Solo 21st in san francisco- ideas?
June 25, 2008 9:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm moving to san francisco, where I don't know anyone yet, right before my 21st birthday. Any meaningful/memorable ways to celebrate by myself?

Relevant details: birthday is on a sunday. I'm a fan of good alcohol, 420, and outdoor activities.

I'm moving for work but don't really want to celebrate with coworkers or any other new acquaintances.

This could be geo-specific or not. I've considered having a boozy picnic with a good book, but I want enough stuff to do the entire day.

I'm also interested in trancendence-type things.
posted by acidic to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What day is your birthday?

There's a Tall Ships event in late July - you could go for a sailing cruise.
posted by amtho at 9:51 AM on June 25, 2008

If there's not a specific event on a specific day (since you didn't mention it), you might go hang out at Zeitgeist. It's a crusty beer garden with lots of long tables, people smoking, and I've found it pretty easy to strike up conversations with people there, just by starting with "is this seat taken?"
posted by oneirodynia at 9:57 AM on June 25, 2008

Er, hmm. I think I misread your post, and missed the "meaningful" part. Hanging out at a divey outdoor space may not be meaningful to you. Howver, it's in the Mission, near Dolores Park, which is a good place for a boozy picknick with a book.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:59 AM on June 25, 2008

I was in a strange city alone on my 21st. I went to the liquor store and bought a good bottle of gin, and then had a beer and a burger at a local pub I was fond of.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:00 AM on June 25, 2008

Museum/exhibit/similar locale relevant to your interests? For instance, I would totally rock the nearest aquarium and freak out hapless fellow visitors by trying to engage them in geeky conversation about the fish, but that's me. Similarly, do you like natural history, fine art, human history? San Fran must have something, but I'll leave it to the experts to specify.

Then in the evening, booze out (safely; look up cab numbers in advance).
posted by bettafish at 10:25 AM on June 25, 2008

Best answer: Sounds like a good day to acquaint yourself with the city.
Have breakfast at J's Pots of Soul, see cool street art at Upper Playground, Lower Hater and buy yourself a cool print to hang in your new dwelling. Then stroll over to Delessio for a sandwich and take it to Buena Vista park for a good picnic and nice views of the city. From there, visit crazy Haight Ashbury, it will keep you amused for hours. I recommend dinner at Ploy II for Thai or Blue Front for Middle Eastern. Golden Gate Park is just at the end of Haight-Ashbury if you have time for it.
To end the night, you can go north and play tourist at Buena Vista, home of the Irish Coffee. It is always crowded and you will always make friends there. It is about a $15 cab ride from the Haight and there aren't any direct bus lines either, so that is the bad part. You will have an awesome night view of Golden Gate Bridge.
If you want to drink local, Hobson's Choice is my choice for good rum, I recommend the house punch or a dark and stormy. If you are hungry, you can order from the restaurant next door and they will bring dinner to you. There is also Magnolia, a brewery, it's a bit expensive but the dinner and beers are tasty. Birthday ice cream can be had at Ben and Jerry's. Hookah at Kan Zaman, although it's really hard to get a spot at the bar to smoke.
A little further out in the Castro is a wonderful dive bar called Lucky 13. Bring your dog and your sharpie. Birthday gelato is at Naia ("nie" like night, "ya" like yeah I want some friggin gelato!)
Happy Birthday!
posted by idiotfactory at 10:46 AM on June 25, 2008 [4 favorites]

Don't forget The Edinburgh Castle, friendliest bar tenders in the city.
posted by thankyoujohnnyfever at 11:30 AM on June 25, 2008

Seconding Kan Zaman ... if you go earlyish, you shouldn't have much trouble getting a spot at the bar. They have great Middle Eastern food, and a belly dancer some nights! Afterwards, sit on a comfy sofa and take in a movie at the Red Vic, just a few doors away.
posted by Koko at 12:02 PM on June 25, 2008

I spent my 21st in a new city as well, and I guess I wouldn't rule out just chilling with a new acquaintance at least for a little while. I had an internship and I became fast friends with the roommate I was placed with, and we went out for a memorable, if low-key, 21st celebration.
posted by sararah at 12:05 PM on June 25, 2008

When is your birthday?

Also, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the squidlist - you can often find interesting things to do there.
posted by pombe at 4:23 PM on June 25, 2008

Best answer: Happy birthday and welcome to San Francisco.

Provided it's sunny, my recommendation is to make a day of walking the length of Golden Gate Park from The Upper Haight to Ocean Beach. You can meander your way across in no particular hurry and be surprised at who/what you may serendipitously discover . . .
- drums and granola at hippy hill
- various gardens: botanical, japanese, rose, shakespeare, aids memorial
- the de Young (the observatory is free)
- rent a canoe at the lake
- check out the soccer games
- check out the old guys playing bocce ball
- crash a Tai Chi circle
- windmills!
- lunch at Park Chalet

After your adventure, you can spend some time at the beach around 4:20. If you walk north past the Cliff House you'll find the ruins of an old amusement park. If you walk south you can hook up with the N Judah inbound. Jump off at Carl & Cole, walk back the Haight and go to a bar called Alembic. Order an exquisite drink - like a rye manhattan or a sazerac. Then go home, reflect on the incredible day you had and do the whole thing again next weekend.
posted by quadog at 1:10 AM on June 26, 2008

A friend of mine went to a pub quiz in SF as a diversion when she didn't know anyone. The one I used to frequent is at the Pig and Whistle, sunday nights.

There are always small groups of people at bar trivia. Join a small team that seems more open, nail a few questions that they wouldn't have answered without you: instant friends.

Pleasant conversation at a decent clip, with nice breaks to ponder trivia questions, the questions themselves often lead to other interesting conversations.

Disclose that it's your 21st, free drinks all night.
posted by k7lim at 2:36 PM on June 28, 2008

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