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  1. #41
    KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!
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    ZOMG.

    I was out and about in SF today and I stumbled randomly upon this GEM.

    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...69551736_n.jpg

    This MASTERPIECE.

    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...67604369_n.jpg

    This MONUMENT to AWESOMENESS.

    http://robotgossip.blogspot.com/2006...ghborhood.html
    http://www.wired.com/table_of_malcon...ked_robot_dis/
    http://www.jacksonfuller.com/2011/07/15/robot-dick/

    When I finally get my own house, I am going to have something like this in the front lawn WHETHER THE NEIGHBORS LIKE IT OR NOT. EYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #42
    Port de bras!!!
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    This looks like Pac Heights. Great find!

    Are you a fan of the Bay Bridge troll? So much cuter than FSU trolls.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_Bridge_Troll
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  3. #43
    I <3 Kozuka
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    I prefer Seattle's Fremont Troll:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremont_Troll

    (But I suspect this is closer to an FSU troll.)
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  4. #44
    Port de bras!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post

    (But I suspect this is closer to an FSU troll.)
    Yes, ITA.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  5. #45

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    I am wondering if a bus tour would be a good idea? I've never taken a city bus tour, and always thought that they might be enjoyable.

  6. #46
    KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!
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    Albeit a touristy thing to do, it actually would be a nice outing as one of your first activities in the city, so that you can get a feel for the whole place and identify some landmarks/places you want to revisit later. It's also a nice way to see a lot in one shot without having to map everything out yourself.

    I took my parents on one because 1) they didn't want to do lots of hilly walking, and 2) I had a Groupon I'd bought with them in mind. It was quick and efficient. It was City Sightseeing, IIRC, and they offer packages of 3 different tours, each doing different loops (a downtown loop, for example, plus a Golden Gate Park loop and another that should go all the way out to the Golden Gate Bridge).

    From now until you get here, check the SF edition of sites like Groupon/LivingSocial/Google Offers/Bloomspot to see if they have bus tour daily deals that you can snap up.

  7. #47

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    We found this little gem of a motel near Ocean Beach: http://www.oceanparkmotel.com/page/nrza/Location.html

    I was getting a little depressed reading the reviews of all the places we considered in our price range, most of which were rise blocks with various issues: super small, in a bad area, prostitutes in the next room, super thin walls, street noise. The "we'll hardly be there" argument wasn't persuasive.

    This motel even has a hot tub, which I never thought we'd find in San Fransisco - it's a feature we have come to enjoy when traveling. It's really nice to have in a cold-ish climate, plus you meet all sorts of folk in the hot tub.

    It is older or vintage, but we kind of like feel, and it will add on traveling time, but at least we'll like where we are staying and be glad to return there at the end of the day.

  8. #48
    Port de bras!!!
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    It's quite out of the way from a lot of places you may want to visit. However, public transportation is good and there is a MUNI L-Taraval train going to the Zoo that can take you downtown. It will take over an hour. If you are OK with that, no problem. If not, keep looking.

    I am with you about staying in a decent, safe place. There are places you certainly want to avoid especially at night.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  9. #49
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    I'd stay at Fisherman's Wharf or even some of those chain motels in the Marina before I'd stay out by Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach is not a convenient location and you're going to spend a lot of time on public transportation.

  10. #50
    Port de bras!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    I'd stay at Fisherman's Wharf or even some of those chain motels in the Marina before I'd stay out by Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach is not a convenient location and you're going to spend a lot of time on public transportation.
    This.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    We found this little gem of a motel near Ocean Beach: http://www.oceanparkmotel.com/page/nrza/Location.html

    I was getting a little depressed reading the reviews of all the places we considered in our price range, most of which were rise blocks with various issues: super small, in a bad area, prostitutes in the next room, super thin walls, street noise. The "we'll hardly be there" argument wasn't persuasive.

    This motel even has a hot tub, which I never thought we'd find in San Fransisco - it's a feature we have come to enjoy when traveling. It's really nice to have in a cold-ish climate, plus you meet all sorts of folk in the hot tub.

    It is older or vintage, but we kind of like feel, and it will add on traveling time, but at least we'll like where we are staying and be glad to return there at the end of the day.
    Japanfan, if price is such an issue for you, you might look into whether it makes sense to get a membership to the Canadian Automobile Association, if you don't belong already. A lot of places in San Francisco give AAA discounts and probably give discounts to foreigners who belong to their home country's Automobile Association.

    You said in your original post that restaurants weren't high on your list of priorities, but I'm not sure that there are any places to eat dinner near the Zoo, and if there are, they are likely to be vastly inferior to what you could find in the Marina and Cow Hollow, which have lots of motels and are only slightly farther from Downtown than is Fisherman's Wharf. So, if you do stay out by the Zoo, you are going to have a very long ride back to your motel at night.

    ETA:

    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    I am wondering if a bus tour would be a good idea? I've never taken a city bus tour, and always thought that they might be enjoyable.
    That's going to set you and your husband back at least fifty dollars between the two of you. The value of such tours is partly a matter of taste, but if I were visiting San Francisco on an extremely tight budget, I wouid probably spend that money on more centrally located accomodation instead. There are free guided walking tours and so many good self-guided tours you can get from a guidebook or possibly a brochure you could buy at somewhere like City Lights bookstore.
    Last edited by Vagabond; 03-31-2013 at 10:18 PM.

