Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm a biologist! What is there for ME do in San Francisco??

This week after writing a grant, getting two manuscripts off my desk, identifying bunches of starfish, plus a myriad of other echinoderm related tasks, I am taking a BREAK before I head off to Oregon and the North Pacific for some field work (which I will publicize again later this week..but here it is). and am in my hometown of San Francisco with a little time off.

So, other then friends, family and the crisp, bracingly cold beaches of Northern California, what sorts of pleasant distractions does a person with a PhD in starfishes pursue in San Francisco?

1. The California Academy of Sciences
I can almost never get away from this place (my alma mater)! Whether its their new exhibits and state of the art aquarium or my research visits to my colleagues in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology my visits to San Francisco almost always entail dropping in...

2. USED Science Bookstores!! Moe's (Berkeley) & Green Apple Books (San Francisco)

So, ya' looking for used SCIENCE textbooks at reasonable prices? Moe's used bookstore in Berkeley (on Telegraph Ave.) is HUGE and has a science section that has in the past satiated even MY raveous appetite for texts and references on marine biology, evolution, geology, invertebrate zoology and etc. I scored my set of Libbie Hymans' "The Invertebrates" here as well as several others.

The other really big place to score used books is Green Apple on Clement st. in San Francisco. Its not quite as good for science books but you can find a great many deals on used books here as well. And heck..they have OTHER books aside from science!

The Richmond Clement st. area also happens to be one of the most delicious and rich areas to score food in San Francisco. Dim sum, tasty coffees & cakes, Vietnamese sandwiches, and orgasmic pizza are all to be found nearby!

3. FOOD!!
Sushi & Noodles!

So, when I come to San Francisco, I almost inevitably end up having sushi at Ebisu or udon at its sister restaurant Hotei, both on 9th avenue near the Academy. Fresh fish, great service and authentic Japanese cuisine make this one of my favorite places to enjoy sea urchin!! I'm sure there are other great places in the city..but this one always wins in my book!

I grew up in this I am just in LOVE with the different kinds of Pizza you can find in the Sunset on Irving (near the Academy). My favorites include Pasquale's Pizzeria which creates a fresh but thin crust versus the more thick crust Milano Pizzeria. The smells coming out of either of these places sets off my pizza-based pleasure brain receptors! mmmmm....
4. Comic Books!
I always visit my friendly neighborhood comic-book shop when I visit SF. Amazing Fantasy on Irving is another San Francisco tradition and has been in that same location for over 20 years..

After this to Oregon & the North Pacific!


The Hong Kong Veliger said...

Aha, so this is how you make a starfish-ologist! Have fun on your travels and in the north pacific. I do hope you stop in on the OIMB!

Anonymous said...

While you're on vacation go see the movie "Ponyo" (now in theaters). It's a great combination of two of your interests; marine life and animation. If you look carefully there's even a starfish in one of the scenes. . .

Frank Anderson said...

Love SF! I always have to hit Amoeba Records on Haight and over in Berkeley, which shows you where my head's at.

It's nice to experience warm and humid sometimes, but I sure do miss those cool central Cali days. I love the fog, but it's also wonderful when the fog burns off and suddenly you're bathed in bright, glorious sunshine.

Have fun!