San Francisco and Big Sur



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San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby Casavettes » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:01 pm

Hey ya'll
The wife and I are taking a trip out to the area in December.
Was wondering any natives could point me in the direction of some cool spots.

We're flying into San Francisco, driving down to Big Sur for a few days and then probably Monterey.
Then stay the last day in San Fran before we take our flight back home. :joy:
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby dubkitty » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:51 am

no longer there, but lived there for 35 years. if you have time, go to one of the state parks with redwood trees that are located more-or-less along the coast south of SF/north of Monterey: the best is Humboldt Redwoods, but that's over 100 miles north from SF. Portola Redwoods on the Peninsula was a fave of mine when i lived in the Bay Area; it's smaller and pretty isolated, so you won't have to deal with crowds. Big Basin up the hill from Santa Cruz is also good, but tends to get big family-camper-and-picnic crowds. the consolation prize redwood park is the federal park at Muir Woods in Marin County just north of SF; it's small and crowded, but convenient. the Asian Art Museum in SF is one of the best collections of its kind in the US. if you like old-school amusement park stuff, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is charming. Starving Musician in Santa Cruz is a wonderful buy/sell with great deals on guitars, amps, and effects. of course, Golden Gate Park is a must, and the Conservatory of Flowers is good if you're a botany kind of guy. avoid Haight Street unless you really need some hippie kitsch unless you're going to Amoeba Records at the end of Haight by the park, which you really should do because it's one of the biggest and best record stores in America. expect people to ride your ass on Highway 1, and expect parking in SF to be next to impossible. do NOT drive a stick-shift car in SF unless you're really, really good at dead starts at the top of a hill with 12% grade. and avoid the Tenderloin at all costs, which is tricky cos it's hard by downtown. i'll probably think of more stuff once i wake the rest of the way up.
Last edited by dubkitty on Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby dubkitty » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:55 am

also be aware that Big Sur suffered massive fire and landslide damage in a fire a couple of years ago and may not be as picturesque as you expect.

oh, and absolutely go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
"there is no culture is my brag"--Mark E. Smith

"the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder"--Richard J. Daley

"i want to walk in the snow and not leave a footprint
i want to walk in the snow and not soil its purity"--Richey Edwards

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SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby comesect2.0 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:12 pm

..because California is cursed.....BIG TIME.
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby BitchPudding » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:55 pm

Agreed. Also if you by chance end up in the east bay, hmu. Theres also a starving musician and the OG Amoeba Music were I work to check out if you have the time.
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby dubkitty » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:30 pm

the Berkeley Starving location is best for effects; they send the weird stuff from SC to Berkeley. Santa Cruz IMO is better for guitars. there's also a store in Santa Clara, but it's skippable.

if you like hats, the Berkeley Hat Co. store on Telegraph near the university is as good a hat store as i've ever seen.

San Francisco's Chinatown is like visiting another world, with a prototypically Chinese vignette down every alleyway and behind every door.

and do not miss getting a burrito in the Mission District. i used to like Azteca on Church Street, but i don't know if it's there now.
"there is no culture is my brag"--Mark E. Smith

"the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder"--Richard J. Daley

"i want to walk in the snow and not leave a footprint
i want to walk in the snow and not soil its purity"--Richey Edwards

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SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby ummohyeah » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:32 pm

When in SF, I highly recommend just heading to the Mission district for a whole day or two. The city isn't that big but there's a lot to do, and time runs out quickly, but you can pack a lot in in the mission.

As stated above, driving sucks if you are not used to SF-type driving. When I lived there I had a stick shift and it was okay because it was a tiny car, but I wouldn't recommend it. There's only a few cities in the US where driving is a unique experience all on its own and SF is definitely one of them. It takes 2 minutes for a Lyft to reach you though. Honestly though SF is one of the few cities in the USA where driving (or even taking a cab) is not necessary. Public transit is amazing there but if you are pressed for time don't bother.

If you are in the Mission, here's a good guide (note: very vegan friendly but non-vegans will not miss anything).

Book stores:
Alley Cat Books (24th St) - Best book store in the city by a country mile.
Adobe Books (24th St) - Rustic, charming.
Pens & Needles (Valencia) - Very boutique. Great for zines.

Restaurants:
St. Francis Fountain (24th St) - Great for breakfast food, shakes. Makes amazing
Sun Rise Restaurant (24th St) - Latin American influenced foods. Amazing burritos and bean dishes.
Cha Ya (Valencia) - Japanese cuisine. One of the most unique menus.
Dolores Outpost (Guerrero Street) - Not a restaurant - for street tacos, beer, Japanese cuisine if you need a quick spot to stop if you're out in the Mission or Castro district, it borders Dolores Park where you can drink and smoke weed openly so long as you are not by the playground)

Coffee:
Ritual (Valencia) - It's hip, it's good, it's coffee. Cool.

Bars:
Blind Cat (24th Street) - Bit of a dive. Pool table. Around most other stuff I've recommended. Don't believe anyone who says they're a local (they're not).
Elbo Room (Valencia) - Lots of space if you and your partner want to have a drink and conversation.
The 500 Club (Guerrero Street) - Can get noisy on weekends. Otherwise okay.
24th Street Bar (24th Street) - Don't go around the time people get off work, it gets too many pseudo-business types in there. Other than that, okay.
Last Call (18th Street) - This is actually in the Castro which borders the Mission. You just walk through Dolores park and a few blocks to get to it. It's a great little place, very small and unassuming.

