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URBbum

San Fran First Timer, 2 Week Trip in October

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I'm an urban planner out on the East Coast currently and I'm going around the country to see what areas might fit me best and SF's audition is near. The last time I've been I was maybe 5 yrs. old so that's why I'm a "first timer."

I'm looking to experience everything (I'm a 20-something); culture, nightlife, diverse neighborhoods, take tons of photos, etc. During the trip I'll be asking locals where a good place to eat is, best place to relax, anything that comes to mind at the time.

During the trip, I hope to throw my resume around to public and private entities in transportation planning/modeling, economic development, and land use planning.

The only thing left to do is find a place to stay for those 2 weeks. I'll be on my feet throughout the day from 6am to midnight or later each day so I just need somewhere to hang my hat at the end of day, nothing swanky. Are there any suggestions for safe, and cheap lodging? I'm not against a hostel if there is such a thing downtown.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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I'm an urban planner out on the East Coast currently and I'm going around the country to see what areas might fit me best and SF's audition is near. The last time I've been I was maybe 5 yrs. old so that's why I'm a "first timer."

I'm looking to experience everything (I'm a 20-something); culture, nightlife, diverse neighborhoods, take tons of photos, etc. During the trip I'll be asking locals where a good place to eat is, best place to relax, anything that comes to mind at the time.

During the trip, I hope to throw my resume around to public and private entities in transportation planning/modeling, economic development, and land use planning.

The only thing left to do is find a place to stay for those 2 weeks. I'll be on my feet throughout the day from 6am to midnight or later each day so I just need somewhere to hang my hat at the end of day, nothing swanky. Are there any suggestions for safe, and cheap lodging? I'm not against a hostel if there is such a thing downtown.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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I stayed at some nice places while out there recently, and there is a thread here about it. but as far as a hostel, I guarentee you can find something. your best bet is looking on the net. I am not familiar at all with american hostels, or if we even have a hostel network. maybe go to boarders and snoop through a lonely planet guide to america. it will definately have that kind of info. or use their web site. Lonely planet is very much for the 20 something and I think their web site is quite good IIRC.

as far as places to see, ZAHC here seems to know his city front and back, and as it looks mostly by foot.

take some time to explore the BART system while out there. in my travels I still think it is one of the best systems around. maybe not so good at moving people around the city, but around the region it is great. and so easy to figure out and use as a novice.

I am from NY and it makes much more sense to me than the NY Subway/PATH/MetroNorth/LIRR system.

I think walking around the residential areas is key. it is rare in America to find such nice areas so close to the CBD. the density is fairly high, while the scale is still quite low. A rural person could feel pretty comfortable just outside the CBD in San francisco, while NYC would be scary as hell.

as a planner you might want to see what they have done with one of the burbs out there. Walnut Creek. its right on the BART, but the interesting part is still quite a walk from the station. the city has been able to redevelop most of downtown into walkable mixed use districts. It is all "New Urbanism", but it is impressive to me because it was done in a prototypical California Autocentric Suburb. This "burb" has been completely transformed and continues to expand this district. their city web site has tons of info too.

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I'm an urban planner out on the East Coast currently and I'm going around the country to see what areas might fit me best and SF's audition is near. The last time I've been I was maybe 5 yrs. old so that's why I'm a "first timer."

I'm looking to experience everything (I'm a 20-something); culture, nightlife, diverse neighborhoods, take tons of photos, etc. During the trip I'll be asking locals where a good place to eat is, best place to relax, anything that comes to mind at the time.

During the trip, I hope to throw my resume around to public and private entities in transportation planning/modeling, economic development, and land use planning.

The only thing left to do is find a place to stay for those 2 weeks. I'll be on my feet throughout the day from 6am to midnight or later each day so I just need somewhere to hang my hat at the end of day, nothing swanky. Are there any suggestions for safe, and cheap lodging? I'm not against a hostel if there is such a thing downtown.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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The Voice of Reason and Zahc,

I really do want to thank you for your input. I hadn't check up on this thread in awhile and came back to some nice surprises. I've written down your suggestions for the Cole Valley eatery and I'll gladly take any others around the city or Bay Area.

I'm planning on spending most of my trip in SF, but I will be using the BART to see most of the Bay area. I'm also planning on an Amtrak trip to SJ and see what I can muster up. I'm striving to leave 'no stone unturned.'

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The Voice of Reason and Zahc,

I really do want to thank you for your input. I hadn't check up on this thread in awhile and came back to some nice surprises. I've written down your suggestions for the Cole Valley eatery and I'll gladly take any others around the city or Bay Area.

I'm planning on spending most of my trip in SF, but I will be using the BART to see most of the Bay area. I'm also planning on an Amtrak trip to SJ and see what I can muster up. I'm striving to leave 'no stone unturned.'

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Good suggestions from Voice of Reason. Tassajara bakery and store in Cole Valley, which I used to frequent and write short stories, is now Boulange de Cole Valley at 1000 Cole and Parnassus...while there go up to Tank Hill for a spectular view of the City just below Twin Peaks. Tank Hill is an easier climb and less touristy. Last time I was there a guy was up playing a guitar and it was nice hearing his music in the partial sunshine and then fog that started to drift down the hill...North Beach is a REQUIREMENT. The whole neighborhood is tops and almost like being in Italy. Caffe Trieste is wonderful! Nightlife in North Beach is...pretty wild, which you'd have to experience for yourself.

Overall, there's a lot to do and see here in San Francisco. I was here on holiday in November 1983 to visit a friend, was supposed to leave January 1, 1984, but I fell in love with SF and its people who convinced me I should stay, and I never left...As Voice of Reason mentioned, Sausalito & North Bay is well worth a visit. You can take the Ferry or Golden Gate Transit...When not driving we usually go there via Golden Gate Transit which we catch at 7th & Market. It's a comfortable ride for less than $5 with spectaular scenery and there's no bridge toll to pay upon returning...But do take the Ferry back to the City, meet a stranger, dance and have a cocktail.

Have fun & be safe. I'd be visiting New York for a few weeks in October and then South Carolina (to visit my mom) for the rest of the month. Hopefully, I won't get too homesick for SF.

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Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'm coming into town in a few days and I hope to hit all your suggestions.

Take care!

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Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'm coming into town in a few days and I hope to hit all your suggestions.

Take care!

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