Posts Tagged ‘tourists’

Introducing the “Sunset Duck Tour” from Ride the Ducks San Francisco – What It’s Like to Ride an Amphibious Vehicle on the Bay

Monday, July 14th, 2014

IMO, writer Tony Hicks has got things spot-on right here in the San Jose Mercury News:

Taking the Kids: Quacking up and around the city by the bay

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.

This was the late-starting 7:30 PM sunset cruise so things were getting darker as we made our way past AT&T Park:

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.

Looking back at the Bay Bridge through Doris and Don Fisher’s Cupid’s Span skate park / tourist hiking platform – plenty of oohs and ahs at this point here:

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.

 

The “Selfie Stick” Arrives in San Francisco – These Tourists Use One to Take Better Photos in Golden Gate Park

Friday, June 27th, 2014

See?

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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 

A Fun Couple Visits San Francisco – These Old People are Younger Than You, Effectively – Tourists are Good People, Believe It Or Not

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

IMO.

As seen on troubled Taylor Street – they’re waiting for a bus or something right next to the Hilton:

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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.

Wealthy Whiny White People Have Managed to Partially Shut Down Part of Lombard – Mark Farrell’s F-U to Tourists – One Weird Trick

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

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.

 Oh well.

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.

Oh well.

*And Euros and upper-middle-class-and-lower domestic tourists as well, but just look at the worst case scenario photo here.

Something New: “TLMade” – It’s Like Etsy for the Twitterloin – Making Trinkets and Accessories in San Francisco’s “Branded” Tenderloin

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

All the deets on TLMade:

Here’s the pitch:

TLMade is a social enterprise centered on bringing out creativity, producing quality products, and creating jobs all within the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Through the support of City Impact, our purpose is to transform lives through discipleship relationships, and create community through art and work, while creating a sustainable business.

Discipleship, huh?

Oh, and here’s a why we exist video, explaining how the Tenderloin District is “300 times more crowded than the rest of San Francisco,” which, you know, is absurd. City Impact, you’re off by a couple orders of magnitude there, which, you know, is a lot.

Red Blue Green: Tourists High Atop Twin Peaks on a Dreaded Sunny Day, Gawking Away

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Oh look, they have a bus:

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It’s Not Hard to Spot AirBNB People When They Travel About the Western Addition – They Sort Of Stand Out

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

As here in The Projects waiting for the #5  Fulton:

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I don’t think that these people ever would made it to the Western Addition without the recent appearance of “sharing economy.”

 

For Some Reason, Europeans Just Love Riding Bicycles on the Sidewalks of San Francisco

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Thusly:

Click to exoand

Maybe they have different laws Over There….

Sky-View Tour, Western Addition, USA

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Little squirt looks a bit bored back there, but most of these tourists seem to enjoy taking the 2-hour Sky View Tour of San Francisco.

Now, do these tour buses really make Alamo Square “the Wild West?” No, not at all. So, why did former Interim Supervisor Christina Olague say such a thing?

Well, because she was running for election and she didn’t want to piss-off the hyper-sensitive homeowners of the Western Addition.

Did that work?

Non.

Oh, and are the diesel engines much louder than any loudspeakers that non-tourists might hear?

Oui.

So, here they come, day after day:

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Do you hate tourists?

I don’t.

Marina District Gratified by All the White People Who Showed Up for America’s Cup – But Says No to Regular Tourists

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Work with me here. The recent America’s Cup scrimmage event up in San Francisco’s Great White North got this kind of reaction in the pages of the Marina Times:

“This event brought exactly the right kind of crowd to the Marina.”

Uh, white people with some extra folding money to spend – that kind of crowd?

Mmmm…

Anyway, you’d think that the friendly Marinites would similarly welcome the Feds landing Alcatraz tour boats at Fort Mason, right?

No.

Let’s hear from socially awkward, born-into-the-one-percent District Two Supervisor Mark Farrell in the very same pages of the Marina Times:

“The National Park Service’s (NPS) intention to study Fort Mason as a possible location for its Alcatraz tour ferry service is one of those ideas with serious and long-lasting impacts that must immediately be put to rest.”

(Yeah, it’s one of those ideas, huh? So like, Alex, I want “Ideas with serious and long-lasting impacts that must immediately be put to rest” for $1600?”)

Apparently, one set of aquatic tourists is the best thing in the world and another set of aquatic tourists is the worst thing in the world?

OK fine.

Hey Marina, look at this! You think the future can’t cross a bridge ride through a tunnel?

Now here’s the kicker. The reason why the white people of the Marina are worried about the Fort Mason proposal is that it’s a lead pipe cinch, owing to the lack of NIMBY laws on federal land:

“What makes the idea even more distressing to residents and establishments in the Marina is the lack of local environmental review and input that would be available. The NPS stated that environmental review of the Fort Mason site would be conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and not under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), because Fort Mason is federal property. Without a CEQA process in place for Fort Mason, the enormous changes contemplated in the Marina will never be considered by our local government, and any NEPA appeal would have to take place in Washington through the federal courts. In my letter to the NPS, I asked that since they are prepared to undergo a CEQA analysis for the sites located at the Port of San Francisco piers, they should do the same for the NPS-owned piers at Fort Mason…”

So, don’t come here, Feds. Don’t come here where it’s super easy to do business, you know, without dealing with millionaire NIMBYs for decades, oh no, don’t even think about it! Feds, you must immediately put the idea “to rest.”

Well, we’ll just have to wait and see how that works…