Posts Tagged ‘visitors’

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?

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 

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:

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 is What the San Francisco Tourist Agency Does with Our Money, Our Tens of Millions

Monday, May 26th, 2014

It sends youthful orange-shirted attractivas with iPads out to approach tourists in Golden Gate Park.

Feigned excitement: “Oh it’s your birthday tomorrow!?”

We can’t afford to operate the Strybing Arboretum without soaking the tourists, but we can afford this?

What’s going on, SFGov. Do you do everything a special interest tells you to do?

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:

Click to expand

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….

Uh, Sorry, LA Times, But Your “49 New Sweet Spots” for Visitors to San Francisco are Not New – YouTube

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

What’s “new” here except for the video itself?

San Francisco’s new sweet spots by losangelestimes:

In closing, “Oh … I don’t go to the Avenues.”

Heh.

In mitigation:

I want to live in los angeles 
Not the one in los angeles 
No, not the one in south california 
They got one in south patagonia 

So-Called World Capital of Innovation Can’t Seem to Solve the Bedbug Problem – Here’s the Letter You Will Get

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

You know, after you been bitten hundreds of times by bedbugs, which, you know, are all over the place in San Francisco. Still.

Like at your hotel, dear Visitor.

Like, I don’t know, did the Hotel Whitcomb,change its name owing to some issue with bedbugs?

The old Ramada is now the new Whitcomb. But it’s still the same place:

Click to expand

Oh, here we go:

Downtown Bedbug Attack Costs Ramada $71,000

(I don’t know if I’d call this area “downtown,” but anywho, wow.)

Now, let’s hear from Kris Betz, Hotel Whitcomb Director of Operations, to get a (somewhat) canned response to a relatively recent allegation of infestation:

“19 July 2011

Dear Guest,

We are sorry for any discomfort that you may have experienced and we are very concerned about what happened. We want you to know that it is our highest priority to provide our guests with the cleanest rooms possible. We have a dedicated inspection team of trained staff that inspects all our rooms to ensure that these cases do not arise.

As you mentioned that you did not find any evidence, so it is possible you could have encountered them elsewhere. Please note that this incident has nothing to do with the cleanliness of our rooms. Please rest assured that this is not a reflection of our facilities cleanliness, as we take pride in providing excellent service and the cleanest accommodations, for all our guests.

Please feel free to contact me at your convenience so we may discuss any circumstances which may have occurred and please accept our sincerest apologies.

Kris Betz, Director of Operations”

I don’t know, man, I feel sorry for the Euros what stay at this place. They’re pretty much all gorgeous,* in-shape,* natural blond(e)s,* who just want to have fun in the 415, you know, they just want to pose for photos with big American police cars and fire trucks and stuff like that and what’s so wrong with that?

I feel sorry for them when they get shot and killed on Mason in Union Square or run over and killed by drunk drivers on Masonic or bitten 400 times by bedbugs during one stay.

I kind of feel that we’re letting these people down. I feel we’re shirking our obligations to our tourists. 

If I were Director of Operations at Hotel Whitcomb, I would engage in total war with the bedbugs.

And I wouldn’t write “Dear Guest” letters what discuss possibilities and evidence.

Just saying.

*Unlike me.

Brace Yourselves, Gordon Ramsay’s HOTEL HELL Show is Coming – Big Ad on Market Street, How Apropro

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Famed restaurateur Gordon Ramsay is moving on from restaurants to hotels starting today – HOTEL HELL debuts tonight on the Fox.

Check it:

If [hotels] suggest they will upgrade you to the honeymoon suite, don’t take it. I’m trying to be serious because it is somewhat shocking. I just didn’t think it could shoot that far. I’m talking about if you shake a can of Coke and open it.” 

OK fine.

Actually, GR, I was thinking that bed bugs might belong at the top of the list.

Market Street, USA:

Click to expand

But, hey Gordo, are you going to come to the 415? We need you here.

Speaking of Market Street and bed bugs, here’s what the Hotel Whitcomb (renamed from Ramada Plaza not too long ago because of a massive lawsuit  involving bed bugs and ballyhoo) will send out to you if you report dozens of bites on your porcelain skin:

“19 July 2011

Dear Guest,

We are sorry for any discomfort that you may have experienced and we are very concerned about what happened. We want you to know that it is our highest priority to provide our guests with the cleanest rooms possible. We have a dedicated inspection team of trained staff that inspects all our rooms to ensure that these cases do not arise.

As you mentioned that you did not find any evidence, so it is possible you could have encountered them elsewhere. Please note that this incident has nothing to do with the cleanliness of our rooms. Please rest assured that this is not a reflection of our facilities cleanliness, as we take pride in providing excellent service and the cleanest accommodations, for all our guests.

