Musee de Mechanique
Okay I'm showing my age here, but remember the arcade games where you sat down at a table and played them either on your own or with someone sitting opposite you playing against you?
Well if you like them, then you have to go down to the Musee de Mechanique on Fishermans Wharf, to the left of the pier where the Fishermans Wharf sign is based.
There are all sorts of old amusements in this place, from Palm reader machines to arcade games to those old machines where you look down into an eyepiece and see the events of 100 years ago thorough the screen. There are lots of them! Take your time going around, and bring a lot of quarters with you as you can still use a lot of the amusements.
Photos to come..
In May, the Mission District usually holds a parade commemorating Carnival. It contains numerous dancers, musicians, and local groups parading through the neighborhood streets. Similar (but not quite as crazy) as Rio's Carnival. It provides a great day out in the Mission, taking pictures, and staying on to sample the fabulous food that is only a few blocks away. Get out there, dance in the streets, and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
If you happen to be in San Francisco during April-early May, it would definitely be worth your while to check out the San Francisco International Film Festival. Held in Japantown and all across the city (with some showing in Berkeley and Palo Alto as well), this festival is one of the oldest of its kind in America. They screen upwards of 200 movies in a 4-week period... movies are showing morning, day and night. And they're fantastic. Some are more famous pictures that go on for wider release (Spirited Away, 5x2, Asoka, Black Sheep, Eagle vs. Shark have all had their debut there), some are small indie foreign films that you most likely will never hear from again. There are sometimes directors or writers brought in to have a lovely Q&A session after the screening.
Due to the congested nature of the festival, most films are only screened a couple times, and tickets are tight. There is a standby line for all shows, in case you couldn't get tickets ahead of time (though that is highly recommended). Luckily, tickets are no more expensive than a regular movie (~$10), and it is a great experience; you will love the films you see. I've been for over 5 years now, seeing an average of 4 films a year, and I can say that none of them have ever disappointed me. They're gems.
You can become a part of a local San Francisco meeting where people get together and explore the city by foot. MeetUp.com is the place where you can find the dates and places for future meet ups.
In the past, there had been tours to Bay Model in Sausalito, tour of greatest SF mansions in Pacific Heights neighborhood and many others.
NO FEE, but you better register and RSPV if you plan on attending.
The Cow Palace was exclusively a venue for livestock shows when it first opened in 1941. During World War II it was rented out for $1 a year to the federal government, and in 1949, Cow Palace became one of San Francisco's premier venues for entertainment. Everything from political conventions to roller derby and pro basketball to the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show has had a home at the Cow Palace. Today a full concert schedule is in operation year-round. It is a large, open arena, with several smaller buildings for exhibitions. The Cow Palace can seat or stand 14,000 people for boxing, 10,000 or more for conventions.
It is a LARGE indoor arena in mostly in Daly City, California that borders neighboring San Francisco (Hence the 2 Zip codes in the Address). The 14,500-seat arena is flanked by two adjoining exhibit halls; there are also two separate halls behind it, where pooches strut at the annual San Francisco Dog and Kennel Show. The Cow Palace offers a blast to the past, back to the days without a lot of variety offered (for example, you can't get much more to eat here than a hot dog, popcorn and beer). But there's plenty of parking and access from 101 and 280. This is a perfect spot for events such as the circus and the Grand National rodeo.
Located at: 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City, CA 94014 and 2600 Geneva Ave, San Francisco, CA 94134.
Opens on Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Closed on Sundays
Originating in 1912, the Bay to Breakers is the longest consecutive run footrace in the world. It is a 12K (7.46 miles) that starts at SF Bay, and ends at the Pacific Ocean. Serious runners from all around the world come to participate. Local (not so serious) runners also join in on the fun. Many choosing to create a special costume for the day. A birthday suit or two, are usually spotted in the crowd as well. Attracting over 70,000 participants each May, it's a day of serious running, and a day of serious fun for the non serious athlete in us all.
I did see this very naked woman, performing a keg stand, being supported by the group of Pamplona Bull Runners shown. Not joking.
Too bad my digital camera was too slow on the draw… but you get the picture.
For those of you who do not know what a keg stand is, even after the picture shown, it is a handstand, supported by those around you, over a keg of beer, while someone placed the tap in your mouth as you chug beer upside down.
Began in 1912 to kick-start the city’s moral after the ’06 quake. It worked in a way to exemplify what San Francisco is all about.
*Longest consecutively run footrace in the WORLD
*Truly international (Kenyan, James Koskei, has won now 3X’s in a row – ‘03)
*70 registered, 100,000+ total participants.
*Holds stats for “Fastest Men's Centipede Time: 37:39.6” (women’s 47:36)
B2B is non profit - proceeds go to:
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society–Northern California Division
UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center
Junior Achievement of the Bay Area
Community Educational Services
and lots of naked people...
I was perplexed in which category I should place this in. To some, maybe Warning and Dangers, to others a Must See. It can’t be Nightlife, but easily could be described as a Local Customs. I’ve decided to use Off The Beaten Path – It most accurately describes this event call The Bay to Breakers.
The Bay To Breakers (www.baytobreakers.com) race. The San Francisco Bay to Breakers race was born six years after the 1906 earthquake. Over the years, the race has mushroomed in size: popular enthusiasm for running in the 1980s pushed race participation to 110,000 by 1986 — making that year's race the world's largest footrace, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
more images can be seen here:
Local events speak for the community and San Francisco has plenty. Be sure to catch one or two local events while you’re here. (N.B. Some are up in my travelogues.) Here’s a listing. The links below will send you to the appropriate website to give you the exact dates and time.
Chinese New Year Parade & Festival New Year date changes every year in lunar calendar.
APR San Francisco Film Festival ; Cherry Blossom Festival Japantown
MAY Cinco de Mayo, Bay-to-Breakers (see travelogue); Carnaval
SUMMER(June to Aug.) Stern Grove Festival MidSummer Music Festival
JUN Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade and Festival; Haight-Ashbury Street Fair More Info (415) 661-8025; North Beach Festival; Union Street Festival
AUG Nihonmachi Street Fair (Japantown)
SEP Shakespeare Festival (free); Opera in the Park (free); Folsom Street Fair; Blues Festival Ghiradelli Square Chocolate Festival; Autumn Moon Festival Chinatown
OCT Halloween weekend in Castro; Castro Street Fair; Italian Heritage Festival; Jazz Festival
NOV Day of the Dead Procession; San Francisco Book Festival
Picture below is from Bay-to-Breakers event.
I am pictured to the right, drunk and laughing, at something that would be hard to describe to another...