It's hard being young, broke and beautiful. Luckily, Broke-Ass Stuart, author of the popular Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco (and a pretty swell yelper himself) has been penny pinching for a long time. Our own Nicole G and Jessica T got cozy with the Broke-Ass One at Butter to get his take on all that's fun, cheap and free in this zany city we call home.
Jessica: We hear San Francisco is your all-time favorite city. Why?
BAS: Because no matter how freaky-deaky you are, there is always someone WAY more deranged than you. Plus, have you looked at this city? It's beautiful.
Nicole: You're known for searching out the best cheap eats in town. What's in your top 3 right now?
BAS: I'm always a fan of Yamo -- that place is so good and so cheap! I've also recently been going to Taqueria Guadalajara, which is amazing. Plus, a few weeks ago I had a slice from Golden Boy Pizza for the first time in a while. I had forgotten how stellar that sh*t is.
Nicole: What's your favorite late night dining option?
BAS: These days I'll just go for whatever taqueria is closest, whether Cancun or El Farolito.
Jessica: Man can't live on bread alone. Can you really get free booze every night of the week?
BAS: Yes, you can. A lot of the nicer hotels around Union Square, like the Hotel Monaco, give out free wine from 5 - 7 p.m. So you can always check those out.
Jessica: Where can we find you hanging out on a typical Friday night?
BAS: I'm usually in the Mission. I've been lazy lately, so I haven't had the desire to leave the neighborhood. I think I end up at Delirium or Casanova a lot, but that might just be due to their proximity to the Bacon Dog Cart.
Nicole: How do you impress your lady? You must have some unique date spots up your sleeve.
BAS: Luckily for me, having "Broke-Ass" in my name sets the bar pretty low. They know that we're not gonna go to Boulevard. :) I like activity-related dates like going to the museums on free days. If it's a nice night, drinking wine or 40s in Dolores Park is always a solid bet. Otherwise, try an art opening.
Jessica: What are some of your favorite free activities?
BAS: I like to wander and explore neighborhoods I don't usually go to. You can always find cool sh*t. San Francisco is full of neat places to see like the Wave Organ or the pet cemetery in The Presidio. There are tons of cool stairway walks you can take. If that sounds like too much walking for you, you can just sit in your house and play Grand Theft Auto.
Nicole: You're on top of the local art and music scene. How can we enjoy the arts while penny pinching?
BAS: When you go to an event, let’s say like the SF Indie Mart, you can meet people who are into the same sh*t you are and do some networking. That way you can find out about all the cool, cheap, underground events.
Nicole: Where do you get your clothes? You have that je ne sais quoi.
BAS: Almost everything I wear is second-hand. I shop at thrift stores like Mission Thrift and Community Thrift and garage sales. Plus, I stole a lot of clothes from my dad's closet. I've also had
a lot of my clothes for years, so what I do is constantly try to think
of new ways to wear the same clothes. I try to match them up
differently each time. Sure, sometimes I look like Stevie Wonder dressed me, but most of the time I end up looking kinda fly.
Jessica: We hear you just got a new apartment. Where did you go bargain hunting for furniture and quirky decos?
BAS: Craigslist is of course my go-to source. You can find anything from an armoire to a blowjob on Craigslist, and often at the same place. Also, we've been going to Ikea, the Salvation Army and the Goodwill to fill in the stuff we couldn't find on the internet. But thankfully this is San Francisco, and sometimes you can just be walking down the street and someone has put
out some furniture on the street that you just so happen to need. Some call it serendipity, I call it
"finders keepers, losers weepers."
Nicole: One person's trash is another person's treasure. Where can we find the best castaways?
BAS: Anywhere really. It's just a matter of luck. But if I were a betting man, I'd wager that at the end of each school year you’d find some pretty good stuff on the streets around USF. There are a lot of rich kids at that school. But then again, I'm not a betting man, because the last thing I need to be is any more broke.