Geeky questions for a visit to San Francisco.
September 27, 2007 9:31 PM   Subscribe

Geeky guy's first visit to San Francisco. A few specific, slightly nerdy questions inside.

First trip to San Francisco and there are two things in particular I'm interested in.

(1) A store with a great selection of messenger bags. Any place I can compare Chrome, Timbuk2, Tom Binh, or any of the smaller companies' bags side by side?

(2) Any internet related tours or sites I can visit? Is there a tour of Flickr, Apple, Google?

(3) Where are the best "hang-out" coffee shops in the city? I'm talking about 4 cups of coffee, free wireless, great people watching kind of places.

posted by kdern to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Another bag I'd like to see in person... Bagaboo!
posted by kdern at 9:40 PM on September 27, 2007

1) I'll pass.

2) Previous question.

3) Ritual Roasters on Valencia St.
posted by vacapinta at 9:40 PM on September 27, 2007

Well, Chrome and Timbuk2 both are SF-based, and have stores here to see. They are not terribly close, but along with #3, I'd go to Blue Bottle Coffee on Linden, get a cap, then walk down Hayes to the Timbuk2 store. Then to Frjtz if they're back opened again (they're closed right now to move next door). Ritual is interesting though a bit of a hipster doofus wasteland.

Flickr is in SF, but Apple and Google are way down on the penninsula. If you do make it down there, and Caltrain + walking will do the trick for Google, you can walk the campus yourself.
posted by kcm at 9:46 PM on September 27, 2007

Response by poster: OK - so I think the tech sites are out. I didn't realize how far away they are from downtown.

Would still love to find a great messenger bag store... isn't there some kind of specialty store that carries all the brands?
posted by kdern at 9:47 PM on September 27, 2007

He asked for a people-watching coffee shop. Blue Bottle is good (I get some every morning at Piccino) but its a kiosk on the street.
posted by vacapinta at 9:48 PM on September 27, 2007

Yeah, and the line outside Blue Bottle along with the whole Octavia/Linden/Hayes Valley area is a great people-watching place. There's no wireless per-se, but excuse me for trying to combine his interests. Christ.
posted by kcm at 9:49 PM on September 27, 2007

Fine. For #3 alone, we have Philz for Mission-diving, Cafe XO for laid-back posh Noe Valley quietude, Coffee to the People for all-out randomness. What are your recommendations for him?
posted by kcm at 10:01 PM on September 27, 2007

1) If you're going down to the Timbuk2 store, right across the street is flight001 which has tons of European brand luggage and messenger bags. I have yet to see any store that carries all the brands you listed, mainly because they all have their own retail stores in SF.
posted by junesix at 10:12 PM on September 27, 2007

It may be on your list already, but the exploratorium rocks, as a geeky tourist destination. (Albeit a non-internet one.)
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:26 PM on September 27, 2007

Michael Bruno on Market carries most of those bags. From there you can walk to the Mission and wander up Valencia to Ritual, which is, despite the hipster hatred, a lovely place to have coffee.
posted by judith at 10:34 PM on September 27, 2007

Response by poster: OK - so I'm going to Timbuk2, Chrome, Flight001 and Michael Bruno to look at Bags. Will also visit Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk, and maybe Ritual or Philz for coffee.

Any other suggestions?
posted by kdern at 6:26 AM on September 28, 2007

If you've never been to an Apple Store in a big city, the SF one is a site to see.
posted by radioamy at 8:46 AM on September 28, 2007

Pixar's campus is in emeryville a mile or two walk from the bart. See if you can get a tour there
posted by Large Marge at 9:28 AM on September 28, 2007

Check out Valencia Street from 15th to 24th, or so. It's a little edgy and funky piece of the Mission district, but really cool. Don't miss Radio Valencia Cafe if they are still around.
posted by OlderThanTOS at 10:29 AM on September 28, 2007

Don't miss Radio Valencia Cafe if they are still around.

Wow, thats a blast from the past. That place burned down like 10 years ago...
posted by vacapinta at 11:31 AM on September 28, 2007

musee mechanique (warning: audio) gets mentioned in every single one of these threads and is semi-appropriate here -- lots of cool old arcade/animatronic machines. Well worth it.

Lunch 2.0 is far and away your best chance of getting to tour a tech-y type place (and having free food while you're at it!). You might check and see if they are having events during the dates you'll be in SF.

You could also go kick it on a weekday in South Park, one of the hot spots of the first dot-com boom. While you're there, check out Jeremy's for some high-fashion seconds clothing. Many of the cafes there are nice (if you want a cheaper option, grab a burrito at the Mexican restaurant).
posted by fishfucker at 12:30 PM on September 28, 2007

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