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Reiver

San Francisco: The other /SF...

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So! My wife and I are headed across the Pacific to visit the USA, and hit San Francisco in 5 weeks! (Apologies for the topic title, I couldn't resist.)

 

Rumor has it one or two of the locals there play X-wing now and then. Maybe even hang out on this forum. ;)

 

The good: San Francisco! International holidays! Woo!

The bad: Long story, but we've found ourselves still looking for accommodation.

The ugly: I'd heard about the housing pressure and all, but geez your hotels sure are expensive. ;) At this point we're looking at AirBnB, but man, San Francisco is big. And beyond 'walking distance to BART so you can catch your plane easily' and 'We have a booking to visit Alcatraz', I know literally nothing about where or what we should be staying... 

 

Anyone able to help we clueless out, even simply suggesting suburbs we do vs don't want to go near? The 'know nothing' is no joke. :)

 

(Yes, this probably should be in the Other forum, but it's semi-urgent to get sorted, so the more eyeballs the better. Apologies to others.)

Edited by Reiver

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I go to SF regularly and have been staying at this hotel for more than 10 years.

http://www.grantplaza.com/

 

Mind you its a cheap low rank hotel, if you don't care for luxurious rooms and are on a tight budget this might be good for you.

If you want something fancy there are plenty around the Union Square area.

Location wise is great, its in the heart of SF with easy acces to BART MUNI and all the major bus lines.

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I live in San Francisco and, coincidentally, near Nob Hill.

 

Generally, you'll want to stay out of the Tenderloin area. If you're coming in through SFO, you can take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit - it's like our subway system) from the airport to a good number of SF neighborhoods. 

 

Speaking of public transportation, it gets kind of confusing. We have BART, our underground and sometimes above ground subway-like system that goes all over the bay area, we have Muni, which is our light rail that services only San Francisco, we have buses and we have cable cars. If you're planning on taking local transit, go into any Walgreen's corner store and buy a Clipper Card. These are plastic bank-like cards that you can load with cash and use to tag on at any of these transit providers.

 

In terms of where to stay, it's really dependent on what you want to see - SF is small, only 7 square miles, but it's densely-packed. You can get around most anywhere on public transit or taking an Uber (if you don't have this app yet, you'll want to get it).

 

For lodging, AirBnB generally gets expensive as a lot of people who are migrating into the city from other places will use an AirBnB as a temporary home until they find an actual apartment. I still think these are generally a better deal than hotels, however. 

 

In terms of playing X-Wing in the city, Gamescape on Divisadero hosts games! Here's a link.

 

Happy Travels!

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I lived for a while in the Lower Haight. There are probably some hotels or air b-n-b's off Divasdero which will also coincidentally be right next to a decent gaming store (GameScape, iirc). Haven't been back in a couple years so that may be outdated, but that whole area was touristy without being as crazy expensive as the more well known areas of town.

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I live in San Francisco and, coincidentally, near Nob Hill.

 

Generally, you'll want to stay out of the Tenderloin area. If you're coming in through SFO, you can take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit - it's like our subway system) from the airport to a good number of SF neighborhoods. 

 

Speaking of public transportation, it gets kind of confusing. We have BART, our underground and sometimes above ground subway-like system that goes all over the bay area, we have Muni, which is our light rail that services only San Francisco, we have buses and we have cable cars. If you're planning on taking local transit, go into any Walgreen's corner store and buy a Clipper Card. These are plastic bank-like cards that you can load with cash and use to tag on at any of these transit providers.

 

In terms of where to stay, it's really dependent on what you want to see - SF is small, only 7 square miles, but it's densely-packed. You can get around most anywhere on public transit or taking an Uber (if you don't have this app yet, you'll want to get it).

 

For lodging, AirBnB generally gets expensive as a lot of people who are migrating into the city from other places will use an AirBnB as a temporary home until they find an actual apartment. I still think these are generally a better deal than hotels, however. 

 

In terms of playing X-Wing in the city, Gamescape on Divisadero hosts games! Here's a link.

 

Happy Travels!

That's great advice - much appreciated :) (I am assuming 'Tenderloin' is a suburb of evocative naming imagery?)

 

AirBnB is certainly not cheap, but beyond it or hotels, I rather suspect there isn't many other options short of a cardboard box, right? :)

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Gamescape SF league night, at 333 Divisadero Street, is tonight from 7-10pm.  Feel free to swing by to check it out and say hi!

 

Yes, avoid Tenderloin and anything Market Street down to Howard street between 5th and 7th Streets in South of Market.  Anywhere east of 5th street is pretty nice.  Financial District, SOMA, Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, Lower Haight are all good areas to stay.  

