Forget The Flowers For Your Hair, Just Don't Bring Your Shorts To San Francisco (Part 1 of 2)

So it hasn't escaped my notice that the BlogHer conference is coming to San Francisco next week, which means ONE THOUSAND BLOGGERS will be descending on my city and some of them might be wondering where to get some good falafel. Or some good Thai food. Or just good and drunk.

(If you have been paying attention, by the way, you might have spotted that little purple and green badge over on the right there. You know, the one that says "I'm speaking at BlogHer." This badge is not lying: it is very, very true. I shall be speaking on a panel at BlogHer---it's about Blogging With a Global Perspective, because hello! I'm global! And I have a perspective!---and I do not mind telling you that I am really, really nervous about this. In the last few weeks, I have had three separate nightmares about this panel, all of which have included scenarios where a) nobody showed up, b) people showed up but they were all really nasty and mean and said terrible things to me, and c) I was supposed to be giving some sort of speech, but I didn't know, and so I hadn't written a speech, and so I just scrawled a few thoughts on a cocktail napkin a few seconds before it started and hoped for the best.)

(Also, in this one, BlogHer took place at my old boarding school in England. Which, come to think of it, would actually be a really awesome venue for it. Imagine if we all got to sleep in dormitories! And the panels took place in Latin classrooms and Chemistry labs! Hmm, someone remind me that I need to suggest that to Lisa Stone next week.)

But anyway, good falafel and good Thai food---particularly good falafel and good Thai food in San Francisco---are, uh, kind of my specialty, and so the point of this post is to perhaps give those people who haven't been to this city before a few nuggets of helpful information. I get a lot of email saying "hey! I am coming to San Francisco on vacation! Tell me some cool places to go!" And I always write these people back and say "Um, some of these suggestions I am about to give you might suck. I haven't really lived here very long and I'm really not very cool."

And so I would urge you, as you read my list of ideas, to keep this same disclaimer in mind. There is nothing hip or avant-garde about this compilation: it's pretty much a list of places Sean and I like going to on a regular basis, and I thought if you were here, you might like to go to them too. (And even if you're not coming for BlogHer next week, perhaps these suggestions will help you out on another visit.)

But firstly, if there was only ONE thing I could tell you before you came to San Francisco---say, if I was sworn to some sort of vow of silence regarding falafel and Thai food and such---I would tell you this: it's going to be cold. Yeah, I'm sure you've been reading about us having a heat wave this week; we have been having a heat wave, but it seems to be over now, and when I walked home from work wearing a dress and a cardigan at 6pm today, I was FREEZING, despite the fact that the heat wave had been in full effect when I walked to work in the morning. This is San Francisco weather for you: MOODY AND FICKLE.

I know it's hard to imagine right now, seeing as you are likely somewhere that has normal summer seasons, but the most important thing to remember about packing for a trip to San Francisco is LAYERS. Seriously, bring 'em all: the tank top, the t-shirt, the long-sleeved top, the hoodie (ooh, bring a ton of hoodies, we love hoodies here), the sweater, and yes, maybe even the light jacket. It gets cold here, and it especially gets cold in the evening. You will not be okay in just a sundress at night, I promise you, unless you are made of, like, titanium or something, or just really, really dig the goosebumps look. (Goosebumps! The Accessory Of '08! Match Each Frigid Pimple To Your Purse!) There is also the matter of the wind---the very, very windy wind---and you will find that this very, very windy wind will not only cause your hair to stick to your lipgloss in a very unbecoming way, but can also make even a 75-degree day feel unseasonably chilly.

Nothing makes me sadder---or let's be honest, laugh more heartily---than seeing freezing tourists wandering around Union Square in their shorts. So please don't bring shorts. You will not need shorts. There will be no need for shorts, I swear, and if for some reason there is a need for shorts, you will be able to take your pick from the shorts at the Gap, Banana Republic, Marshalls, Zara, Forever 21, and two different H&Ms, all within a stone's throw of the Westin St. Francis, the BlogHer hotel. I, personally, will even lend you some shorts if you find that you end up needing some. Although it will have to be first-come-first-served because I only own, like, one pair of shorts. Because guess what? YOU DON'T NEED THEM HERE.

