Ten things I’ve learned to do in San Francisco

Mostly related to food, technology and the weather.

  • Get a smartphone. This is a prerequisite for many of the things people do in San Francisco (see below). Even the bums have them.
  • Yelp everything.  It is unacceptable to enter a restaurant, bar, hair salon, grocery store or any other establishment without first pulling out your smartphone and checking to see whether it has at least four stars on Yelp. If you’re really hungry or in a rush, three and a half will suffice.
  • Check in everywhere.  Before you eat, watch a movie, laze around in the park, or do anything anywhere, be sure to pull out your smartphone (again) and announce your location on one or more of the following: Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, your friend’s startup’s app involving geolocation. Remember to tag your friends, even if they’ve already checked in and tagged you.
  • Photograph your food.  This is a requirement before you start eating. Again, have your smartphone handy. If you’ve cooked something from scratch or are at a restaurant with more than four stars on Yelp, share a photo of this deliciousness on Facebook. If it has a Michelin star rating, share an album.

OMG cupcakes. Purchased with a Groupon.

  • Get a discount.  If you want to try a new restaurant, go skydiving, get a Thai massage or take a bartending course, there’s no reason to do it for full price. Ever. Subscribe to Groupon, Scoutmob, LivingSocial, Goldstar, Gilt City, Facebook Deals, Yelp Deals, Amazon Deals, Homerun, and every other daily deal provider (there are more) and filter them all into a Gmail folder (you’re using Gmail, right?) Wait a week or two for your preferred service to be offered at 50-75% off.
  • Appreciate the warm nights.  There are approximately two per year. Go to a park or something.
  • Bring layers.  Always. Even if it appears to be sunny and 80 degrees outside.  Even if it’s July. Especially if it’s July.
  • Get in line.  SF foodies will wait five hours to buy a sandwich at 3 AM. They will also wait two hours for brunch and half an hour for ice cream. But at least in San Francisco, the longer the line is outside a place that serves food, the more amazing it probably is.
  • Don’t call it San Fran.  You should already know never to call it Frisco, but the only people who say San Fran are visitors. Acceptable terms are “SF,” “the city,” and the always reliable “San Francisco.”

Remember to take plenty of vintage-style photos with your smartphone.

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