Paris in San Francisco

OK, not exactly, but if you have interest in French Antiques, Butler and the Chef is the place to go. No imitations here, because everything has been imported from France. They have a big collection of goodies that both fun, useful and decorative. Instead of a long description of items, it’s better if you just go and check out the latest stock, as it’s constantly changing. A few photos might tell part of the story.

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Who is JR?


After a little shopping in Paris, I walked outside and saw this. OMG!! I had no idea what it was, who did it and why. After returning home to San Francisco, I was showing my trip photos to a friend at the design firm where I worked at the  time. He immediately reacted to this photo, “Oh, you saw a JR piece, how cool.” I had no idea who JR was at the time, but he explained how he’s been blowing up photos, pasting them on buildings to make a statement, like above. He’s done installations all over the world and words here can’t do them justice, so I recommend you go to his site and poke around to see what I’m talking about. He also won an award for his TED talk, which also explains more about his efforts. I will say that what he’s doing is amazing and designed to provoke thought and discussions.

I was so happy to meet JR at the screening … and get a quick photo of the two of us.


Details from his website …

JR owns the biggest art gallery in the world.

He exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. His work mixes Art and Act, talks about commitment, freedom, identity and limit.

After he found a camera in the Paris subway, he did a tour of European Street Art, tracking the people who communicate messages via the walls. Then, he started to work on the vertical limits, watching the people and the passage of life from the forbidden undergrounds and roofs of Paris.

JR’s latest gig is a film titled Ellis, starting Robert De Niro. I encourage you to watch the trailer, then get involved and help others see the movie. It’s not meant to be merely shuttled around the Internet, but rather, shown to groups of friends and relatives to start a discussion about immigration.

For more about him and his work, go to his website and explore what’s there. Take the time, it’s worth it.

Keep up the great work JR, and thanks for what you do.


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FREE Bike Rentals (Kind of)







I passed by a sign the other day that said “Basically FREE Bike Rentals”. After a bit of research, I understand how it works. In a nutshell, you rent a bike, they charge your credit card, then give you a credit voucher for their “sister” store, Sports Basement (on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and a very complete store, I might add), and you have a credit to purchase anything in the store up to the value of your bike rental (about $32). It’s kind of free and kind of a good deal if you’re in the market for something from their huge store. We can always use another piece of gear from a sporting goods store, right?


The only small drawback (and it’s REALLY small) is you have to return the bike to the store where you got the bike, which is a few blocks from the ferry you’ll probably take back from Sausalito. It’s OK as long as you know which ferry to take back, so it’s not a big drawback. My FREE eBook (click on FREE DOCS above) tells you to go back to the Ferry Building, but if you opt to do the free bike thing, you’ll need to note that, so you don’t waste time. Take the ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf. Frankly, the Ferry building is not that far, but a few people mentioned it as a problem, so I’m offering it as a heads up, so you’ll know what to expect. To ride from the Ferry Building to return the bike will only take a few minutes. I think it’s about 10 – 12 blocks at best.


I found this review by Albertino M on Yelp, which explains it all very nicely. I hope he’s OK with me posting it here (IF NOT Albertino M, just let me know and I’ll write my own version. I just thought you did a great job.)

Albertino M says:

Purpose: Knowing me, when ever a sign says “free”. I get jittery and start mumbling to myself, I’m not crazy though.

Set-up: Located on the corner of Columbus/Bay street the long time former spot of Tower Records. Bikes of all types even kids are available for rental. Place is rental only no sales of anything. For purchases you’ll need to head over to Crissy Fields Sports Basement.

Staff: One girl late 20s and older guy early 50s seems to be the house mechanic. Both were courtesy by letting me walk around browsing. I went ahead asking how the program work. Being very skeptical, I knew there has to be a catch somewhere along the line. Just couldn’t figure it out at the moment. Then it became apparent that there’s no catch. The name of business backs up the claim, to a certain extent.

Cleanliness: Grade A, In compliance to city and building specs for the kind of business it offers. Spacious with lounge chairs and sofas.

Bagging It: Didn’t take out a bike due to the attire and time of day, too late. I understand the program so, I’ll return next time do a rental when I need something from their store. Stay tuned!

Main Feature: Bike rental with value of your rental apply towards your purchase at their brick and mortar store.

Products/Services: Bikes from hybrid, electric, tandem, road, kids bike. Prices range from $15/kids to $60/road bike. Receipt is good for 72hrs before expiring.

Punch Lines: Good for environment, beats traffic, beginners/novice/pro welcome, healthy, lock provided, ride as much/less as you please, no area limits, hourly/full day, time saving, parking/ticket worry free, Cannondale rentals, all bikes tune/inspected.

Tradeoffs: Not really free, as store credit is just a catch to get you in the store and spend more. This resulting in over spending and beyond your means.