And with that, let's talk about some places to eat!

Except........well, actually, let's not, because right before I went to publish this post, I accidentally closed the window without having saved anything, which meant that I lost EVERYTHING I'd just written, every single suggestion and recommendation.  And then Sean and I shouted at each other a whole bunch, and then I said "oh well, it'll just have to be a cliffhanger, I guess. I'll write the whole thing all over again, with all the suggestions and recommendations, at a time when I feel everso slightly less like throwing all the plates in the house against the wall."

So! Coming very soon (over the weekend, hopefully, or Monday maybe), the second part of this total tease of a post containing a list of places you might like to check out in San Francisco. Which makes it easier to skip, I guess, if having my favorite places in the city forced down your throat doesn't really sound like your cup of tea. Although don't blame me if you're looking for a good burrito at 2am and can't find it.

Jul 11, 2008

So you left your post in San Francisco, then?

(Sorry, couldn't resist - but better you post than your heart!)

Jul 11, 2008

I always knew you were a tease.

Jul 11, 2008

Summer months in San Francisco are SO WEIRD. I'm glad you wrote this - I have a feeling you will potentially save hundreds from blue lips and goosebumps. ;)

Jul 11, 2008

Well, hey, cheer up... at least you REALLY made your point about the whole shorts debate. (Just kidding, I can't stand it when I lose a post-- I've done that exact same thing!)
House of Jules

Jul 11, 2008

Not only am I coming to BlogHer, I am attending your panel. I promise I will not be mean!

Thank you for giving some insight on the weather. I have been really fretting over it, because of the whole "heat wave" nonsense.

It's 1 million degrees + humidity here, so obviously the thought of pulling out a jacket or anything with sleeves is a bit daunting.

Jul 11, 2008

Ooooh, I hate it when my entries disappear, in whole or in part. I can't wait to read about all the places you recommend though...this is really a great service you're doing those who will be descending upon SF with incorrect impressions of your fair city in their heads!

I'm certain you will be fabulous on your panel and hope someone will be liveblogging it!

Jul 11, 2008

mmm..falafel AND thai food?
i think i love you.

Jul 11, 2008

I personally hate how my legs look in shorts, so I will happily leave them at home.

Good tip on the light jacket, though. I was wondering if I should bring mine.

Also! I have never been to H&M (I KNOW!) so that little tidbit of information just made my day.

Jul 11, 2008

I miss San Francisco and her cold summers! I wish I was going to BlogHer so I could revel in the "shorts are for crazies" attitude and be pull out my favorite long sleeves and hoodies. (Dear Hoodies, it will be October soon and I promise I won't forget about you.)


Someone Being Me
Jul 11, 2008

Ah this brings back memories of my visit to San Francisco with my husband a few years ago. We visited in August. When we left Texas it was 100 billion degrees and humid outside. I tried to explain to him that San Francisco is not like the South. It does not "do" summer. Of course he didn't listen to me and ended up one of those shivering tourists. My mom took pity on him and bought him a big fleece lined San Francisco jacket at Pier 49.

Camels & Chocolate
Jul 11, 2008

I sure hope Bang San Thai makes the cut. You'll be happy to know I included it in my Sherman's Travel update, ha. And you should include Dosa (cheap Indian in the Mission), which Ali turned me on to.

Jul 11, 2008

I was just telling my friend, Jennie, that I guess I won't be bringing shorts. Shorts are REQUIRED here in Texas otherwise you might die of heat exhaustion.

Also, if you happen to know of some good vegetarian places I'd appreciate that. :)

Jul 11, 2008

You have to mention Sunflower on 16th and Venlencia for Veitnamese! It has the best pork balls with plum sauce I've ever had. Right next to that is Mediteranian Wraps and they make a mean falafel wrap...yum! I hate that I now live in the out-skirts of Sacramento in the middle of nowhere...I should go visit my parents this weekend just to eat!

Nothing But Bonfires
Jul 11, 2008

Jessica, I've never been to either of those places, but they sound great. Wow, even I'M learning something new.

Jul 11, 2008

AARRGHHH, nothing is more frustrating than losing an entire entry like that, especially if there were a few little parts you were proud of, or thought were kind of secretly hilarious. And when you read them over you thought "golly, I'd really like to be friends with ME if I read this!" and then the whole thing goes missing.

