Guide me to San Francisco
September 26, 2008 11:36 PM   Subscribe

Single (straight) foreign guy in San Francisco, on his early 30s. What are some good places (watering holes, night clubs) to go people-watching without feeling down on being there alone?
posted by dcrocha to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Lovefest on Oct. 4th.
posted by mahoganyslide at 1:02 AM on September 27, 2008

I was thinking that Golden Gate Park on any warm afternoon would be good. But it's been like decades since I was there, and maybe it's been overwhelmed by weirdness since then.
posted by Class Goat at 4:15 AM on September 27, 2008

It's been almost a decade since I was there, but the Castro area is nice in the daytime: a lot of people just hanged out, esp. around the subway station. "You don't need to be gay to be beautiful." Lot's of non-gay low-key turists. It might have gotten more "Fisherman's Wharf"-like in the last 10-15 years.
posted by flif at 4:24 AM on September 27, 2008

Golden gate park is still good as long as you stay away from that one spot between the playground and the tennis courts.

If you're anywhere near the area, the Philosopher's Club at West Portal is great (or was two years ago). Small neighborhood bar, and you can talk to anyone there. I went alone several times (and I'm a girl!) and I talked with the bartenders, with the patrons, played pool, etc.

If you don't mind hipsters, the coffee shops in the mission make for good people watching and you can read or work on your computer without feeling bad about being alone. And you can strike up conversations, because I've found that even the hipsters in San Francisco are pretty friendly. Try Muddy Waters or Revolution.

If you like sports, the sports bars on Union Street in the Cow Hollow area are pretty friendly- you would have good luck on a big game day (Saturday or Sunday afternoons, Monday nights in the fall-- not sure if they fill up for soccer or other more European sports). A good place to talk to strangers and feel like a part of the general party. Just pick a team to support if you don't have one already and stick to your guns no matter how bad they're losing!

Try looking through the meetups at San Francisco is especially active, and it's not as dorky as you think. I made some good friends and went to some great parties. If your native language is not English or you speak other languages, there are many language-based meetup groups (I can attest that the French one has good parties, although they don't meet very often).

-- someone who spent a good deal of time in San Francisco alone!
posted by ohio at 7:32 AM on September 27, 2008

Even if you don't plan to use it for the free places to stay, I highly recommend signing up on Couchsurfing - you can use it to find people who will meet up for drinks and give little tours of their city, plus any decent sized city has meetups will a completely international crowd.
Here's the Bay Area group ; goodluck!
posted by mannequito at 10:11 AM on September 27, 2008

Dolores Park for daytime. It's like a college campus for grownups. And with dogs! I love it.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:49 AM on September 27, 2008

I second Dolores Park. I go there with a book by myself some weekends and it's really lovely. You won't feel awkward by yourself.
posted by timoni at 9:30 PM on September 28, 2008

I feel more comfortable being alone in a place that's extremely crowded. A few favorites are Absinthe, in Hayes Valley, Cha Cha Cha on Haight at Shrader, the Alembic, also on Haight, the Redwood Room in the Clift Hotel, and, for a change of pace, I don't mind a quiet chat with the bartenders at Bourbon and Branch, almost across the street from the Clift. (B&B is also a great place to escape with someone you've just met at the Redwood Room but can't talk to because it's so damn loud in there.)
posted by wzcx at 8:56 AM on October 1, 2008

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