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SF shopping

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
So I'm going to be in San Francisco this weekend (for an interview) and I'd like to explore the town a bit. Are there any neat shopping areas to check out? I've only been there once, and only briefly. If I am to get an offer from this job the city life would have a big influence on my decision to take it so I'd really like to see some of SF's best. Oh, and how bout some fun night life (club/bar/concert)? Thanks.
post #2 of 28
No advice on shopping, but be sure they offer you a TON of money before accepting. Spend some time looking at housing prices.
post #3 of 28
As someone who misses San Francisco every single day (Tony Bennett knew what he was talking about), let me chime in here: (1) There are lots of really cool spots to hang out in, and they are all really, really different. For example, if you want a sort of American Jackass-type bar crowd, Union St. is a great scene. This is where more "upscale" yuppies tend to hang out. If you want to meet a girl to go home with, I'd recommend this area. On the other hand, you could find some hipper places south of the park, some Irish-type dives on Geary toward in the avenues (there is a place on Geary and 6th, I think, that has amateur Irish bands that play quite a bit. It can get loud, but it's a good time). If you are looking for a late night wine and cheese bar, there is a little place in Union Square (downtown) called First Crush that I found quite enjoyable. Very small, but very friendly. The type of place that you might go with a really good friend late at night. I think they are open until 3 am or so, which is kind of rare downtown. Further south (Mission area) is a place called (I think) Julie's Supper Club -- I had a good time there once. You could also go down to Haight Ashbury -- not at all what it once was (or so I've been told), but there are some fun spots there (I had friends that used to go to Cha Cha Cha down there). In my opinion, if you are alone and want to meet friendly people, avoid Union St. and even the Mission area -- simply too "gentfrified" a crowd for my tastes. (2) Shopping -- I can't help you that much other than to say that you can't go wrong in Union Square and the mile radius around that area. Everything from the Levis flagship store to Wilkes Bashford. I didn't have much money when I was there, so I don't know any secret hotspots. (3) San Francisco is the greatest place on Earth, and you'll never know it from just one weekend . . . or even a month . . . or even a year. What makes San Francisco special is not the shopping (which is darn good), or the food (which is also terrific), or the weather (SF weather is remarkably underrated IMO), or the recreational opportunities (first class), or the culture (also first class), or the physical beauty (can't get any better) . . . it is the fact that after living there for an extended period of time, you'll forget you are in San Francisco entirely. You'll simply feel like you are "home." It has that effect, and I've only felt like that in one other place -- my actual "home" where I was born and raised. So, I guess what I am saying is that if you get the job, and you could see yourself being happy in the job, trust me that you will end up falling in love with San Francisco -- even if you aren't all that taken with it after just one weekend. Trust me.
post #4 of 28
If you are looking for streetwear stuff, the Haight-Ashbury is a good place to start. If you are looking for high-end stuff, you can't lose around Union Square, as JN3 points out. Other places definitely worth checking out are American Rag (don't remember exact location) the different Rolos around town (find the loactions at www.rolo.com,) and ab fits in NorthBeach. I think I know the Irish place that JN3 was talking about. Last time I was in there, there was the most atrocious band with a transvestite lead singer doing truly atrocious covers of anything from Bob Seger to Madonna. Fun, but not for a buttoned up type of guy.
post #5 of 28
There are a lot of fun clothing stores in the SoMa (South of Market) neighborhood. Rolo (which actually has two locations, or did as of my last visit a year ago) is a favorite, but there are plenty of others. A lot of funky furniture stores thereabouts as well. Good luck with your interview. As JohnnyNorman suggests, San Francisco will make you feel that every other city is overrated.
post #6 of 28
I also would be remiss if I didn't mention North Beach as a place where you could have a very good time at night. Pretty much the "red light district" of San Francisco, with just about every type of "club" you could imagine (pick your adjective, put it before "club," and you are likely to find that kind of establishment in the area).
post #7 of 28
Quote:
I also would be remiss if I didn't mention North Beach as a place where you could have a very good time at night.  Pretty much the "red light district" of San Francisco, with just about every type of "club" you could imagine (pick your adjective, put it before "club," and you are likely to find that kind of establishment in the area).
