Category Archives: san francisco

Running in San Francisco

Running in San Francisco is very much fun. I’d say much more than back in Ljubljana, because of all the hills that make the whole experience much more vibrant.

In one aspect it’s exactly like in intro from the TV show Weeds:

Lots of houses that look similar and pavement all around. You just need to add a bit of hills into the mix:

San Francisco Hills
Image by hao$ via Flickr

It’s then up to the runner to decide how far you want to get. Personally I quite enjoy climbing up and then slowly descending over the longer route.

The other I noticed is that people are much friendlier to runners around here. Lots of them give you a positive smile or greet you while you run by them and you get similar response from other runners. Maybe it’s just my neighborhood like that, but I’m not used to such welcome feeling at home.

The best part of running here is probably the weather. Pretty constant 12-16C makes it enjoyable while not too hot and light breeze from the ocean makes it even better.

For now, running is a much bigger win over here than roller skating.

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Exploratorium: hooray for tacticle science

I visited Exploratorium with the idea that this is yet another science museum with a bit more hands on approach. I was very positively surprised to discovered that it’s far from that. Instead of being classical museum it’s a giant ‘playground’ where each exhibit offers you an interactive experience around some concept, mostly from physics.

Whirlpool
Image by AGrinberg via Flickr

Exhibits are designed to be interacted by and you soon find yourself touching everything around you and just trying to learn by feeling and doing things. There were lots of super-excited kids running around which further hyped up the whole experience.

Two interesting things to note about the whole experience:

  • Some exhibits were video taped in order to be able to optimize the exhibits. I find this very refereshing as it shows that the staff here really cares about the experience and that they’re willing to go that extra mile to make it really enjoyable for the visitors. They also nicely solved the problem of privacy as they’ve clearly marked the times when the exhibit will be under video survailance so you could come later.
  • They build the exhibits themselves. Their workshop is part of the scenery and while they don’t actively work on the weekend, I imagine it has to be very interesting if you’re there during the week.

Example view:

Legalize Happiness
Image by AGrinberg via Flickr

There are also a few elements that are a nice touch, like this piano with an X underneath:

piano
Image by Gandalfar via Flickr

target


Overall, a very fun thing to do in San Francisco and you should check it out next time you’re around.

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Friday night skate – Tribute to Michael Jackson

I’m not sure how big deal is death of Michael Jacson back in Slovenia, but here in the states it seems quite a big thing, with all the news talking about it all the time while internet keeps generating more content and links to YouTube videos that have something to do with Michael Jackson.

As I’ve written before, Friday Night Skate has a big music element and today most of the songs were from Michael Jackson, mostly older recordings. There is also traditional Thriller dance at the Union Square, San Francisco which attracted quite a crowd and made everyone really hyped up and dancing!

I tried recording a video of it, but you unfortunely can’t see much. I’ll try to figure out something better for next week:

In short, lots of hype around MJ’s death and an interesting way how a group of people reacted to it. A bit bigger crowd this time – 40+ skaters.

union square, night skating
Image by Gandalfar via Flickr
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Navigation technology Fail in Bay Area

It’s easy to see San Francisco and Bay Area as the Western hub of hi-tech technology. The theory goes that one should be able to fully navigate and organize their day with a smartphone and a bit of change for the transportation. Which works pretty well for the most part.

Bay Bridge Silhouette
Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

You tell the phone to use GPS to figure out where in the space it is, you tell it where you want to go and decide on transportation mechanism: Driving, Public Transport and Walking. Google Maps then sends all this personal data to the big machine in the sky and gives you back directions. Pretty nifty as it knows most of the public transportation options.

That is also a catch for unwary traveller new to the area. It turns out that while there are plenty of transportation options during the day, the bay area public transport is tricky at night. It seems that Google Maps only knows night transportation within the San Francisco and gives up if you’re somewhere else, in Oakland for example. While 4 hours of walking are always an option, it’s not something you want to do at 1 AM. With a bit of luck you catch a cab and a bit of cash later, you’re home.

There’s a bigger lesson here. Blindly trusting the technology in corner cases such as late night trains, buses etc. is not very smart. Always check everything online three times to ensure that if you leave the party late, you’ll know how to return home and have a Taxi phone number with you, just in case ?

Sunday at San Francisco Zoo

What a better way to kill time on a sunny Sunday then to go visit a local Zoo. San Francisco Zoo is just around the corner, and since their penguin feeding has its own upcoming.com event, I even knew how to time it 😉

The Zoo is not too big and I really enjoyed the time there. Lots of penguins at their little Penguin island.

penguins

Flamingos

grizzly bear

You can see all the photos in the San Francisco Zoo Flickr Set.

One of the positive things that happened during my visit, was that @sfzoo found my Tweet that I’m going see penguins there and Tweeted me their feeding times. Very positive experience and the fact that someone was listening on Sunday afternoon:

@sfzoo