San Francisco tourists never ever spend time telling you how many years they’ve lived in San Francisco. And of course, they never say that they were “born and raised” in the 415 either.
I mean, extremely. There’s no way they’d be hanging about the Western Addition like this, without a clue whether their next step is to the north, south, east, or west, but for Airbnb, or something like Airbnb.
Of course, some welcome this development and others don’t.
No matter, it’s an ongoing revolution
$4.69 per gallon – Bridgeway Gas. Sausalito, CA 94965:
$3.49 per gallon – Bridgeway Shell, Sausalito, CA 94965, same day:
The Yelpers are NOT IMPRESSED with BRIDGEWAY GAS.
I beg of you, tourists, watch yourselves. Be on guard. This place is full of vultures. Vultures everywhere. Everywhere!
The thing about Bay Area Bike Share is that the bikes aren’t good and they cost a lot of money to rent. This is by design. (Part of it has to do with the govmint not wanting to get static from all those companies what rent normal bikes to tourists.)
Now, are there any BABS stations anywhere near the west si-iiiide of town? No, not even close.
So these people, who made it all the way Way Out West, to the farthest reaches of SF County, what are they thinking? Are they thinking, “Hey, we’re paying $28 an hour for our bikes – let’s hang out and have a picnic?” Nope. They’re thinking, “We’re paying $18 to rent these bikes all day long.”
IDK. I’m sure BABS knows, but they’re not saying. Perhaps they go easy on the tourists and give a partial refund when somebody faces a $100 rental bill.
Or maybe the tourists think, “Oh, I got a bike for the next three days and it will cost just $22 – America, What A Country?”
As seen, later on, on the western reaches of JFK Drive, pushing the old ball and chain back up through the miles it will take to get back to the nearest station:
And the workers get paid close to minimum wage? And some out of state company will end up making millions or tens of millions of dollars off of this program? If you approve of BABS, with all its issues, then you’d approve of any possible bike program that could be dreamed up by anybody. I minimize the cost to myself by never ever using it – that way, these people only get my tax money and not any of my after-tax take-home pay.
Why not instead just buy bikes with the same amount of tax money, you know, bikes that are twice as good and ten times cheaper and then simply give them away? I’m srsly.
Oh, you’re happy because more people are riding bikes? Well, walking’s good too, right?
I can understand how this program might benefit a small number of people* on a daily basis, but I don’t think the cost is justified. At all.
This is what I’m talking about:
“Let me start by saying, I had a blast when riding these bikes. We rented 6 bikes and rode them for hours. We were charged $80 per bike, so $160 per credit card as you can only rent 2 bikes per card. They DO NOT explain very clearly that you pay $9 for the day but you have to have it docked every 30 minutes or they charge you more. We called and emailed and explained everything to them (they are used to people complaining about this) they sent us a very mean email telling us that it’s our fault that we didn’t read their deceptive instructions correctly. Then have us 25% back to shut us up. What a Bay Area bike share scam! I give it 1 star as it was a blast of a day but not worth it overall. Will NEVER use again and tell EVERYONE about this horrible experience.”
“Please do yourself a favor and don’t use Bay Area Bike Share. It’s a total rip off. Husband and I paid $68 to ride these heavy, hard to use bikes for 2.5 hours. Also, customer service is a joke. They don’t care one bit, as they are truly scammers. They make it seem like you’re paying $9 for a 24-hour period. NOT TRUE. Completely misleading.”
And here’s a sample from the Yelp posts what got taken down – see if you can get the gist of Yukiko N’s beef against BABS:
“With the help 24 hours , is a place of $9 , to see the credit card debit of after one month and $ 158 in ! Many times , and also contact us by e-mail address , one week Nashinotsubute . When the phone , $ 9 in membership , ridiculous that the use of more than one hour is considered overtime answer ! Absolutely not recommended.”
That’s just a taste. Read on and on to see why the Yelp rating is so so low….
*People who should prolly just buy a bike and learn how to take care of it and then ride it around.
A couple decades back, these two would have been Japanese tourists taking photos of every random thing possible. Today, they’re Chinese (based upon the loud ai-yaaahs).
Who will they be two decades from now? IDK.
OTOH, these conventioneers might be Japanese – I can’t tell. But I can tell you that the tiny flash on this DSLR isn’t effective when you’re photographing the top of a tall building, as dude was doing:
On It Goes…
(Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.)
This has been a remarkable change, over the past half-decade.
You see them, all over the place, every day, coming and going, taking photos of buildings, looking at maps, asking where “the Seven Ladies” are, asking where the “Full House house” is, and rolling luggage up and down the street, you know, that kind of thing.
Sometimes I don’t know if they’re Airbnb people, but other times, like this time, it’s easy to tell:
Click to expand
I don’t have a generalized beef against tourists – that makes me different from the typical Western Addition NIMBY.