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    You said in your original post that restaurants weren't high on your list of priorities, but I'm not sure that there are any places to eat dinner near the Zoo, and if there are, they are likely to be vastly inferior to what you could find in the Marina and Cow Hollow, which have lots of motels and are only slightly farther from Downtown than is Fisherman's Wharf. So, if you do stay out by the Zoo, you are going to have a very long ride back to your motel at night.

    It's a cable-car ride away from the BART and if that adds on even two hours of travel time a day, it's fine - we aren't going to be rushing around and six or seven hours of sightseeing is more than enough for me per day. We spent four days using transit in San Diego, which I don't think is as good as San Fransisco, and then four renting a car. It was easier with the car, but we had fun using transit and it was an adventure.

    As to food, we'll manage just fine. We always do. There are always grocery stores, delis and markets.


    That's going to set you and your husband back at least fifty dollars between the two of you. The value of such tours is partly a matter of taste, but if I were visiting San Francisco on an extremely tight budget, I wouid probably spend that money on more centrally located accomodation instead. There are free guided walking tours and so many good self-guided tours you can get from a guidebook or possibly a brochure you could buy at somewhere like City Lights bookstore.
    We're not on an extremely tight budget, actually. It comes down to what we enjoy and where we want to spend our money. We do treat ourselves to meals in restaurants, but mostly I find it not worth the cost. Instead we can pick up something at a deli, grocery, or market, and have drinks as well. Hanging out in hotel or motel hot tubs with a drink at hand and talking with other travelers is a great deal of fun - way more so than just the two of us sitting in a restaurant.

    We'll probably choose a walking tour over a bus tour, though not because of the cost. More because tour operators tend to talk, talk, talk a lot, when I prefer to look and see rather than listen.

    I guess we're rather unorthodox travelers, but I've always been an off-the-beaten track type.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    It's a cable-car ride away from the BART
    Just so you know and aren't disappointed by reality:

    It's not a cable car, it's the Muni Metro, a which is an altogether different proposition.

  14. #54

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    I usually stay with my sister in SF, but when her house was full during a wedding week, we stayed at the Seal Rock Inn. It's not in the thick of things, but we loved staying just a block from Ocean Beach. I grew up in the city, and it was kind of cool to finally stay in a place that I had passed many times on our Cliff House and beach visits. Just checked rates, and they're roughly $134-$145 through May 16. Rates go up after that date.

    On our last trip, we hiked around the Marin Headlands. The walk to the Point Bonita lighthouse was gorgeous. Having grown up in the Western Addition and gone to elementary school on Ashbury Street in the 1970s, I shake my head at the Haight-Ashbury still being a tourist destination. But there are some interesting shops now, and it's certainly not as scuzzy as it was back then. I can't get on board with the idealization of the neighborhood that I see in the tourist brochures, though. I made sure to tell my daughter that it was not a nice place back in its day.

    I endorse the suggestion to see the Musee Mechanique--definitely worth looking for. We also like looking for the wild parrots. The flock started on Telegraph Hill, and they've expanded to the Mission and other neighborhoods.

    Bring a jacket!

  15. #55

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    I took the bus tour, and I found it very....windy. And cold. You could sit inside, but that defeats the purpose of the bus tour. Still fun, though.

    I also enjoyed Alcatraz, and of course, seeing the Giants play. AT&T park is gorgeous; if you like baseball and the Giants are in town, I'd definitely hit a game.

  16. #56

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    Would it be helpful to have a car? We are fine with renting a car for the entire time, but were advised that it would be more of a frustration than a benefit because it would be so hard to find parking and parking costs a fortune.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Would it be helpful to have a car? We are fine with renting a car for the entire time, but were advised that it would be more of a frustration than a benefit because it would be so hard to find parking and parking costs a fortune.
    It depends where you want to go.

    If you are thinking of going anywhere other than Downtown and Fisherman's Wharf, then YES, especially if you are going to be staying at the end of a Muni Metro line.

  18. #58
    Port de bras!!!
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    Parking is a MAJOR PITA in San Francisco. I would stay somewhere close to places of interest, some walkable, some use of MUNI. You could have a car, but factor in time to find parking and pay the meter. Certain areas and times are really bad
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  19. #59
    Port de bras!!!
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    delete
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Would it be helpful to have a car? We are fine with renting a car for the entire time, but were advised that it would be more of a frustration than a benefit because it would be so hard to find parking and parking costs a fortune.
    No no no no no no no no no no no no!

    NO!

    I drive very comfortably around LA, but parking in SF is a NIGHTMARE. First, there's no parking. Second, there's all these crazy-steep hills so street parking is....fun. If you have a car, budget half an hour to find parking. I'm not kidding.

    My sister survives without a car, living in SF. She just doesn't own one. She walks everywhere and takes the bus or BART or the cable car, whatever is available.

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