Just back from San Francisco

Old May 25th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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AR
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Just back from San Francisco

Just returned from a business trip to San Francisco, but made sure that I got in as much sightseeing as possible having travelled from the UK.
Firstly, it is always a pleasure to travel to the USA but San Francisco gave an especially warm welcome.
We were unable to get a room at the Grand Hyatt Union Square, which was the venue for our conference, and was given a room at the Cartwright Hotel. This was obviously not in the same class as the Hyatt with an unbelievably small room and bathroom, but the friendliness of the staff gave it more comfort. It was very convenient, though. There was free wine from 5-6pm every night and a complimentary buffet breakfast. In addition, my luggage didn't make it from Amsterdam (a common story with Schiphol, I'm told) until the second night but the reception made sure I had sufficient bathroom items etc.
During the time we had in the city, we managed to climb the top of the Coit Tower, explore the Palace of Fine Arts, Chinatown, ride a cable car and visit Fisherman's Wharf.
We stayed for an extra few days at the end of the conference and took a trip to Muir Woods and Sausalito. I was anxious to get a chance to see the Redwoods and Muir Woods was so convenient. I had pre-booked a trip to Alcatraz (which I'm told is essential to pre-book) which was amazing. The audio tour was superb and well worth the modest fee of $16 for the tour and boat crossing.
The conference itself ended with a tour of Napa Valley with visits and tastings at Chandon and Stirling vineyards.
On our penultimate day we had booked a day trip to Yosemite but the valley was closed due to flooding. Nonetheless, our driver (in a van and not a bus, so we were at least able to see some of the park) pressed on and went to the Giant Redwoods and to Hetch Hetchey reservoir. A poor substitute to the valley itself but at least we got to see some scenery, especially dramatic on the drive back down.
All in all, I really enjoyed San Francisco. I have visited California before but went south to Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Diego but found the atmosphere in the north much different.
The city itself obviously has it's problems with beggars at every street corner - although they were mostly harmless and quite friendly.
I found Fisherman's Wharf to be completely out of character with the rest of the city with it's exploitative outlook. There were numerous hawkers trying to sell boat trips etc. I did enjoy the "bush man" - even though I had filmed him for several minutes on my camcorder, he still caught me big time!
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Old May 25th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Glad you had such a nice visit, AR--SF is not the typical American city, that's certain. But I have to ask: who on earth is the bush man??
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Old May 25th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Hello AR, it sounds like you really enjoyed SF which is so nice to hear. And you got around quite a bit, that is nice.

Now about the bushman that E asked about. I will let you explain. BTW, did you jump out of your skin?
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Old May 25th, 2005, 04:50 PM
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In all the years of going to SF I've NEVER seen the Bushman.

Guess he sees me first? :-?

Sounds like you had a great time.
Great city.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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I missed the Bushman too. Does anyone remember the human jukebox? He was always down by the Wharf years ago. That's why I love SF.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 05:26 PM
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AR, glad you enjoyed San Francisco--one of my favorite cities on the planet. You were wise to pre-book Alcatraz as I have yet to make it there due to lack of a pre-book!

So, the Bushman is still in business... I've been to San Fran three times--the first time I witnessed the Bushman in action and swore I would never be on the receiving end...it was on my second trip that the Bushman surprised me but good, too! On his cardboard sign he has written in black magic marker the year he established his "business" but I don't recall what it is.
 
Old May 25th, 2005, 05:30 PM
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Cre,
I think I got one of my fave websites off of this board: mistersf.com.
The Bushman is listed under San Franciscans.

It shows Grimes Poznikov as the Human Jukebox.
We love to run into The Twins, Vivian and Marion Brown, walking around late evenings. It makes you do a double take....Esp after a long night in NoBeach.

The Wharf in the 60s/70s was something else....come to think of it, so was SF! >-
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:33 PM
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Yes, I remember the Human Jukebox well. I wonder how many years he was there. The Bushman "got" us last time we were in Fisherman's Wharf. My daughter let out an ear-piercing scream that must still be echoing amidst the Financial District highrises.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:54 PM
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Hi

