going to san francisco (1 Viewer)

hello all. my girlfriend and i are going to sf on august 12 and was wondering if anyone has any first-hand recommendations for food, drink, cheap things to do, etc....i've been there several times and know of the usual attractions, but i guess i wanna know what ideas you guys have to offer. i'm gonna hit up city lights books and abandoned planet for sure. maybe even drop by the o'farrell theatre and check out some erotica and see where hunter thompson used to hang in the 80's....
 
A mid-week afternoon is the absolute best time to hang for a few drinks at Vesuvio next door to City Lights and soak in the atmosphere (Specs does not open until 5:00 PM); only a slim handful of tourists and regulars, plenty of elbow-room at the bar. Happy Hour starts at 4:00 and the bar usually crowds up by 5:00.
 

mjp

Founding member
San Francisco - bah. All those stupid hills. They need to flatten that place out so it can become a real city!
 
The hills weren't the problem for me when I was living there, it was the damn bitter cold. Don't forget to pack sweaters, James -- it can be downright chilly even on a summer's eve.
 
As a San Francisco native, I'm not allowed to mention that I love taking the ferry over to Alcatraz when I'm in town, particularly in the summer. (Natives are also not allowed to admit that they enjoy Fisherman's Wharf or hiking up to Coit Tower)
 
The hills weren't the problem for me when I was living there, it was the damn bitter cold. Don't forget to pack sweaters, James -- it can be downright chilly even on a summer's eve.

Yes, yes. The mercury must dip into the low 50s.:eek: I suppose if you live in the convection oven that is Vegas... ;)
 
I can handle this convection oven -- it is a dry heat, after all -- much easier than the bone-chilling cold in S.F. My psoriatic joints would swell like balloons in the frigid temps of The City, especially when you get that damn cold wind whipping in from the San Francisco Bay and dropping the temps an extra 10 degrees.
 
Hey James,

Here are a couple of suggestions.
You might try the De Young Museum out in Golden Gate Park.
There is a pretty cool exhibit going on right now. It's the Chihuly Glass Exhibit. He's famous for making these Giant Glass Balls and releasing them down the canals in Venice a few years back, If you like Glass Art.
http://www.famsf.org/deyoung/

Then of course if you are down that way you go to Haight street and visit Amoeba Records. I usually can't get out of that place without spending a few bucks.

Also there is the Pirate Store at 826 Valencia street. It is where Dave Eggers
has writing workshops for youth. The Front is a no shit Pirate store with everything you could possibly need for your Pirating Adventure. ARGHH!!!
www.826valencia.org/store/

Then The San Francisco Library is having a Book Art Exhibit, go figure.
http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/news/exhibitions.htm

Then there is the Exploratorium which is cool.
http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Of course you might want to find out who's playing at the Fillmore if you want to see music.

And there is always Spec's..
You should be able to do this in a day.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
abandon planet isn't what it once was... he has most of his books priced at 60%-80% off, and there's very little in there worth buying. he's even selling his rugs and fixtures, although he refuses to say that he's going out of business.

fyi- i don't know what it once was, but when i moved here, i was so excited to go there based on what i had HEARD it once must have been. disappointed was i.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Abandoned Planed sells his Buk stuff on ebay, but his store is more of a used book, trade paperback mystery, bestseller kind of place. Nothing wrong with that, but if you are expecting to go there and have it be like going to Masers, you will be surprised.

Speaking of that, you NEED to go to MASERS. Just make sure you bring a check and maybe the title to your car. His prices are very fair, but he just has such an amazing collection that you will have a hard time leaving without being cash poor and book rich...

Bill
 
A modest portion of my Buk collection comes from Maser. He is good. Sends the books first with an invoice to pay AFTER you get them. That's nice; to be trusted as a buyer. I'd love to see his shop. He's not as cheap as ebay (in most cases), but he's among the very best out there. He has always treated me very well.

A few years back, I stumbled upon his online catalogue, and I e-mailed him regarding how he got all his Buk stuff. Apparently, he bought a veritable van-load from John Martin in 2002 when JM divested Black Sparrow.

So yes, indeed worth a visit!
 

Father Luke

Founding member
Long Live Samuel Clemens

Go see The Beat Museum. If you are going to
City Lights, it's right across the way, over on Broadway.

You'll see it. Kerouac and Neal Cassady are painted
on the side of it, bigger than life, looking directly at City Lights.

It's free to go in. The tour is a couple of bucks, meh.
And the Proprietor is Jerry Cimino.

Tell Jerry Father Luke said hi if you make
it in there.

If you're nice, he'll tell you all sorts of stories.

San Francisco is polluted with places to eat. Odd.
I've been hustled to buy drugs, buy sex, buy this,
buy that. It wasn't until I got to S.F. as a tourist
that I was hustled to buy food. ;) Seriously.

The tip about the coat was shrewd. Remember
what Mark Twain said about the Summers in San Francisco.
He is remembered because he was funny, but more importantly
because he was wise. Maybe because he was a wise ass.
I can't remember.

