to go to Amoeba. I plan on stopping in for half an hour or so, just to take a quick look around, and that never works. Expect to stay for a few hours if you enjoy buying music at all. It'll be time well-spent.For a music lover, there is absolutely nothing like the sight of Amoeba - the store is in a former bowling alley, and the entrance is a few feet above the level of the main sales floor. Check your bag, step through the security gate, and suddenly it's 24,000 square feet of music, every genre and every format, as far as the eye can see with not even a support bea...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 19, 2007

Amoeba Music
1855 Haight St.
San Francisco, California 94117
(415) 831-1200

A Tale of Two Robots

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Giant Robot618 Shrader St.Kid Robot1512 Haight StreetIf you can't afford a ticket to Tokyo, San Francisco's not a bad second choice. There's an entire neighborhood of Japanese expats and immigrants, sushi restaurants on every block, and within earshot of each other, two stores specializing in the more rarefied artifacts of Japanese-style mass culture - the consumerism-as-art-form urge to collect, the forced scarcity of deliberately-limited editions of things like keychains, and the fine line between street and gallery art (if you're still convinced graffiti is never capable of being more than vandalism, take a pass). This is the stuff you buy when you'...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 26, 2007