Sunday, February 7, 2016

How To Be a Good Tourist: San Francisco Edition

1. WALK, you idiot
While traveling, and while living life, remember that you have these things called "legs" that are ideal for walking. Unless you are very old, or handicapped, it is a good idea to walk in San Francisco as much as you can, lest your obnoxious tour bus block the view of innocent tourists and residents. San Francisco is a very walkable city because of its small size, and despite a few pretty serious hills, you will enjoy yourself much more if you abandon your motor vehicle and get your blood pumping.

2. Leave the selfie stick at home
Ever heard of that guy who died while taking a selfie? Well, as mentioned, San Francisco has some massive hills, some of them which lead to the ocean. It would be pretty easy, in the thrill of the moment of taking a selfie, to topple down a hill, and die.

3. If, on the off chance you intentionally traveled to San Francisco during the Super Bowl and were not there during the Super Bowl by accident, do not trample unsuspecting female tourists at crosswalks while talking loudly about fantasy football leagues

4. Go to the Tenderloin
Don't avoid one of San Francisco's most storied and culturally diverse neighborhoods just because you have heard a few bad things. There is a lovely museum, lots of great street art, and great people who just happen to be not quite as wealthy as the rest of the city.

5. Take notice of all the lovely hand-painted signs
And the lack of vinyl signs, billboards, and general ugliness.

6. Dispose any previous notions about "everyone" being rich and snobby
Sure, San Francisco has a few rich, snobby people, but the majority of the people are diligent citizens who have to try waaayyyy harder than the rest of us to get by because their rent is so outrageously expensive.

7. Avoid Fisherman's Wharf and the Haight
These are mostly just dumb tourist traps.

8. Avoid accidentally paying for two weekly bus passes so you are not forced to alienate three different customer service representatives to try and get your money back

9. Go after March, 2016 so you can go to the SF Museum of Modern Art
(Not that the other museums aren't great!)

10. See the city from different angles
Walk across the bridge to the headlands, take a boat to Alcatraz, climb to the tops of hills, but also roll down a few to get yourself to the grungiest looking Indian restaurant which will turn out to be amazing. Relax at the beach. Run through the park. Dress in layers because a sudden wind might catch you. But remember to savor this warm breeze in your hair, because next week you'll be back at your crummy job, arguing with your boss, trudging through snow, and wishing you were back on the beach.