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It’s All About San Francisco


Grab your coat and a handful of glitter, and enter a wonderland of fog and fabulousness. So long, inhibitions; hello, San Francisco!

Outlandish Notions

Consider permission permanently granted to be outlandish: other towns may surprise you, but in San Francisco you will surprise yourself. Good times and social revolutions tend to start here, from manic gold rushes to blissful hippie ‘be-ins’. If there’s a skateboard move yet to be busted, a technology still unimagined, a poem left unspoken or a green scheme untested, chances are it’s about to happen here. Yes, right now. This town has lost almost everything in earthquakes and dot-com gambles, but never its nerve.

Food & Drink

Every available Bay Area–invented technology is needed to make dinner decisions in this city, with the most restaurants and farmers markets per capita in North America – all supplied by pioneering local organic farms. San Francisco set the gold standard for Wild West saloons, until drinking was driven underground in the 1920s with Prohibition. Today San Francisco celebrates its historic saloons and speakeasies – and with Wine Country and local distillers providing a steady supply of America’s finest hooch, the West still gets wild nightly.

Natural Highs

San Francisco is a 7-by-7-mile peninsula that looks like California’s thumb, pointed optimistically upwards. Take this as a hint to look up: you’ll notice San Francisco’s crooked Victorian rooflines, wind-sculpted treetops, and fog tumbling over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Heads are perpetually in the clouds atop San Francisco’s 48 hills. Cable cars provide easy access to Russian and Nob Hills, and splendid panoramas reward the slog up to Coit Tower. Earn exhilarating highs on Telegraph Hill’s garden-lined stairway walks, and windswept hikes around Lands End. If there’s another kind of high you’re seeking in San Francisco, that can also be arranged: marijuana is legal here for adults 18 and over with ID, and dispensaries and delivery are at your service.

Neighborhood Microclimates

Microclimates add magic realism to San Francisco days: when it’s drizzling in the outer reaches of Golden Gate Park, it might be sunny in the Mission. A difference of a few degrees between neighborhoods grants permission for salted-caramel ice cream in Dolores Park, or a hasty retreat to tropical heat inside the California Academy of Sciences’ rainforest dome. This town will give you goose bumps one minute, and warm you to the core the next.

Why I Love San Francisco

On my way from Hong Kong to New York, I stopped in San Francisco for a day. I walked up Grant Ave to Waverly Pl, just as temple services were starting – the fog was scented with incense and roast duck. I felt the magnetic pull to City Lights, and in the nonfiction cellar, I noticed a sign painted by a 1920s cult: ‘I am the door’. It’s true. San Francisco is the threshold between East and West, body and soul, fact and fiction.

That was more than 20 years ago. I’m still here. Now it’s your turn to open that door, and find yourself in San Francisco.