Very, um, lawyerly of you, JN3. If you want to be given wide berth at the clubs, I recommend going to the nearby, original "Stinking Rose" restaurant. The Osso Buco is actually not half bad. I recommmend that you wear your very best clothes there. Or maybe your jeans that you don't plan to wash for another four months.
post #8 of 28
Is North Beach really the red light district, JN3? The bits I've seen looked pretty respectable to me (though I remember being surprised to see more signs in Chinese than Italian). I'd have guessed that the red-light honors, such as they are, would be shared by the Tenderloin and on up Polk, but I defer to your greater knowledge of the city.
post #9 of 28
The Red Light district sort of joins North Beach and Chinatown - East and West are once more joined by common interests. Only Clinton can go to China?
post #10 of 28
tenderloin has some clubs - most notable and infamously Mitchell Brothers - and broadway is the strip between north beach and chinatown that has - for example - larry flint's hustler club which just opened up a few years ago. broadway is where you typically see the sailors carousing during fleet week. the rest of the time it's frat boys, former frat boys, gangstas, and chav scum (or whatever our US equivalent is).
post #11 of 28
It is true that the Tenderloin, etc. do have some claim to the gutter. And it is true that Mitchell Brothers reputedly stands alone in terms of depravity (I have never been there, however). However, the Tenderloin at least is way too seedy for anyone respectable to frequent. The North End (it may indeed be where the North End and Chinatown meet, as LAG says -- I just know that we used to refer to it all as the North End) is much safer, but still "red lighty." I vividly remember having pasta at a restaurant called "Steps of Rome." An older couple was sitting at one of the restaurants outside tables having coffee (it was a nice warm night). A stripper wandered out from strip club two doors down "wearing" a g-string and bra. Without solicitation, she "sat" on the older gentleman's lap, much to the chagrin of his wife. He, at least, cracked a small smile.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
It is true that the Tenderloin, etc. do have some claim to the gutter.  And it is true that Mitchell Brothers reputedly stands alone in terms of depravity (I have never been there, however).  However, the Tenderloin at least is way too seedy for anyone respectable to frequent.  The North End (it may indeed be where the North End and Chinatown meet, as LAG says -- I just know that we used to refer to it all as the North End) is much safer, but still "red lighty."   I vividly remember having pasta at a restaurant called "Steps of Rome."  An older couple was sitting at one of the restaurants outside tables having coffee (it was a nice warm night).  A stripper wandered out from strip club two doors down "wearing" a g-string and bra.  Without solicitation, she "sat" on the older gentleman's lap, much to the chagrin of his wife.  He, at least, cracked a small smile.
JN3, So much lawyerly covering of the ass.  Why not throw plausible deniability to the wind, just say, "I used to looooove Mitchell Brothers, booyah.", and let your sig. other read it.  No, don't like sleeping on the couch either, huh?
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks so much for all the good info. Makes me really wanna move there now =) I've always had the sort of impression that SF is like a smaller NY (i love NY.). Anyways, my interview is actually in Palo Alto (apparently about an hour south of SF), so with that in mind ill probably want to stay somewhere on the south side of SF. I will be alone, but i wouldnt mind possible ending the night with a girl =P. With this information could you maybe narrow down my choices a bit? The response i got here was pretty overwhelming. Thanks so much, im so excited now =) Now i just have to pray that I get the job....
post #14 of 28
well, if there's anyplace in the country that has higher priced real estate than san francisco, it might be some of the areas around palo alto. dunno much about shopping, etc. down that way. stanford shopping center has a RL store. i know there are others on the forum who know more about that area. /andrew
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
no no, i dont mean i want things around that area. I'm just thinking that things on the south side of SF itself would be easier. If its anything like LA, it can take an hour and a half to get from one side of the city to the other...
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