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Old 05-30-2005, 10:11 AM   #41
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I've only explored San Francisco to great extent, living there for a few months, and I lived in L.A. for two years, so I'm not too familiar with the rest that California has to offer.

Ninth, I don't exactly know what your interests are so my ideas are from the hip. For when you are in S.F., take the requisite stroll up Powell Street downtown. Start at bottom of the hill, at Union Square, and go north on Powell (forget the cable cars - too expensive now and the queues are insultingly long, unless you want to be elbowed by bustling Chinese locals who will all get off in Chinatown to do their shopping). Going up on Powell, it's mostly tourist trap souvenir shops at first, then it becomes hotels, cafes, and bars.

When you reach the Sir Francis Drake Hotel go a few doors up and on the corner of Sutter St. should be a nice cafe to sit and have breakfasts of croissants, fruit, and coffee, and people watch (forgot the name). Many 'Woody Allen types' go there (they work nearby or live in affluent Nob Hill). Continue up the hill and you'll find yourself in Chinatown, a gorgeously busy area. I'm not usually the outgoing type but I just LOVE being amongst the locals rushing around shopping. Hidden somewhere in Chinatown is an awesome old store that sells musical instruments from around the world (like Tibet, Africa, South America). If you find it please grab a business card and let me know where it is. I've been there twice but keep forgetting exactly where it is.

Walk further up on Powell and you'll leave Chinatown and enter the Italian flavoured North Beach, the only neighbourhood in S.F. I seriously want to live in. It has a shitload of wonderful cafes, idiosyncratic Italian eateries, and sweet little park, Washington Square, with its own church.

Let me know if you want more suggestions.
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Old 05-30-2005, 10:18 AM   #42
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Yeah, I ate in a great little Italian diner there. Oddly enough down the way from there was one of those Kid Robot style vinyl Japanese toy shops that knew the one I frequent in London.

Beware of the food in Chinatown! There's some amazing looking delicacies there in amongst the stalls, and nearly all are scary.
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Old 05-30-2005, 10:30 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squarejawhero
Beware of the food in Chinatown! There's some amazing looking delicacies there in amongst the stalls, and nearly all are scary.
Did they serve cooked eel there? Also, I hear the cooked Jellyfish is quite good.


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Old 05-30-2005, 10:37 AM   #44
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I did see some sea cucumber and sea slug.
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Old 05-30-2005, 10:44 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intrepid Homoludens
Let me know if you want more suggestions.
Oh yes, keep them coming. Bars, restaurants, museums, squares, good movie theaters... Every idea will be duly noted, sorted, brainstormed, and used.
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Old 05-30-2005, 10:53 AM   #46
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Not sure if you're into art, but visit the San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art. Strong permanent collection, and if anything, the interior architecture is impressive. Just try NOT to feel giddy when you're walking that steel platform several stories high above the atrium. The museum itself is on the edge going into the SOMA (South of Market), the S.F. equivalent of SoHo in New York - lots of overpriced art galleries and pouffy places to shop and eat.

Best place to feel spooked is Fort Point, right under the Golden Gate bridge. It was built over 100 years ago in defense of the city from sea attacks. It FEELS like you're in an adventure game exploring some haunted place for clues. I've felt some weird presences there when I poked around the bunkers on my own. Pretty cool.
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Old 05-30-2005, 10:59 AM   #47
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I've felt some weird presences there when I poked around the bunkers on my own.
It wasn't me.

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Old 05-30-2005, 07:58 PM   #48
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I didn't think it was. It didn't smell like you.
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:36 AM   #49
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Wow! I smell so bad I cross international borders and entire oceans!
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Old 05-31-2005, 02:28 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Intrepid Homoludens
Not sure if you're into art
I am.
I've seen the Modern Art museum mentioned somewhere else in this thread; is it the only one in SF or just the most interesting?
There was something else I meant to ask, but I just can't put my finger on it...
That's not it, but : any cosy cocktail bars to recommend?

Oh yes, I know.
Are there some places where you can listen to rock bands? I know there are zillions of jazz concerts, but I don't know about rock...
Or for those who live there, do you know if there are any good concerts during this period? (9 august to 26 august)
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Old 05-31-2005, 06:31 AM   #51
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Gawd, there are tons of places to listen to music. Cocktail bars too. It's hard to recommend any without knowing what part of the city you'll be in. Let me see if I can dig up a list of concerts... there may even be some free ones in Golden Gate park during that time.

The MOMA is definitely the most well known of the museums around here. Sometimes the Legion of Honor (which is near my house!) has art exhibits... they had an art deco one last year. There is also a museum of Asian art, a comic book museum... not sure what else. Oh, the Exploratorium, which is like a science museum for kids. It's not art, but it's fun. I bet if you do a Google search you'll be able to turn them up relatively easily.

EDIT: Here are some concert lists, from the websites of local radio stations.
Live 105
Alice 97.3
KFOG

(These are mostly big venues, maybe because it's too far in advance for the little venues to announce their shows... also check out SF Station for info on concerts and events.)

Last edited by fov; 05-31-2005 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 05-31-2005, 09:31 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazhara7
Are you also going to see the old California? With the old Spanish houses?


I always loved the Donald Duck story "In Old California!" by Carl Barks.
What does THAT have to do with ANYTHING?
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Old 05-31-2005, 11:57 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fov
Gawd, there are tons of places to listen to music. Cocktail bars too. It's hard to recommend any without knowing what part of the city you'll be in.
Well, just pick your favorite.
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:25 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squarejawhero
Wow! I smell so bad I cross international borders and entire oceans!