Please feel free to contact me at your convenience so we may discuss any circumstances which may have occurred and please accept our sincerest apologies.

Kris Betz, Director of Operations”

That’s how we roll in San Francisco’s corrupt Mid Market Twitterloin.

So sure, you’re covered in bites, but:

1. You probably got bitten somewhere else, not at Hotel Whitcomb!

2. Or maybe you’re just making things up, maybe you’re insane! 

3. Or maybe you’re not insane but you’re a criminal who wants to shake us down for, I don’t know, another big fat $71,000 judgment / settlement!

4. Or maybe you did encounter bed bugs in one of our rooms, but probably you didn’t experience any discomfort, right? Kind of a no harm no foul kind of thing!

5. And, in any event, our rooms are clean. Did I mention that before? Our rooms are clean. Can I mention this fact four times in five sentences? YES I CAN!

Save us, Gordon Ramsay.

That EXPRESS Chain Store is Going to Replace Our Beloved Gold Dust Lounge with … a “Dual-Gender Denim Lab”

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

EXPRESS, Inc has just announced what it’s going to do with the former Gold Dust Lounge on Geary in Union Square – it seems we’re going to be blessed with a 16,000-square-foot “flagship” store.

Here’s what EXPRESS has to say about it:

“Located at 301 Geary Street, the Union Square location is comprised of approximately 16,000 square feet and will feature two floors, plus a mezzanine, of selling space.  One of the vacating tenants delayed Express taking possession of the space.  The property is owned by Handlery Hotels, Inc.”

Yes, that delay was the talk of the town.

Anyway, bygones.

I think this is it, a “dual-gender Denim Lab” as seen in Pennsylvania’s King of Prussia town, an East Coast version of Emeryville I guess: 

Click to expand – more shots at the RetailDesignBlog

All right, together now:

Dual-Gender Denim Lab!

Dual-Gender Denim Lab!

Dual-Gender Denim Lab!

Myself, I just got a pair of “Kirkland” jeans on sale at our dual-gender Costco #144 in SoMA. $11-something. (Now that was a deal because normally they’re $13-something. And I remember when they were just $12-something, back in the day. Ah mem’ries…)

All the deets:

“COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 23, 2012  – Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR), a specialty retail apparel chain operating over 600 stores, today announced that the company will open two flagship locations in Times Square in New York City and Union Square in San Francisco.  Both locations are scheduled to open in 2013.  Union Square, located at the corner of Powell and Geary streets, is scheduled to open next summer; and Times Square, located at the corner of 46(th) Street and Broadway – in the heart of the Bowtie – is scheduled to open in the fall.

“We are extremely excited to officially announce both of these flagship locations for 2013,” said Michael Weiss, chairman, president & CEO of Express, Inc.  ”The age old mantra of ‘location, location, location’ was certainly at work in the selection of these two properties.  These flagships will not only reflect the strength of our fashion authority within these two cities, but also serve as a gateway to our brand for international visitors and shoppers as part of our international expansion strategy,” he added.

Times Square: Located at 1552 Broadway, the Times Square location is comprised of approximately 30,000 square feet and will feature three selling floors.  The prominent location also includes a 125 foot tall, 9,000 square foot LED sign package on the facade of the building facing Broadway.  The property is owned by joint venture partners SL Green Realty Corp. and Jeff Sutton.

Union Square: Located at 301 Geary Street, the Union Square location is comprised of approximately 16,000 square feet and will feature two floors, plus a mezzanine, of selling space.  One of the vacating tenants delayed Express taking possession of the space.  The property is owned by Handlery Hotels, Inc.

Both locations will be constructed in Express’ new store design created by Japanese design firm, Wonderwall.  With uptown finishes and downtown cool, the store features design elements of refined chic and forward-thinking composition that creates individual spaces with a sense of style.  Divided into three sections of Men’s, Women’s and a dual-gender Denim Lab, products are divided by lifestyle categories and outfitted by gender.  A refined Express brand is conveyed through the use of modern industrial fixtures, displays and textures.  Mortar walls and concrete floors create an open, expansive space accented with aged oak wood floors.  Glossy white walls divide the space into rooms and provide a dynamic contrast to the natural wood outrigger shelving system.

About Express, Inc.:
Express is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer of women’s and men’s merchandise, targeting the 20 to 30 year old customer.  The Company has over 30 years of experience offering a distinct combination of fashion and quality for multiple lifestyle occasions at an attractive value addressing fashion needs across work, casual, jeanswear, and going-out occasions.  The Company currently operates over 600 retail stores, located primarily in high-traffic shopping malls, lifestyle centers, and street locations across the United States, in Canada and in Puerto Rico, and also distributes its products through the Company’s e-commerce website, www.express.com.”