By R. Anthony Diaz |Asst. Features Editor|
If you’re headed to San Francisco you don’t have to wear flowers in your hair, but I do recommend bringing a cardigan.
Mark Twain was once quoted saying, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
I don’t think he was joking, but don’t let this discourage you from visiting. I call this my favorite southwest city, because it’s the only place aside from Phoenix that you could actually fly to at the spur of the moment for less than $100 each way.
If you’re traveling within California, Southwest Airlines is almost always the way to go. If you do head here for a 36 hour getaway, remember that the best times to visit is May and April or September and October.
With the weather as unpredictable as a gay diva, you never know what to expect so go prepared.
Every time I am in San Fran the atmosphere and culture make it what it is; fun, different and unexpected. No matter where you decide to stay this is definitely a city you want to get lost in. Stay away from the Fisherman’s Wharf — it is only great jogging territory.
A few months ago I flew up with my posse to visit my friend Eric who had landed a job at one of the hottest marketing and advertising firms. I never miss an opportunity to celebrate.
Of all the times I had been there, this was the most random ever. I was three sheets to the wind by 10 a.m. thanks to a Bisou, a wonderful French bistro in the heart of the Castro, a wonderful neighborhood with rainbow flags aligning the streets and a good dose of insanity everywhere.
I was walking to get a smoothie and all of a sudden I see a man just hanging out, conversing naked in his socks. Yuck. And apparently I was the only one shocked. The city is so liberal nobody seemed to care.
Eric’s friends came along and by late afternoon we had a group of people in one neighborhood to the next on some random excursion. I felt like I was in the film “Garden State” not knowing where I’d end up next.
By the afternoon I was in the hills on a rooftop looking out onto the entire city. Then North of the Panhandle, also known as NoPa, is a very narrow park neighborhood that has no restrooms within a convenient vicinity. And finally in the Haight. This neighborhood could define the city’s spirit; random, colorful, free and just a good time.
We stopped at a unique clothing store where everyone was buying the most random outfits for Burning Man, a crazy annual art event that you may or may not want to miss. The place had nothing I would ever wear, but we love everyone!
After, we were on a mission to get to the Mission; a hipster neighborhood that has yummy ice cream. It just so happened that another group of friends were in town at the same time so double the fun!
We all hung out at Eric’s place in Dolores Park, and I thought I had major interior design skills, but his roommate works for Ken Fulk Design and well yea, you just can’t compete with one of the best designers in the Bay Area. His work is fierce.
The city is home to some of the most talented and hard working people. Earlier this year I met the CEO of JC Penny at the Resort at Pelican Hill and he said he had a home in San Francisco and London.
I asked him what the trick was to avoid jet lag and actually enjoy a day after arriving to a destination.
He gave me some useful advise and told me to get to bed by 4 p.m. and wake by 4 a.m. and you’ll be ready for the day no matter where you are in the world.
Although I could not get to bed by 4 p.m. I am sure it will work for someone who is constantly between two distant places.
Although there are plenty of neighborhoods to stay in, you can never go wrong South of the Market, also known as SoMa, because it is in the center of it all and easily accessible to any other part of town.
So once you are here, grab your cardigan, hop on a trolley and be on your “Mary” little way!