Cheeseburger Gothic

JB's travel tips.

Posted January 25, 2009 by John Birmingham
That's for JB, not by JB.

The heads up on getting a cheap US cell phone, and Monster Yup's advice on seat allocation and upgrades has led me to think it'd be a good idea to throw open this topic to all comers.

What have you got for me?

From sneaky upgrade tricks to immune system bolstering vitamins and where to get a decent cup of coffee in New York, I'll take 'em all.

The cities I'll be visiting are San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Huston, Seattle.

56 Responses to ‘JB's travel tips.’

Mark R. Whittington mumbles...

Posted January 25, 2009
One of the best TexMex places in Houston, one of which which I believe is near the bookstore where JB is appearing, is Ninfas.

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jennicki reckons...

Posted January 25, 2009
Cheap cellphones...Virgin Mobile is a good one. You can buy the phone really cheap at Target, with no contract. You can either purchase pre-paid minutes at Target or you can set it up right on the phone, I believe.

Wish you were coming to the Midwest! My brother (cartguyforever) and I would love to meet with you if you were in the Detroit/Chicago area.

I hope you have a fun trip!

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lostatlunch would have you know...

Posted January 25, 2009
walk up to the first airport security guard you see and smack him in the face... you will get more respect that way... then explain the special relationship between Austria & the USA will ensure you get off.

I would not take my advice.

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Flinthart ducks in to say...

Posted January 25, 2009
1) Take the Underground Tour in Seattle, if you can. Sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century, they had a real problem in Seattle with mud and floods. Their solution was to raise all the streets and sidewalks one level, so that the ground floor became sub-ground one level. Of course, the old facilities and entrances remained, and the new sidewalks became the roofs of tunnels around the various buildings, and linking them in places.

Fantastic bloody history to those sub-levels. They were nigh-forgotten, all but abandoned after they were sealed up due to rats/plague early in the C20th... so you can imagine the uses they found with The Wrong Element. They also featured in an early episode/movie of The Night Stalker... and if the tours are still operating, they're worth every minute and every penny.

2) Beer is highly problematic. In an emergency, ask for 'Malt Liquor'. At least you can be sure the strength will be roughly what you're used to. Otherwise, confer at length with the locals about the microbrews from their area. Under no circumstances --- NOT EVEN IF YOU'RE TRAPPED FOR THREE DAYS DUE TO MASSIVE RIOTS IN LOS ANGELES -- should you purchase beer from a convenience store. They... do things to it. They hurt it. Don't. Just... don't.

3) When they offer to put cream in your coffee, they mean milk. And don't accept the Non Dairy Creamer. Nobody actually knows what's in it, but prevailing theory suggests it's part of a Reagan-era Black Ops mind control programme. Or a very sneaky method of disposing of industrial waste.

4) Buy a bottle of pepper sauce, like Tabasco, and carry it. Americans make excellent pepper sauce, which is surprising when you discover how very very bland is most of the food you can easily get at.

5) Don't let the orange stuff fool you. It isn't really cheese. The converse of this: if you like good cheese, you must make a point of asking, wherever you go, for the nearest high-end Euro-style or similar delicatessen. Nothing you can find in convenience stores or supermarkets actually resembles cheese as you presently understand it.

6) Look, I know you like big red wines. For the love of God, Montresor: DON'T LET THE CALIFORNIANS FOOL YOU INTO DRINKING ZINFANDEL. My friends and I rechristened that variety "Infidel", and to this day, I have nightmares. Stick to the pricier pinot noirs from Cali, or source Oz imports if you must chase a good red.

7) When in doubt, a robust Steve Irwin impression may actually serve to get you out of trouble with the natives. They liked him, for some reason. Hopefully it won't come to that... but you could try carrying a stingray barb with you, just in case.

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MudCrab mumbles...

Posted January 25, 2009
Seatle has the Sci Fiction Museum which is located near that big Space Needle thingy. VERY cool.

Also if you want some top end plane porn goto the Museum of Flight. You do not realise how sexy a SR71 looks until you see one in the Titanium Alloy Flesh.

As for North American beer? The local brewers do actually make REALLY good beer. As long as you don't reconise the brand name you should be fine.

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Monster Yuppy would have you know...

Posted January 25, 2009
I echo Flinthart's advice on Steve Irwin.. When in doubt...make out like you are the bastard lovechild of Paul Hogan and Steve... Gets you great service in bars/pubs, and possibly out of speeding tickets if used correctly...

Can you be a bit more specific as to your itinerary ?

