Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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Maybe I'll e-mail brad and see if I can tour the LJ offices instead. They just moved to SF a few months ago.

Anyone else in the SF area have some ideas about stuff to see? I'd dig checking out some Silicon Valley stuff while I'm there, you know? vyoma, you're a reformed San Franciscan, aren't you? Do you have any suggestions?
Hi Dustin,

Thank you for your note. We appreciate your enthusiasm about Google; however, at this time we don't offer Google tours of our facilities.

You can find information about Google, including search services, corporate information, services available for site owners, and much more, at http://www.google.com/about.html.

Additionally, you may be interested in receiving our free bimonthly Google Friends Newsletter, which keeps you up to date on all the latest happenings at Google. Simply visit http://www.google.com/contact/newsletter.html to sign up.

The Google Team

Original Message Follows:
From: d-----@-------------.com
Subject: Can I visit and tour your Mountain View headquarters?
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2005 15:58:47 -0000

Hi there,

I'm going to be travelling to San Francisco next week, and I was wondering if you offer tours, informal or otherwise, to the public. I'm not seeking employment, I'm just a long-time Google fan who would enjoy seeing your operation.

Thank you.

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vyoma April 5th, 2005
Where to even begin?

There's not all that much to see in Silicon Valley, really. It's a lot of office buildings and bedroom communities. It's where people go to work.

If you really want to see the good stuff, you'll want to check out San Francisco and northward. I'd recommend the Haight and the Castro neighborhoods in particular, and you won't go wrong to take some time to poke around in the areas between Ocean Beach and Fort Funston, a little bit to the south, right on the border with Daly City. There's a good deal of funkiness to be found (or at least there used to be) in the South of Market area as well. Oh! While you're in the Haight, go to a bar called Noc Noc and have a drink. The interior of the place must be seen to be believed. I won't even try to explain.

Also, take a trip to Berkeley. Spend a few hours on Telegraph Avenue. You'd also love the area around University and San Pablo Avenue; it's all Indian shops and culture. Stop by Ajanta and say "hi" to Kumar, and tell him Brian and Marianne said hello, too. Hopefully, he'll still remember us! While you're in the neighborhood, head over to Kamal Palace (I forget the address, but it's right across the street from UC Berkeley, three blocks off Shattuck Ave) and I guarantee you'll have the best Indian food you've ever tried... especially if you get one of their kormas or the mattar paneer.

Also, head north of SF, across the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Marin Headlands and spend some time in the hills overlooking the ocean. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth, and there are ruins of old military fortifications. Can't go wrong. You might want to tour around Sausalito a bit while you're in the neighborhood. You might even bump into Annie Sprinkles if your luck is in.

Ummm... jeez... what else? North Beach! City Lights Book store! Damn, there's just too much to list. I'd definitely suggest checking out The SF Chronicle and maybe The SF Bay Guardian calendars to see what's going on while you're in town.

Whatever you decide to do, AVOID PIER 39! I can't stress this enough. It's a total rip-off, and has nothing much to do with San Francisco. The only reason to possibly go there would be to catch a boat to take you over to Alcatraz.

Oh yeah! The Exploratorium can be great fun if you're in the right mood, too. It's right next to the Palace of Fine Arts, which is a good place to kill about 20 minutes looking at the backsides of mourning muses.

Well, I guess that's a start, anyhow. You could probably use up an entire day just on the Haight and Castro!

iamom April 5th, 2005
OMG, I didn't expect such an exhaustive activity list! Thanks, B! I'll let you know how it all works out. I'm looking forward to the trip.

mimesis April 5th, 2005
i just got back from a week in SF. things i loved that i'd send everyone to:

1. City Lights Bookstore
2. Palace of Fine Arts (completely gorgeous)
3. since you have a young daughter, maybe she is old enough to enjoy the Exploratorium, which is right next to #2.
4. the Presidio?
5. any cafe in North Beach, which tend to have groups of old men speaking Italian in them, a real treat for me who is used to this sort of place being inhabited by college students.
6. ...there's so many places. the obvious ones, like the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, Chinatown, or the oceanfront...
7. if you have time, try to make it up to Point Reyes. it's an hour to 90 minutes north of the city and is completely worth an afternoon or whole day.

wickenden April 5th, 2005
I second the mention of the Marin headlands. Muir woods is one of those places I keep thinking about.


millennialhippy April 6th, 2005
cute icon!

If you are interested in tours of businesses, Ideo.com is reputed to have a wild set-up (in San fran and Palo Alto). Stanford has a lovely campus. I walked around downtown palo alto, which has some shops. But, my week there was more of an escape from obligations so I was not eager to be a tourist and mostly sat outside or walked.

baal_kriah April 6th, 2005
As a former resident of SF (for 20 years) I would recommend some restaurants, La Taqueria at 25th and Mission or Puerto Allegre on Valencia near 16th for excellent Mexican; Herbivore on Valencia near 21st for vegan/vegetarian; Boogaloo's at Valencia and 22nd (or is it 21st) for breakfast; Magnolia at Haight and Masonic for pub food and microbrewery goodness. There are many more, but those are all quite good and reasonably inexpensive.

iamom April 21st, 2005
Hey, thanks for the tip on The Taqueria in Mission. We went, and the super burritos were truly outstanding...

baal_kriah April 22nd, 2005
Yes, I like that they use whole beans instead of the refried (healthier, too!). Hmmm, I'm going to be up in the City this weekend. Maybe we'll make a stop in the Mission :-)

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