I am in San Francisco for 3 days and saw the Bushman at Fisherman's whalf today! Did not know he was called the Bushman until I read this thread
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Old May 25th, 2005, 08:13 PM
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The Bushman even made it into my guide book!
To explain, this man hides behind some branches cut off a tree and frightens people as they pass by. Simple! He claims to have been doing it for 25 years. He works around Fisherman's Wharf and when you watch him you wonder how the people can be so stupid to fall for it, but when he caught me I was so engrossed in a conversation that I wasn't really that aware of my surroundings. All good fun and much better than begging for a living.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 11:34 PM
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Well, next time I'm down to the City, I'm lookin' for Bushman. And oh I do pray I see him first!!! I'm an old woman for pete's sake..the heart, the heart. The Jukebox is probably retired by now..I just can't believe that some people tell others not to go to the Wharf. It's a happenin' place for sure!!!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:42 AM
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The Wharf was fine, I just found it out of character with the rest of the city. I also found the city to have a more "european" flavour than other US places what with the street cafes etc.
Who on earth decided to build a city on those hills???
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Old May 26th, 2005, 01:45 AM
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Is it me, or are there Silverman franchisees in almost every metro city in the US?
There were three in New Orleans in April. There's always at least one in SF.
Bushman's act works because there's so much going on around you on that street, that you can't possibly process it all and he IS good with his timing!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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Well, we were definitely shocked by the Bushman, but didn't know he had a name. It was about 5 years ago. I never knew he had a history.

And that history would have been a lot shorter if my ex-Korean & Vietnam War vet engineer would have finished the movement he started. He thought it much less than funny.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 09:01 AM
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Hi AR,
Thanks for the report. You sure packed in a lot of activity for a first visit. Come back and relax next time!

Re: Schiphol and late luggage - is this just on certain airlines? I noticed the passenger screening interviews were pretty intense the last time I flew out of A'dam - for instance, I had to produce a receipt for my hotel. Perhaps that's what holds things up.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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I'm glad you liked San Francisco, AR; however, count me as another who feels the Bushman detracts from SF's "warm welcome." I'm no fan of being startled, and I don't find it funny to see others startled either. You never know if the victim has health problems (such as heart) that could lead to tragic results. All in all, I wish that people wouldn't encourage this rather pathetic show; I think that there must be some less annoying and dangerous alternative to begging. The guys who are painted silver are a much more positive aspect of SF and other cities; at least they are interesting to watch and you have a choice about whether or not you interact with them.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:05 PM
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Agree with you, likeswords. The "bushman" will get, and deserve, a face full of pepperspray or a good a** whuppin' someday soon.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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About 3 years ago due to complaints from tourist, residents and merchants the SFPD started arresting the Bushman. I believe there a big concern on the part of the city that somebody would sue them as this idiot could really cause someone harm.

Well, don't remember all the details, but he won the court case. So now I guess the PD have been told to just ignore him.

I have only seen him twice, and I can tell you it is a miracle that someone has not had a heart attack and died on the spot. Particulary with people being worried about crime etc. One of my grandsons (about 11 years old at the time) saw the Bushman scare the devil out of a couple. We were very close by and my dear grandson told me afterwards he almost wet his pants it scared him so bad.

Pepper spray. Excellent idea IMO.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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You can't do that pepper spray thing LoveItaly. YOU would be the one arrested for assalt. So there you have it....SF, the good, the bad, and the ugly. One of the reasons I left the Bay Area. And I know, I have joked about Bushman and others...although the Human Jukebox was totally harmless...but anyway, it's OK for the Bushman to scare some poor person into having a heart attack. He is a "poor, homeless, likely mentally ill person, and should be allowed to do what ever it is he does, but if YOU give it back to him, then YOU are the one arrested for assalt. Only in SF would this make perfect sense. Oh dear, my conservative bent is showing. I LOVE SF and so often miss it terribly, but I'll tell ya', you just have to wonder what the hell they are thinking over there sometimes.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 07:09 PM
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Hi crefloors, oh my, I do hear you!!!
Too true for sure.

Crefloors, I love the Emcardero, the plaza behind the Ferry Bldg. (where the ferries arrive and depart) but honestly I do not like Fisherman's Wharf. I will probably never go there again. Remember back when - when it was truly a Fisherman's Wharf?

Only went the last years because of grandson, but they have been there, seen that. They know that I will not take them there again (it is so touristy, so oh how can I say, cheezy, for a good nonsophisticated word.

There are so many places in SF to visit (as you well know).

But oh yes, dear one, you are right. If the BushMan was peppered sprayed one would no doubt be arrested.

BTW, is it real hot in your area? We are having horrendous heat, I hate to think what the summer will be like. Take care.

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