I was a bicycle messenger in S.F.
during the summer.
Bring a coat.

- -
Okay,
Father Luke
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
And don't forget about Thompson's time in SF when he was writing Hell's Angels

He, Allen Ginsberg, and the Angels spent time hanging out at his apartment at 318 Parnassus St.

I can't find photos of it online, or in my digital stuff that I took when I visited year ago... but if you're facing it, it has an inlet doorway on the right, a one car garage on the left, and a small oval window between.

Oh duh... you could probably find it on Google Maps!

And there's a Frida exhibit going on... My wife, son, and I are headed to Frisco around the same time as you to see that and visit family. Maybe take in some literary stuff as well.

Time, and money, will tell.
 
thanks all! the info is much appreciated. there's nothing like getting the (fellow buk head)insider's opinion of things when the general internet information kinda hits a brick wall. you can only google so much until you keep seeing the same things over and over and......

bill, thanks for the heads up on Maser's. i've never heard of the place, but i think i'll skip aban. planet for his place...
 

mjp

Founding member
Something tells me there's tons of Bukowski stuff there, but most of it is probably "in the back room." Just ask him to see it. He has (or has had) everything. Seriously, everything.
 
Hi James, trying to add something. I haven't seen nashville really but memphis is a great town.

Anyways, you can take a ferry to Sausilito which is a town not faraway and it's a really nice area. At Fisherman's Wharf they have this weird museum called Musee Mecanique which is free and has ancient arcade games that you play for a quarter.

If you like blues Lou's Pier 47 is in that area and has bands in the afternoon, too. North Beach is a cool area and has the oldest SF bar, the Saloon, which sometimes has afternoon bands and is free. Bisquits and Blues is a little upscale but has southern food (nothing like Memphis) and top notch bands.

Hope you have fun.
 
Anyways, you can take a ferry to Sausilito which is a town not faraway and it's a really nice area. At Fisherman's Wharf they have this weird museum called Musee Mecanique which is free and has ancient arcade games that you play for a quarter.

If you like blues Lou's Pier 47 is in that area and has bands in the afternoon, too. North Beach is a cool area and has the oldest SF bar, the Saloon, which sometimes has afternoon bands and is free. Bisquits and Blues is a little upscale but has southern food (nothing like Memphis) and top notch bands.

Hope you have fun.

we were thinking of taking a package cruise thing that goes to alcatraz, muir woods and sausilito. either that or one day renting a car to drive out of the city towards muir woods, etc...
and that museum sounds great! i'll definitely check it.
when i hit north beach i'll look into those places as well. thanks!



any opinions on "the stinking rose" restaurant in north beach? too touristy or hokey? or better yet, where would the "locals" eat italian food in north beach?
 
I think that cruise sounds pretty good, the Cafe Trieste is a nice coffee in North Beach.

I'm an east coast guy so I may be prejudiced but I think you have to go to the North End in Boston or Little Italy in New York to get good Italian. Do Italians even live in North Beach?
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
If you go to Caffe Trieste in the morning, there is a pretty good chance of running into Ferlinghetti and Hirschman. You may have to wade past a few beret wearing hipsters, but they will probably be there....

Bill
 
Forget the Stinking Rose and any other tourist trap restaurant on Columbus in North Beach. Go to Capp's Corner at 1600 Powell. (Map Quest it, easy to find). It's authentic Old World family style Italian and has been around for decades. Lunch is more affordable than dinner but any time you go the food is terrific. On the other hand, if you insist on something on Columbus, try the Rose Pistola, another local landmark with deep roots in the community.
 
And don't forget to pick up a copy of my book at City Lights when you're in town. You can find it in the Bukowski section to the left near the stairs and also in the Staff Recommendations section of the store.
 
will do, carversdog! right after i drink 3 cafe au laits at trieste.

and thanks everyone for the info so far. it's all much appreciated!!!
 
i'll do that as well. i've been to sf maybe 7 times, but those trips were primarily to skateboard the awesome hills and streets. i've never been to north beach and all of the old haunts, historic buildings, sites, etc...so that's what i'm doing this time. can't wait :D
 

bluebottle

Founding member
i live over in the east bay in hayward and go to the city alot, north beach and chinatown especially. in north beach check out washington square park too. just a small park in front of a famous catholic church. bring some booze and hang out for a few hours, watch the people and the dogs play. and, around the corner from vesuvio and down the hill on grant into chinatown you will find the bar Li Po. yeah, the chinese poet! when i first came to sf eight years i go i stumbled on this bar and was amazed - i went in and sure enough! it's one of the oldest bars in all of sf i believe. another bar that has a literary connection is the edinburgh castle on geary right up from union square. if you like the seedy underbelly of things, have a stroll along geary through the tenderloin and look around and then visit the edinburgh castle, which is usually full of scottish and british ex-pats plus writers and authors, and thy have open mike, lit readings, etc. have fun!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top