I didn't say it was bad smell, did I?
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Old 05-31-2005, 09:17 PM   #55
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On art (visual arts) in San Francisco
- SFMOMA, San Franciscio Museum of Modern Art, as distinguished from MOMA, in New York City. The building is beautiful, and the art is good. I enjoy their shows.
http://www.sfmoma.org

- Fine Arts Museums. There are two museums, only one of which is open right now, the Legion of Honor. The other one, the De Young, is getting a new building, it's not open yet. The Legion of Honor is a nifty museum - a good permanent collection and some interesting shows. It's also in a great location, with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and nice views of the city. I think it's a worth a trip.
http://www.thinker.org/

There are other good museums (including Yerba Buena) and some good galleries, if you are interested. I'm not sure how much you are into contemporary art, so you may not be interested. If you are, let me know, and I can recommend some good galleries.

--------------------

If you go on to southern California, I am really fond of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art ( http://www.lacma.org ), so much so that I am a member, and I don't even live in southern California! I've also never been to the new Getty museum, but I think it's worth a trip. ( http://www.getty.org ).

Los Angeles has a very good gallery scene - 3rd in the US (galleries, reputation, etc) after New York City and Chicago. On the Los Angeles area gallery scene, I generally just go to the galleries at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica (my favorite city in southern California, right next to Los Angeles, near the West LA area). It's a good collection of galleries and you only have to park the car once. The Bergamot Station website (have no idea who does this, a gallery association) isn't all that up to date, but at least you can see where the Bergamot Station galleries are located
http://www.bergamotstation.com/ . Remember, galleries, unlike museums, are free.

Oh - for art stuff, the gallery guide is what you need to get. Often you can get the most recent copy of it for free, at galleries. It has lists of exhibits, some pictures and good maps. You want the US West Coast edition.
http://www.galleryguide.com

Perhaps more than you wanted to know, about the local visual arts scene! Just be glad I stopped myself before recommending even more visual arts places, around the San Francisco Bay Area!
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:03 PM   #56
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Fine Arts Museums. There are two museums, only one of which is open right now, the Legion of Honor. The other one, the De Young, is getting a new building, it's not open yet. The Legion of Honor is a nifty museum - a good permanent collection and some interesting shows. It's also in a great location, with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and nice views of the city. I think it's a worth a trip.
Ah yes, forgot about the De Young. Probably because it's been closed for so long.

After you go to the Legion of Honor, you can come have a drink at the Cliff House with me! The Cliff House is gorgeous (even when I'm not there ) - recently reopened, great view of the ocean, and the drinks are reasonably priced. Don't eat there because the food prices are atrocious. They're trying to tap the tourists. But the drink prices are low because they want to attract the locals (for which my BF and I are eternally grateful... bars are very scarce in our neighborhood!) The Cliff House is literally a 10 minute walk from my house.

You might also fancy a stroll down the beach (there's a windmill that's kinda interesting to look at... and a Safeway that's not as exciting ), or a walk in Sutro Heights park, which overlooks the ocean.

Oh - San Francisco also has a reasonably good zoo. It's also near the ocean, about 20 blocks south of the Cliff House. I had never seen peacocks up close (like, not in pens) until I visited the SF zoo.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:21 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fov
Ah yes, forgot about the De Young. Probably because it's been closed for so long.

After you go to the Legion of Honor, you can come have a drink at the Cliff House with me! The Cliff House is gorgeous (even when I'm not there ) - recently reopened, great view of the ocean, and the drinks are reasonably priced. Don't eat there because the food prices are atrocious. They're trying to tap the tourists. But the drink prices are low because they want to attract the locals (for which my BF and I are eternally grateful... bars are very scarce in our neighborhood!) The Cliff House is literally a 10 minute walk from my house.

You might also fancy a stroll down the beach (there's a windmill that's kinda interesting to look at... and a Safeway that's not as exciting ), or a walk in Sutro Heights park, which overlooks the ocean.

Oh - San Francisco also has a reasonably good zoo. It's also near the ocean, about 20 blocks south of the Cliff House. I had never seen peacocks up close (like, not in pens) until I visited the SF zoo.
The De Young is open again?

Also, how long will you be in Yosemite for? If you'll be there for >1 day, I really suggest doing the Half Dome hike.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/trip/valleyhikes.htm
(Scroll to bottom)

It's a long and occasionally steep hike, but the view at the end is completely worth it. Bring a camera and a decent pair of leather work gloves.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:25 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tabacco
The De Young is open again?
Not yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by some website that knows what it's talking about
In fall 2005, the de Young Museum will re-open in a new facility designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and Fong & Chan Architects in San Francisco. The new de Young will provide San Francisco with a landmark art museum to showcase the museum’s significant collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, art from Central and South America, and art from the Pacific and Africa.
Another page on the same site says October 15th.

I feel like that museum has been closed ever since I moved to the city... then it reopens for a few months and before you know it it's closed again.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:27 PM   #59
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Ah, okay.

Also, I just re-read that post and noticed that I missed the "not" in "not into hiking". Sorry about that. Half Dome probably isn't your thing, then

This is the first year I'll be doing that hike with a digital camera, though, so I'll post some shots of what you're missing
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:30 PM   #60
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Quote:
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This is the first year I'll be doing that hike with a digital camera, though, so I'll post some shots of what you're missing
Will you take Geoff with you?

He gets all bummed out that I'd rather play adventure games and build dollhouses than go hiking.
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