Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Top 8 Awesome Things I've Found in San Francisco

Having been in San Francisco for almost 3 months now, I've had the time to explore a bit and find a few awesome, unexpected, or otherwise entertaining things. So I thought I'd make a post summing them up for your enjoyment.

In theory these are in order of awesomeness, but in reality they are all awesome.

8. The Greatest Spraypaint Artist Ever
Or if not ever, then at least the most entertaining in my limited experience. This guy is so far above the average punk scrawling illegible mess on bathroom walls they probably don't come within 100 meters of his location out of pure embarrassment.

Every piece of art he creates is done as a live performance incorporating everything from music to fire sprayed out of a can with the aid of a lighter. And the final products are impressive. Take a look below for a taste. This piece, of the Golden Gate at sunset, takes him just over 5 minutes from start to finish. No fire for this one unfortunately ;-)

7. A Castle
In the middle of the Mission District, a central, well-known part of the city, there is a castle. See.

From the official website:
This 200,000 square foot reproduction Moorish Castle was completed in 1914 and was used as a National Guard facility until 1976. It is full of period detail including cavernous dungeon-like basements, stone staircases, sweeping corridors, and a gigantic drill court spanning almost an acre. During rioting in San Francisco in 1934, it served as both a barricade and safety point for officers.
Its current use is much more entertaining. It is owned by, a fetish porn producer. This only occured recently, so for the years since the National Guard moved out in 1976, San Franciso had a full-fledged abandoned castle right in the middle of town. And now it has a porn castle. And both of these things are awesome in completely different ways.

6. The Stone Balancey Guy
This is a recent one from a bike ride just two days ago. Its awesomeness needs no explanation except to say there is nothing except stones and a lot of patience being used here:

5. The internet as a source of nutrients
Of course I was already familiar with the concept of ordering food online. The Hells Pizza website remains the premier food-related site in my mind. But here you can order almost any kind of food under the sun online.

Mmmm... Japanese Nutrients...

4. A car park
This one I've found several times now. And beleive me, here in San Francisco it's awesome every single time. A couple of American friends have told us that we'll know we're true Californians when the sight of a good parking spot brings tears to our eyes.

Just recently we had to have our car jump-started by the AA. We hadn't used it for three weeks because we found a really good spot and didn't want to lose it.

We don't know who DPT are, but they t0w you away when you park next to a curb coloured anything but grey.

3. A Sea View
As it turns out, the view from the top of our street is pretty spectacular. It just took me a week and a half to notice because it was always covered in fog.
It's not always this foggy, but it's a rare morning you can see all the way to the water.

2. A Chocolate Factory
Because not only is it a chocolate factory right there in the city, which produces great chocolate, they also give out free samples. Every day. To everyone who walks in the door. Even if you just go around in a little loop and come back 60 seconds later. They're too busy selling huge amounts of expensive chocolate to notice (or care).

1. A Mysterious Dark Tower with Evil Spires
Honestly, you can see this thing towering in the distance practically anywhere in San Francisco. They have to edit it out of the tourism photos.
Hint: Look for the evil tower of doom lurking in the foggy distance.

Turns out it's actually a radio tower, but San Francisco lore is that the guy who built it designed it the way it is because he liked the idea of the devil looking down on San Francisco. Whether that idea really did inspire the tower or (more likely) the tower inspired the idea, the key message is that it's freaky-looking and always watching you.

Note: Evil Spires.

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