Need some traveling tips and advice for San Francisco

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    Sep 25, 2007 12:59 AM GMT
    So, finally, I have a job where I can get vacation time and I've stockpiled the days so that I can take a sizable and enjoyable vacation, and I've decided on San Fran. I went once back in 2001, I think, with friends and I want to go again. This time, I'm flyin' solo so that I can really enjoy myself (read and interpret that as you will, guys).

    I'm booking a cheap flight and staying at the hostel, which is right in the middle of downtown and very, very cheap, so that I can use the money for other activities and such. My questions are:

    1) Do any natives or those that have visited before have any suggestions for places to go, things to see and do?

    2) I want to meet some of the guys in San Fran, both here from the RJ community and others, so if people are interested.....
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    Sep 25, 2007 3:18 AM GMT
    There are many homosexuals living there and they will do unspeakable things to your body (if you're lucky).
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    Sep 25, 2007 3:23 AM GMT
    be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...
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    Sep 25, 2007 3:37 AM GMT
    Seriously, I'd like to encourage RJ guys meeting one another. If nothing else, it undercuts the argument, oft stated, that internet connections are just virtual...and not real.

    I've already met and become friends with DrStorm, dfrourke, rksportswear, NYCMusc4Musc and would love to meet any of you guys, if scheduling permits.

    Chic, let me know when you're around....

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    Sep 25, 2007 3:43 AM GMT
    I visited some friends in Oakland for New Year's just this year and had a blast in San Fran. If you go to Castro, there's an ice cream shop called "naia" that has some EXCELLENT goodies. You get to sample anything you might want. Definitely go shopping and check out that crazy curvy road (Lombard Street). My friend had fun driving us (like a maniac) down Lombard Street. Heh.
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    Sep 25, 2007 4:26 AM GMT
    Ok – Memorable things to do in SF; things every gay guy should do at least once:

    Have a bowl of Buffalo Stew and some Sourdough Bread at Tommy's Joynt
    1101 Geary Blvd
    San Francisco, CA 94109
    Phone: (415) 775-4216

    This place is a true SF landmark; Great Beer too. Diners sit at long wooden tables, democratic-style. It is a food and drink haven for the well heeled and the not so well heeled. Food is served cafeteria-style. Their Big Thing is buffalo meat, in the form of stew, chili, or on a sandwich. Some of the best (and probably cheapest) food in SF. Classy and classless but not fancy.

    Have drinks at Harvey’s
    500 Castro St
    San Francisco, CA 94114

    Don’t ask why, just go and have fun; It’s an Institution, ask the bartenders about some of the memorabilia on the walls. They are happy to talk about the history of the place when it used to be the famous Elephant Walk . A decent brunch and dinner menu make Harvey's more than just another cruising spot; brunches draw in locals and tourists during the afternoon hours, while evenings give way to a clubbier atmosphere.

    Take your shirt off and dance at The Café until the early morning light
    2367 Market St
    San Francisco, CA 94114

    An incredibly mixed crowd. You'll know you're at the right place when you're pointedly scoped out by the voluble crowd hanging out on the second-floor balcony as you're waiting in line.

    Once inside, the pulsating, spinning music will have you on the dance floor faster than you think it's possible. The constant hip-hop and techno keep this joint (and its patrons) buzzing. On weekends, the bridge-and-tunnel crowd pours in, making the door and drink lines long and the small dance floor packed solid.

    Dance till dawn and beyond at Endup
    401 Sixth St.
    San Francisco, CA 94103

    Nearly every late-night party person has ended up at the EndUp. As long as rainbows have flown over the Castro, the EndUp has been a clubbers' haven. The club is open nearly 'round the clock on weekends, catering to your sobering-up, getting-drunker, must-keep-dancing and waiting-for-BART-to-start-running-again needs. Shake it on the dance floor or make a new best friend standing by the bar. Some of the city's longest-running and best-known gay and gay-friendly nights happen there (Fag Fridays). Before 2AM, the crowd is swish to butch, femme to bear and everything in between. After 2AM, the trickle of straights becomes a stream -- all types from all over. Surprisingly, they all meld into one harmonious party that rocks until dawn and beyond.

    Some people say you haven't partied in San Francisco until you've arrived soused and sleepy at 6AM, when the EndUp reopens (after a two-hour catnap) for its famous "Tea Dance."

    Have Bruch at the Drake Hotel
    Harry Denton's Starlight Room
    450 Powell Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102

    Enjoy a sumptuous brunch and a drag show hosted by Donna Sachet at Harry Denton's Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. A salute to old-fashioned variety shows; Sunday's A Drag schedules two performances, the first at 12 noon and the second at 2:30pm. You will need reservations.

    Have Fun

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    Sep 25, 2007 4:53 AM GMT
    I'd love to meet RJ folks! Let me know the dates ChicGym, I'm game.

    I'm not up to date on the current bar scene, but Esta Noche (by 16th and Valencia, in the Mission) is my guy's favorite. The Cafe on Market/Castro is really good as ITJock noted.

    On a sunny day North Baker Beach by the Golden Gate Bridge is fun to explore (don't know how many people will go naked in winter), really beautiful nature if nothing else. Nearby Land's End is similarly beautiful.
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    Sep 25, 2007 4:54 AM GMT
    Let's not forget that there are things to do that are not gay-specific but are still very worthwile.

    Public Transit is AMAZING in SF. Buy a Muni Fast-Pass for the duration of your trip - purchasable at the civic center transit station below market st.

