After Alcatraz with the kids, you’ll need a breather. Chill out with this fun list of sights in San Francisco that aren’t on Tripadvisor – and that every SF trip must include. If you don’t see at least one of these, you should ask Priceline for a refund on your hotel stay.
Poodles in strollers. These are not injured, visually impaired, or agoraphobic poodles. They are poodles with bows in their hair and sometimes wearing lace dresses, sitting erect and silent in baby strollers, being pushed down city streets. So far, it’s always an older Chinese lady doing the pushing. I have yet to get a photo of this myself, but this is what it typically looks like. I have yet to stop one of these ladies and ask exactly why their dog requires a driver.
Two or three dudes talking about their latest startup. “The codeframe and DTRV are all done, and we’ve got VC backing from John Doerr,” one will say. “Oh? What’s your startup’s name?” The other will ask. Invariably, the answer will be a two-syllable non-word that says absolutely nothing about their product or what the company actually does. The name will have very few vowels, or it will have misplaced ones: blinkr, wynd, or bundit are all great startup names. (Protip: These are still available. That’s your free business advice for the day.)
Random protests. In New York, people love bagels. In San Francisco, we love protests. We protest everything here – the mayor’s decision and indecision, the lack of health care for our pets, capitalism of any kind, and bad Yelp reviews. If you’ve come here to protest something, in a matter of days you’ll find your niche folks chanting slogans and marching down sidewalks in coordinated T-shirts. Make sure to protest during commuter rush hour so your visibility will be highest, and block as many intersections as possible to get sympathy for your cause. Can’t think of anything to protest? Just protest somebody else’s protest.
Lots and lots of Mac computers. SF people are on their Mac computers in the park, in restaurants, and quite possibly on the freeway. This is because anything worth using, reading, or seeing is created on a Mac, the most elegantly designed piece of art in the universe. Like this blog post, which is such an elegant piece of art because it was created on the most magical unicorn of technology of all time, the MacBook Air. If you don’t have a Mac, you can still fit in by name-dropping Apple in a cooler coffee shop like Blue Bottle or Ritual Roasters. Nobody will look up, but your street cred account will be full and you can move on to Coit Tower. (Protip: Make sure you know where these coffee shops are before you visit the city. Asking anyone will make you look like a tourist. If you forgot to plan ahead, just walk in any direction until you see a lot of white, very clean 30-somethings standing around an unmarked awning looking smug. You can tell the coffee shop is legit and cool if they hand-stamp their logo onto their cups.)
If you liked this list, let me know and I’ll continue it. There are plenty more things you’ll see on your trip – and some things you definitely will not.