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There's an island really close that has a lot of rooms. Might be kinda hard to leave "The Rock".

 

Not really.  There are ferries that go there on a regular basis.

 

...

 

(Did I kill the magic?  I killed the magic.)

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San Francisco is one of the most expensive places to live in the nation, if not the world. Good luck finding affordable accommodations!

 

Edit - that wasn't meant to be snarky. I genuinely hope a good deal presents itself. 

Edited by Arttemis

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The terderloin is an intriguing place, on the same main street you go from glitzy shopping with about 20 policemen in eye view to a pretty intimidating, rough place in literally about 50 meters time. I went through it then I decided I might as well walk to the Asian Art Museum from the tram stop. It was... eye-opening at least!

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i actively avoid california as a whole. People drive like maniacs and EVERYTHING is insanely expensive there.

 

My brother lives in the LA area (not actually IN LA but about an hour from it). His apartment is the same size as mine (~750sq feet) and he pays literally TWICE what i do, and i live in Nebraska.

 

Wasnt happy when the airforce stationed me in northern cali for 5 years. Man was i glad when i got orders to leave that place....

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LA is way cheaper than SF.  ;-)

 

And what is this thread?  "Everyone Slam on SF"?

It was "Help an international newbie not accidentalyl get murdered." But apparently it's stirred up an opinion or two, too. ;)

 

Just for confirmation: Where, exactly, is this Tenderloin? We'll be on foot, so if it's anywhere near where we'll be Exploring I'd rather know ahead of time...

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The Tenderloin is an area roughly north of Market Street, west of Mason Street/5th Street, East of Van Ness Ave, and south of Geary. 

 

Also avoid the 6th Street and Market to 6th and Howard area.

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The Tenderloin is an area roughly north of Market Street, west of Mason Street/5th Street, East of Van Ness Ave, and south of Geary. 

 

Also avoid the 6th Street and Market to 6th and Howard area.

... Excuse me while I attempt to visualise this on a map.

Anyone got a couple crayons? ;)

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The tourist version is: when you walk along the main street (Market Street) away from the water, don't walk further than the bit where the trams turn around. 

 

Not that it's a massive issue anyway, you can skip it by just taking the BART from that point on. Most of the rest of the city seemed fine to me when I was wandering around it - it's just a slightly bizarre location for something so grimy.

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Personally, I think it's an interesting experience if you know what to expect.  During the day you should be completely safe.  Just don't wander there at night (even then, it's not super unsafe either) and don't wander with your iPhone or expensive stuff showing off.

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Personally, I walk the Tenderloin quite often, even at night.  I agree with kryzak that it's an interesting part of the city.  I would not walk it alone at night if I were a woman or a small guy, though.  (Note that I'm 6'5" and not thin.)  SF is not a high-crime city, even in the Tenderloin, but harassment is fairly likely.

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Personally, I walk the Tenderloin quite often, even at night.  I agree with kryzak that it's an interesting part of the city.  I would not walk it alone at night if I were a woman or a small guy, though.  (Note that I'm 6'5" and not thin.)  SF is not a high-crime city, even in the Tenderloin, but harassment is fairly likely.

 

I work there every single day, so walk through it day and night.  Just keep alert and be aware of your surroundings and one should be alright. :)

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... and a quick Google Maps reveals that I'm not, in fact, booking a hotel on the other side of the street. Phew. :D

 

So: Any must-see spots in SF? We're hitting Alcatraz and I intend to get a car/bus trip over the Golden Gate Bridge on sheer principle, but anything else worth a few minutes staring at to say we've seen it?

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So: Any must-see spots in SF? We're hitting Alcatraz and I intend to get a car/bus trip over the Golden Gate Bridge on sheer principle, but anything else worth a few minutes staring at to say we've seen it?

 

I'm not actually a big fan of touristy stuff in SF.  You've hit on one major exception: Alcatraz.  Another is Muir Woods.  The last is Chinatown, but in the AM on a weekday, when it's a real ethnic neighborhood, and not just set-dressing for tourists.

 

The energy of North Beach on a weekend night is fun.  Find some live music in a genre you like at one of 20 small venues.  (I see about two shows a month with bands I've never heard of.)  I personally love hanging out at Ocean Beach late on foggy nights ... it's pretty surreal.  (But bring a coat.  Not a jacket, but a coat.  It will be cold.)  If you have reason to want to see Haight-Ashbury, go for it.  You have to squint to see the bones of its hippie-heyday, but you still can, if you try.

 

There's casual X-Wing within easy commute on alternate Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and tourney X-Wing pretty much every Saturday and some Sundays.

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