Final Thoughts: It’s free if you really need a particular item or been eyeing it for a while. You may not want to rent a bike if you don’t need anything from the store. The credit is good for up to 72hrs. After that its no good, you’re still left with a charge from your CC, for time bike is in use. However, it beats out other competitors around. At least you can get something that you may have wanted for a while.

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Bum Rap – A 10 Minute Film Noir

If you’re a film buff or just want to see some of the sites here in San Francisco, this little film might be the treat you’re looking for. Most of it was filmed in San Francisco, but you’ll also catch a few bits of New York too. Here’s the YouTube version …

Bum Rap tells in visual and musical terms the tale of an ex cop who desires to get some thrills back into his life by becoming an F.B.I. agent. But first, he needs to take a nap. He forgets to give it back.

Bum Rap is a Smokin’ Mirrors Production by Andre Hunt. It’s also available at IMDB in higher resolution CLICK HERE

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Movie Shoot Locations in San Francisco

Yes, a lot of movies are shot here in San Francisco, but who knows where they are? Someone (you’ll see who below … thank him) took the time to plot all the film shoot locations from January 2013 until August 2015, and created this amazing map: Metrocosm Interactive Map – Movie Shoot Locations.

Below is an overview map, but the best info is at the Metrocosm site.


Who created this map?

Max Galka Profile I’m Max Galka, a guy who is fascinated by data.I cofounded a real estate data business called Revaluate. Prior to that, I have at different points in my career used data to model natural disasters, mortgage prepayments, and human life expectancy.I also enjoy working on data-related projects outside of work. My fantasy football models rarely work out very well, but the Texas Hold-em program I built in college is one of the things I am most proud of.I am also a very happily-married husband, an aspiring vegetarian, a feminist, an information privacy paranoid, and a proud New Yorker.If you have any questions or comments about the site or just want to say hello, please drop me a line or connect with me on on Twitter: @galka_max.

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OMG – Jewel in the Jungle

There are only a few small gay bars in downtown SF and I think this one is the best.

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You’ll LOVE the happy hour prices and OMG the variety of cocktails rivals most hotel bars, but prices are about half!!!

They also have drag shows. I haven’t been to one … yet … but plan too soon. AND, they have a DJ and a dance floor, which is virtually unheard of in the city these days.
Yes, it’s on 6th and the neighborhood looks a bit sketchy, but, it’s safe and across the street from two of the most popular restaurants in the city (for cheap good food) – Dottie’s True Blue Cafe (amazing breakfasts, mostly) and Tu Lan (amazing Vietnamese). You may have to step over a few drunks on the way. I’m kidding. It’s not that bad, but there’s a lot going on there, just don’t linger along the way. Be adventurous.


Both the bartender and the owner of OMB said we could bring our food in from Tulan and eat at the bar. How cool is that?

Say HI to Paresh, the owner and Chris the bartender. Tell them RandySFO sent you. They’re both nice people. HAVE FUN!!! They’re geared-up for it!!!

At this writing, Tuesday – Friday, Happy Hour is 5-8 and it’s 2 for 1 cocktails. On Saturday and Sunday, Happy Hour runs from 7-10, but  there’s different pricing. It’s still a deal. And where can you go that late and still find a happy hour in this town? OMG, that’s where!

Click here for more info, updates and events!

Posted in Cheap Fun, Cocktails, Dance, Music, Odd, People Watching, SOMA | Leave a comment

Lindy in the Park – FREE Swing Dance Lessons


FREE SWING DANCE LESSONS! OR, just go to dance. Every Sunday 11am – 2pm. What a fun way to spend a few hours on an otherwise lazy Sunday afternoon! This has been going on since 1996, and it’s always fun and open to anyone. (click here or above to go to the official website) Here’s some info from the website:

Lindy in the Park

Free swing dancing every Sunday (weather permitting, of course). 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM On John F Kennedy Drive (JFK Dr) in Golden Gate Park, between 8th and 10th Avenue, in the Richmond District of San Francisco. (No automobile traffic is allowed in this area on Sundays). Free beginner swing dance lesson at noon.  No experience or partner

History of Lindy in the Park

Lindy in the Park, or LitP, was founded by Lindy Hoppers Chad Kubo and Ken Watanabe in August of 1996, and is the original free swing dance party. Held every Sunday (weather permitting) in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, LitP is the longest-running swing dance “venue” in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is open to dancers of all ages and levels. There is space to sit, take a breather, chat with friends and strangers, dancers and tourists, and otherwise enjoy the fresh outdoor air. It is a perfect venue to practice your social dancing to the sounds of jazz, blues and swing music, and sometimes even a few surprises.

Lindy in the Park

Posted in Dance, Event, Free Fun, Fun, Music, Odd, Outdoor, People Watching, Silly, Tourist Activity | Leave a comment