Dispensaries:
Purple Star (Mission Street) - Not much to look at, there are definitely more upscale and expensive dispensaries, but PSMD has: Great products. Knowledgeable staff. In and out.

If you are limited on time the only museum I'd personally recommend is the SF MOMA (which is downtown, not in the Mission). I was last in SF two months ago and the Rene Magritte exhibit they had was awesome. Some of the great Richter pieces are gone unfortunately but the Fisher family has rotated some new ones in, definitely worth seeing. You can see every part of it in about 3-4 hours and it's a great way to kill time, especially if you stop by a dispensary first.

I'd recommend skipping anything too touristy: Haight & Ashbury, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, City Lights Bookstore, etc, unless you are REALLY into that sort of stuff. The best part of SF is the food, drink, and weather. Again I highly recommend spending a good chunk of time in the Mission as it's not like any other part of the valley, really. It's busy, it's very Latin-influenced, it's unassuming, it has everything. There are some other nice spots like Cole Valley, Hayes Market, etc and you can check them out if you don't like the grime and noise of the Mission.

And yeah stay out of the Tenderloin. The city is honestly extremely safe, but the TL is reserved for strip clubs, crack addicts, the homeless (unfortunately the situation is getting worse and worse). The only reason to go there is for Vietnamese food or to see a band at the Hemlock Tavern.

Have fun! Stay safe.
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby BitchPudding » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:14 pm

dubkitty wrote:the Berkeley Starving location is best for effects; they send the weird stuff from SC to Berkeley. Santa Cruz IMO is better for guitars. there's also a store in Santa Clara, but it's skippable.

if you like hats, the Berkeley Hat Co. store on Telegraph near the university is as good a hat store as i've ever seen.

San Francisco's Chinatown is like visiting another world, with a prototypically Chinese vignette down every alleyway and behind every door.

and do not miss getting a burrito in the Mission District. i used to like Azteca on Church Street, but i don't know if it's there now.

+1 to Berkley starving having a sick effects selection. I've seen everything from Old devi stuff to a big ass morley wah wah. Currently they have a nice selection of earthquaker stuff.

Also for food, telegraph has a bunch of good stuff. Sliver Pizza if you want a bomb vegetarian pizza. Bongo burger for the best burgers in the immediate area. Two Blocks up from amoeba and two the left are Top Dog and La Burrita. And the indoor mall has Cheese 'N Stuff for subs.
ummohyeah wrote:Godspeed rule and no amount of tape would make their pedalboards safe from my cum.


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The Eville Experience: http://www.rosegonzalesmusic.com/music/
Bandcamp: https://lazaerus.bandcamp.com/
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ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/laz%C3%A6rus/1376394512
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby dubkitty » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:17 am

if you're into outdoors stuff, check the North Face outlet just outside of downtown SF. you can get their signature down jackets, fleece gear, and sleeping bags at hella savings. just pack the stuff up and mail it home. there was also a Sierra Design store in Berkeley, but i don't know if it's still there since i haven't gone since the early 00s.
"there is no culture is my brag"--Mark E. Smith

"the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder"--Richard J. Daley

"i want to walk in the snow and not leave a footprint
i want to walk in the snow and not soil its purity"--Richey Edwards

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby smallsnd/bigsnd » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:57 pm

not a native but i've driven up that way a bunch of times, camped on the coast and stayed in big sur.
big sur stuff - deetjen's is great. it's a great place to stay and eat breakfast. if you want to get your vibes on, check out the esalen institute.
bolinas is a really fucking cool spot just northwest of sf.
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby Casavettes » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:14 am

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
I have to start making a list and going through it, this definitely helps a lot.

Now I just need to overcome my incredible anxiety of being confined in a plane for over 6 hours.
We’ve also been checking the weather and seeing notifications for unhealthy air quality due to the fires.
Just a little discouraging :no:
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby dubkitty » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:58 pm

if you wind up in Santa Cruz there's also a Patagonia outlet store.
"there is no culture is my brag"--Mark E. Smith

"the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder"--Richard J. Daley

"i want to walk in the snow and not leave a footprint
i want to walk in the snow and not soil its purity"--Richey Edwards

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970
dubkitty

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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby PeteeBee » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:36 pm

Casavettes wrote:We’ve also been checking the weather and seeing notifications for unhealthy air quality due to the fires.
Just a little discouraging :no:


If your trip is more than a week or two out things should be way better. These fires, while terrible, won't last forever. As they lose their intensity the smoke gets less thick, especially as far away as San Francisco.

Wish I had some recommendations for you! I'm in SF every day as part of my commute, but always just walk from the bus to BART. That might be a recommendation, take advantage of BART and buses. It's pretty easy to get around, especially using google maps on your phone and just putting it on the transit setting, and will save huge amounts of headache. Dealing with parking multiple times/places a day is not worth it.
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Re: San Francisco and Big Sur

Postby dubkitty » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:40 am

exactly true. park your car out by GGP or something where there's sufficient parking and then use MUNI to get around SF. you'll be better put to drive to the East Bay, though...AC Transit, the East Bay public transit org, is much less efficient than MUNI and runs buses on a very sparse timetable.
"there is no culture is my brag"--Mark E. Smith

"the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder"--Richard J. Daley

"i want to walk in the snow and not leave a footprint
i want to walk in the snow and not soil its purity"--Richey Edwards

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

SCARING THE CHILDREN SINCE 1970
dubkitty

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