In any event, this is what Airbnb looks like IRL on the street.
IMO, writer Tony Hicks has got things spot-on right here in the San Jose Mercury News:
I just took the media cruise for the new-ish “Sunset Duck Tour” from Ride the Ducks San Francisco - it starts at 7:30 PM.
Here’s Captain John:
Quacking away with people in another duck boat while passing by:
So that’s how things start in Fisherman’s Wharf. Then you begin a circuitous trip to the launch ramps down south of AT&T Park. I’ve never been up so high in an open vehicle, so this was a new experience, kind of like what I imagine the “hop-on hop-off” city bus tours are like.
So off you go, past the working part of Fisherman’s Wharf…
…past the Gary Danko (perennial No. 1 in the Bay Area for “Food, Service and Popularity” per Zagat)…
…through North Beach and on to Chinatown, where you look down upon the #30 Stocktons as you pass them by…
…and then through the tunnel to Union Square and then through SoMA to the launch area.
I gotta say that that was the touristy part of the tour, so check out Beth Spotswood’s take on that in the Tourist Trapped Culture Blog of the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate.com if you want more on that.
So finally you get to launch – it looks like this:
And then you’re slowly cruising the bay, albeit near to shore for the most part.
You might catch a little spray from the bay but most likely you won’t.
This riding-on-the-water part in a military-style vehicle with not all that much freeboard is an experience – I recommend it.
Then after puttering around on the water, you drive out of the water to take the Embarcadero back to the Wharf.
Interacting with happy passersby on the way home…
…while zipping past the historic F-Market streetcars:
These ducks look somewhat menacing at night, huh?
And there’s your trip:
So, you need to show up at least 15 minutes early to keep your reservation, I think.
And this tour can get quite cold and windy, needless to say.
If you want to see some more photos, there are some good ones on Yelp.
This was a great experience – I think it’d be good for tourists and locals alike.
Click to expand
Well, I know it’s a selfie stick because I seen them using it. In this shot above they are simply reviewing their results.
Actually, I heard about the “selfie stick backlash” afore I ever saw one. We’re moving through Kashmir Hill territory here, from June 2014:
“That is un-f***ing believable,” he said. My Hong Kong friend was surprised by our surprise. “It’s a selfie stick,” she explained. “They’re all over Asia.”
Oh, here’s one, and there are others.
In closing, selfie stick – it’s a thing!
Or, if you’d prefer, Selfie-Stick Fever – Catch It!
Oh let the sun beat down upon my selfie-stick, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To pose for selfies with the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talked for days of my new iPhone 6, and all will be revealed
As seen on troubled Taylor Street – they’re waiting for a bus or something right next to the Hilton:
Click to expand
So just because you own property and sponsor house parties for weak-willed electeds such as Mark Farrell or London Breed, that doesn’t mean you’re better than this couple.
In fact, it makes you the opposite, you NIMBYs.
Believe It Or Not.
This trial of shutting down Lombard Street to tourists looks unstoppable now.
Some rich property owners in Russian Hill have had their aesthetic sensibilities offended by those, those people known as tourists. So these richers want to gate off Lombard Street and make part of it a private.
Except they don’t want to pay for making it a private road. Oh. And the purpose of roads in California is so that people can use them – it’s like burned into the vehicle code or someplace.
So the next best thing for these white millionaires is this trial to cut down on tourism. And the way to get that is to turn an aesthetic issue into a safety issue.
For example here’s how this works when rich white property owners decide they don’t want telephone poles and MUNI wires lousing up their enclaves. Here we go, from “Report of Meeting with Supervisors Farrell and Chiu”
“Supervisor Farrell is also looking for ways to pitch it beyond aesthetics.”
So then the people who don’t want to see telephone poles and MUNI poles starting talking up the “safety issue.”
You see, ’cause if you tell the truth about your motives, then you give the rabble, the masses, the Proles a chance to undo your self-described “improvements.”
OTOH, if you say your concerns are about safety, then your biases will be given more deference if and when it comes time for higher authorities to give a stamp of approval. Of course, sometimes this safety argument works, sometimes it doesn’t:
1880: “There are too many Chinese working in San Francisco” – let’s do something about it.
2014: “There are too many Chinese* visiting Hyde and Lombard” – let’s do something about it.
One problem with district Supervisor elections is that a handful of property owners can have an outsized influence over matters that should be decided on a citywide basis. If tourists, all those millions past, present and future, threw house parties for Mark Farrell to raise money in, then maybe he’d consider what they want.
But they don’t, so he doesn’t.
*And Euros and upper-middle-class-and-lower domestic tourists as well, but just look at the worst case scenario photo here.