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June 11, 2013

You Only Live Once in San Francisco



Whether you use it as a handy abbreviation, an excuse for stupid mistakes, or consider it the most annoying phrase in your news feeds... YOLO (You Only Live Once) is the perfect catch-all term for yelpy summer fun.

Have ideas for UYEs (Unofficial Yelp Events)? Email yolo@yelp.com to submit the idea to the YOLO council to help organize! Email yolo@yelp.com


1. A Shoe Shine on Market Street: The hum of street cars & their bells ringing. The bustle of tourists, locals working, and the occasional guy with a bullhorn, there's no better way to take in the heart of the city than the age-old tradition of getting a shoe shine on Market Street. Recommend the guy at the corner of Sansome & Market.



2. Ride The Church J up the Dolores Park Hill, hop off snap photo on bench, hop back on to go through winding tunnel. While there are horror stories of SF Muni, sometimes on certain lines the charm of the city prevails, like on the J. Pick it up anywhere North of 18th street, and after Dolores Street sit near the front of the car for a ride that feels like you're right next to Hitchcock filming the cinematic line.

3. The Buffalo Paddock: What other city has the American Buffalo roaming right in the middle of it all? Not even Buffalo, New York could say. Yes, in Golden Gate Park, the preserve has a small herd always roaming in a small valley.

4. View from California & Powell: Be it a cable car or walking up the stairs, is there a view that better captures this city? Looking down into the canyon of the city, out to the bay with the historic Nob Hill behind you, yes, you're on top of the world.

5. Split Cioppino at the Tadich Grill, tip: sit at the bar. Don't be phased by the prices, their $29 Cioppino is made for two. The oldest continuously operating business in San Francisco has served the shivering cold in the Gold Rush to the gilded elite. The Cioppino dish was invented here in SF:

6. Hippie Hill: While our city has gone through generation changes, currently a well spring of gentrified neighborhoods, much hasn't change at the east entrance to golden gate park. Drum circles. Hacky sack. Et al.

7. San Francisco Saloons: It's true... if there's a staple to this city from the very beginning, it's the need to have a gathering place to get away from the long day toil -- whether it's rushing for gold, rushing from your day to day work space -- there are three saloons that have been around from the very beginning, so put on your derby cap and finest wear for a cross town crawl of The Saloon, Elixir & Shamrock.

8. Race against the Fillmore Bus: you read that right. What's one great way to take it to Muni other than to race it as a group on foot? The idea: the bus that runs up Fillmore, race it from Fillmore & Haight to Fillmore & Bay.

9. While the beers may be mellow, the bartenders at Toronado are all business, and take pride in their work. If there's one group of hardworking men & women behind the stick that defines what it means to live & work in San Francisco, it's the staff at Toronado. You may say they're surly, we say they're our heroes with the best cure for what ales us.

10. When we say Chinatown, before we even think of the pink bags and the cane-slapping bus riders, we say Karaoke. It's a pastime. It's a phenomenon that shouldn't be overlooked as if you bop around other cities, we stand out in the crowd when you consider this gem. We recommend Bow Bow:

11. The Alemany Farmers Market: People are happier and less stressful when they shop at farmers markets, and there are an abundance here. Nearly every day of the week you can connect with local farmers and immerse yourself in the crops & culture.


12. The Martini, anywhere. Maybe it was at the Occidental Hotel. Maybe it was out in Martinez. There are myths that surround the cocktail of them all... if there's a city to stand by it, it's us. Have one anywhere.

13. Watch the Giants at Double Play Bar. Before the Giants there were the Seals, and the original baseball stadium of the city was right there across the street from Double Play. Double Play is that bar you find Giants fans lined up at the bar, clanking their beer mugs on the bar to rally their team.

14. The Exploratorium! Science. Technology. Community. Explore this adventurous space that embodies modern San Francisco.

15. So... there's a guy on Haight & Ashbury, especially on weekends, that will write you a poem on a typewriter. No other words necessary. Do it.

16. El Farolito after midnight. Yeah, you could go whenever you'd like, but really... it's the line up late at night that really captures what's happening in the Mission right now.

17. The Precita Eyes Mural Tour: You may see tourists lining up for this tour through the Mission. So, hell, strap on your fanny pack, and stroll through one of SF's unique cultural trails.

18. The other windiest street in the world -- Vermont St in Potrero. Lombard Street gets all the glory, but in fact... Vermont Street has a say that it's even windier. Tucked on the backside of Potrero Hill, walk it, bike it, big wheel it or ride down it...

19. The Barbary Coast Trail. Winding through the older parts of the northeast portion of the city... this trail, along with a guided tour, captures a time in SF that was bawdy & welcomed every type of libertine.

20. The Pride Fest -- June 29-30. Currently, there may not be a more important cultural movement than the civil rights of everyone, and it's our city's Pride Fest that flies the flag in our city that's the flagship of civil freedoms. http://sfpride.org/

21. Fun fact: SF is a Jazz City. The Fillmore Street Jazz Fest on July 6th-7th is the way to celebrate proper:


22. Tuesday Noon Siren. Ever notice this tradition? The siren that rings through the entire city to connect us in case of an emergency. Look, let's face it, everyone thinks about the earthquakes & fires who live here. It's the only city we've noticed where a "Go Pack" next to the door is as common as an umbrella. How do we unite around this? Give us ideas.

23. Where's Yoda? Children around the world ask that. Well... the most solid form of Yoda is right here in the Presidio, outside of ILM.

24. Cottage Row: Maybe the most hidden path in San Francisco. Maybe the calmest little patch of grass in the city. Go find it. http://www.yelp.com/biz/…

25. Macondray Lane: Armistead Maupin wrote Tales of the City. This is at the center of what we mean when San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the world.


Want to host your own YOLO event, playing host(ess) to one of the outings above? Post a "UYE" (Unofficial Yelp Event) with all the details on your YOLO event, and email yolo@yelp.com with a link to your event on Yelp. We'll include it here!


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