    Try to take in a movie at the Castro Theatre - theatre organ concerts most nights prior to the show - tradionally ending with a rousing version of "San Francisco" with the natives clapping and stomping their feet to the beat as the organ console descends into the pit on its hydraulic elevator.

    SF is a great place to eat:

    Blue, 2337 Market St., in the Castro, is a good spot for both man watching and a sinfully good burger, among other things. On a cold day, the chicken pot pie will keep you warm until a hot man shows up.

    If you have transportation and can get up to wine country, I recommend Tra Vigne Ask 20 different San Franciscans, and you'll get 20 different lists of places to eat, though - food is like religion there.

    In the city, Betelnut is a place you won't soon forget - Asian fusion that will blow your mind. Interesting area, too.

    For great seafood in an amazing atmosphere, Farallon is hard to beat. Expensive but memorable. Sophisticated urban dining at its best.

    To work off the dinners:

    For workouts, you have lots of choices, but Billy Polson and his partner, Mike Clausen, own Diakadi Body south of Market near Gold's - if you want a trainer, try contacting Billy and see if he has some ideas on who you might use. They also have open memberships. It's a particularly appropriate place for you, given your martial arts interests. If that's not in the budget, both Golds and World south of market are good places to train.

    Alternative Lodging

    If the hostel turns out to be a little too basic for you, try Beck's Motor Lodge on Market in the Castro. Not deluxe by any means, but right in the thick of things.

    Have a GREAT TRIP! I'm jealous! I lived there from '96 to '03 and loved it....

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    Sep 25, 2007 6:34 AM GMT
    Hey Bud,

    Maybe you can meet me and my crew. I live in san francisco!
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Sep 25, 2007 7:38 AM GMT
    Bars are bars are matter what city I have been in...well except for new york city...SF is known for some amazing restaurants...take some time and money and check them can get some REALLY good eats for cheap...

    Sauce on Fell Street
    Nirvana on Castro
    Home on Market
    Eric's on Church
    Townhall on 1st and Howard
    Mama's on Washington Square

    See Berkeley and Napa if you get a chance...they are just off the beaten path and really are a reflection of the entire bay area.


    - David
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    Sep 25, 2007 7:38 AM GMT
    Wow, I live in the Bay area and I haven't even heard of half the stuff recommended here.

    Looks like I have some exploring to do.
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    Sep 25, 2007 11:31 AM GMT
    Thanks for the tips and places to go so far, guys.

    BigJoey - I was going to ask about places to workout, so thanks for answering that preemptively. I don't think I'll need a trainer, but I will need a place to workout, maybe three or four visits. Any place that is affordable, or that I don't have to be signed in by a current member?

    OW - Homosexuals? In San Fran?!?!? Really? Wait, aren't you in San Fran?
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    Sep 25, 2007 11:36 AM GMT
    The thing I love best about SF is just exploring the city! And, if your a "foodie" like me, you'll be in luck - there's great food everywhere!

    Have a great time!

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    Sep 25, 2007 12:42 PM GMT
    The Beer/Bean Soup at Tommy's joint (mentioned earlier) a must...also...Odouls on Union Square (across from the St Francis Hotel) for their corned beef and assortment of irish beers.
    A giants game at the new stadium...A must...take the ferry over to Sausalito...some great places to eat and shop for art if youre into that...

    Ride the trolley cars...especially the one up and down California street....

    My friends work out at Golds on Market...great place to meet guys I hear...

    I like to hike up mt tamalpais...incredible views...if you have wheels to get over there...

    Its been so long since i lived there...those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head...
  • TonyD

    Posts: 168

    Sep 25, 2007 2:04 PM GMT
    I live in SF, and can tell you more-if you do not have enough suggestions already.

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    Sep 25, 2007 4:33 PM GMT
    If you are looking for someplace to work out while in SF...

    I recommend that you ask the manager of your home gym if they have a recipricol arrangement with someplace there. Almost all major gyms and chains do have agreements like that - and the best part is you probably won't have to pay a penny.

    BTW - you didn't say when you were traveling, but isn't the Folson Street Fair coming up in the next couple of weeks?
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    Sep 25, 2007 5:47 PM GMT
    Well, unfortunately, I work at a university facility, so we don't have an affiliate out in San Fran. Now if I worked at Bally's yeah......but alas, I do not.
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    Sep 27, 2007 2:55 AM GMT
    Are you on the faculty or do you have a university ID?

    I will bet that you probably could find a local college or University that would let you work out there for a couple days... contact your University facilities director and ask if they have a reciprical use program for visiting faculty etc...

    You might be suprised.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Sep 27, 2007 5:05 AM GMT
    Folsom Street Fair is THIS Sunday [09.30.07]

    Also...go down to Fisherman's a bike [$45.00/day]...and bike over the Golden Gate Bridge OR take the bike out to Angel Island and bike around the island...I think the fare is $29.00 roundtrip...REALLY worth the effort.

    - David
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    Sep 27, 2007 9:50 AM GMT
    i think someone on another thread said they had a terrible time in sf, that local homos were extremely unfriendly, so it will be interesting to see how you get on chic? please let us know? icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 25, 2007 11:57 AM GMT
    Well, it's almost time! I fly out on Sunday and will be there until Saturday, from 10/28 to 11/3.

    If people's schedules pan out, send me a private message if you want to meet up and chat.