I’m in San Francisco for VSLive this week. I like visiting San Francisco – I don’t know that I could live here – but I really enjoy coming to the conferences. I get to catch up with a lot of people that I don’t see very often.
For example, I had dinner last night with Gabriel Torok and Paul Tyma. Gabriel, along with Bill Leach, runs PreEmptive Solutions which produces the Dotfuscator. Paul was one of the founders of PreEmptive but he’s now working at Google. As such he lives here and enjoys it.
As we were walking to the restaurant, I saw a farm style tractor parked in front of a really high end hotel. I was laughing about that and comment that I really need to carry my camera everywhere because you see things that people wouldn’t believe without photo evidence. Paul laughed and said, “I’ve learned that should always avoid the guy on the subway wearing slippers!” I laughed and then thought about that – and it’s profound. There’s a reason that guy’s wearing slippers on the subway. Most of the time it’s not to go get the paper if there’s a subway or any other public transport involved. There may be a completely acceptable reason for the slippers but do you really have the time to find out?
My quick advice on visiting San Francisco that I’m posting here so that I remember it next time I’m coming out here.
Do wear comfortable shoes – you’ll do a ton of walking and most of it on hills.
Do bring a sweater and a pair of shorts – it’s nice and warm in the daytime but the evenings get chilly. It’s usually 65-75 during the day but it will get down to 45-55 at night so be prepared for that.
Don’t rent a car, parking a car here costs as much or more than renting it – most of the hotels are north of $40.00 a day to part your car there. Even the public lots are $30+.
Do, ride the shuttle from the airport – it’s $15.00 and will drop you where ever you need to go. True, it’s not quite as quick as the taxi, but the taxi is $45.00 and you’ll need that extra $30.00 to eat here or buy Starbucks coffee – see below.
Don’t take directions that start “Go to the Starbucks and…” There are 63 Starbucks within 2 miles of where I am. There’s even one block with three star bucks on the same side of the street within a block. That’s nuts. Don’t get me wrong, I like Starbucks as much as most people but that’s a lot of coffee.
Don’t pull out a map – that’s a clear sign of weakness and the pan-handlers will be on you faster than you can unfold it. I really like Pocket Streets because it allows me to use a map and others think that I’m checking email or somehow fitting in well here. Also, peek at http://www.ipodsubwaymaps.com. I thought that was a cool use of the IPod.
Do take your camera everywhere you go – see above. You will see things that others’ won’t believe unless they see it for themselves.
Do avoid the guy in slippers on the subway or bus or any other public transport.