So, for that I'm sorry, but I am looking forward to reading your suggestions even though I won't be in San Fran anytime soon - the last time I was there, though, I bought a great pair of jeans, a bunch of makeup and (yes) a hoodie for right-that-instant because I was freezing.

jennifer in sf
Jul 11, 2008

I had the exact same hot in the morning/freezing on the walk home in my skirt situation yesterday. That's what I get for believing the hype and forgetting the cardinal rule of living in SF: never leave home without a jacket.

For the person asking about vegetarian food up there, you can pretty much go anywhere and get something, but I would HIGHLY recommend you hit Papalote for some Mexican food that will blow your mind and Cha-Ya for some Japanese food (all vegetarian!) that will blow your mind.

Jul 11, 2008

Now I really want a falafel. Power of suggestion!

Jul 11, 2008

Osha better be on the list for Thai!

Also, I second the recommendation for Sunflower, for Vietnamese. (And PPQ on Irving.)

Oh man, I could go on and on for days about food in the city.

Jul 11, 2008

I've lived here for seven years and the only time I've worn shorts in public was to the beach during a crazy heatwave. (And even then it was a beach in Alameda; I can't imagine shorts on Ocean Beach!) Shorts are just Not Done here.

Jul 11, 2008

I have to make a correction. The name of the Mediteranean place is Truely Mediteranean, not Mediteranean Wraps...that was a place that I used to go to on California Ave in Palo Alto. That place is really good too, if you are in that area.

Jul 11, 2008

So I'm not going to Blogher, because I have a one year old and took the last year off to be with her but now I am trying to get a job because I have no money, so I will live vicariously through all you fabulous women...but I digress.

The thing I loved about this post?

The part about you and Sean yelling at each other...not because you were yelling at each other, (because that looks horrible now that I read what I wrote, I'm sorry you fought,) but because in the exact same situation in my house, when I'm working on my computer and it goes to pot?
The end result is my hubby and I yelling at one another too.

I get mad at the computer, (or the printer or the fake Tivo, or the telephone or whatever inferior technological device has failed me at that moment) and I start yelling and stomping around and then he gets mad at me, which then give me ammunition to yell at him about why we have such "crappy stuff," or "why won't you help me instead of yelling at me"
something along those lines and then it all dissolves into a ridiculous episode that neither of us are proud of.

And so when you wrote about your computer troubles, I read it and I laughed to myself, feeling your pain simply because I have been there so many, many times.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jul 11, 2008

Oh Stephanie, that is EXACTLY how it went down. Welcome to my life.

Jul 11, 2008

oooh... falafel. must know where the good stuff is. and please add house of nanking to the list. fab chinese food in a total dive where the guy will just bring you whatever he feels like.

Jul 12, 2008

Keep 'em coming folks. I'm not a blogger so won't be at this fabulous forthcoming event, but far down the peninsula in still-hot and sunny Cupertino I'm loving the SF foodie suggestions.

And, Holly -- you have my utmost admiration for having re-collected yourself enough to post *any*thing with a title other than "AAUGHHHH!" after the loss of an entire post!

In the interpersonal aftermath of such situations I find it really (sort of) helps (a little) to remember that I'm upset (furious) about the *situation* not the other (lameass who forgot to do whatever it was three days ago that I didn't say anything about at the time but obviously should have since that's clearly what precipitated this mess in the first place) person involved. Sometimes.

Now to see if I can figure out a way to get this to go through your form without a website since I don't actually have one of those of my own and my comments haven't been showing up here for weeks -- boo :-(

Jul 12, 2008

Hah! "" it is, then :-)

Jul 12, 2008

That cliffhanger stings. I'm coming to San Fran week, 4 days respectively to "live" for a MONTH! And what ho? Here is a post from someone who might know something of what to eats and where to go's in San Francisco. Sigh. Alas! I threw one plate against the wall for you losing what I'm sure was lengthy recommendations with clever anecdotes tied in, and one plate for what I could've been adding to my San Fran itinerary this very day. The list will wait...I will wait...Good luck with round 2! One person in Utah is literally hanging over that cliff with much angst and anticipation.