Which places will you be visiting and how long for ?

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Monster Yuppy is gonna tell you...

Posted January 25, 2009
Shit .. didnt read the fine print.. ok...I know where you are going...New York is probably the pick of my sightseeing experience...will pull out my travel notes...

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Big Bad Al swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 25, 2009
Vegemite. Take heaps of Vegemite.

Is Vegemite a banned substance in the USofA? Check with the US Embassy.

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Tarl is gonna tell you...

Posted January 25, 2009
Flinthart is mistaken - our mass-market beer hasn't been hurt, it's supposed to be like that. It's a demonstration of America's biotech dominance - we have managed to produce artificial horse kidneys to filter the beer, and the result tastes just like it went through a real horse.

As for real hints - in NY, since you are still recovering from pneumonia, I'd recommend you minimize the time spent outdoors.

If you have any control over your flights, try to get flights which take off in the morning, since weather-induced delays cascade through the system and affect pretty much *all* afternoon flights across the country. If you have to make a connection in Chicago, your day is going to be shot.

Bring a laptop, most hotels will have wireless service (although they'll probably charge you $10-$15/day for it).

You might want to keep the following URL around so you have an idea what to expect the next day:

http://weather.yahoo.com/New-York-JFK-Intl-Arpt-New-York-United-States/USNY0999/forecast.html?unit=c

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Flinthart asserts...

Posted January 25, 2009
Horrible how well that accent works, isn't it MonsterYup? Downright cringeworthy.

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 25, 2009
I'm planning on getting some India Pale Ale from the Dogfish brewery to see me thru the trip.

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Monster Yuppy would have you know...

Posted January 25, 2009
I use it in situations which require

A. Free drinks B. Attractive women C. Better Hotel rooms D. All of the above.

At the last conference I went to in LA, one lady kept coming up to me and would ask me "Say something Australian..It's just so cute.."

The "Evil Idiot"* in me had me reciting Kevin Bloody Wilson songs to her

I also have used the accent just to confuse the seppos for my own amusement.. Walk into The Gap at any mall and when one of the little fresh faced kiddies wearing a headset welcomes you to the store...shake their hand vigorously and just rattle on with anything... the look on their face is priceless after a few minutes of them not understanding a single word they say...

* as opposed to "Evil Genius"

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sparty has opinions thus...

Posted January 25, 2009
Do the harbour tour of Midway and see the Clintons relations at berth! The Midway Carrier is a great visit - really cool sitting in the captains chair on the bridge looking out across the flight deck and seeing nuclear super carriers dead ahead.

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sparty asserts...

Posted January 25, 2009
sorry that shluld read harbour tour of san diego!

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
The accent does not surprise me, I am still amazed at how many Yanks ON LINE love the accent and want ya to talk, so LIVE I would suggest you quite possible could get away with Murder. Thought about anything with CROCK skin..ya never know.

And SLEEP, I found sleeping on the plan as much as possible. AND THEN GROG when ya land. But i could be wrong to.

Barman attention is bet got by..." HEY MATE", or "OI Mate", delivered loudly. Just be ready for the stars. that accent sticks out like dogs balls.

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HAVOCK has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2009
Oh and if ya catch up with the Pettin Kitty Cats feral, slap the big bastard for me, that or get him BLIND and bring back pics.

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thelonesailor swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 26, 2009
As far as Houston (Huston) goes it is only around 45 minutes to the battleship Texas. the Museum is open it appears, but that area may stil be pretty beat up. Also , in texas instead of soda, or pop, all soft drinks are cokes, even if they are Dr. Pepper. A GPS might be a good investment. The larger cities in Texas have a bunch of toll roads and most GPS systems can be programmed to avoid them. Plus, if you get a TomTom, you can change to voice to sound like John Cleese. This helps alleviate the stress that comes from the realization that the other drivers actually ARE trying to hit you. This is assuming you will be driving. If not, just hope for the best.

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tygertim would have you know...

Posted January 26, 2009
John, instant (sort of) replay:

By Tygertim8, January 22, 2009 @ 6:27 am

When in London, order Spitfire Beer. Downed all over Kent, just like the Luftwaffe….

When in Canada, order LeBlatts, Pam Anderson got her start by wearing their Tee Shirt at a Footie game, Jus’ sayin’

In OZ, order anything BUT Fosters. It’s for the tourists…

{Important Tip for John B.} In Seppoland, go immediately to the nearest microbrewery (Anchor Steam in San Francisco) as microbrewery guys worship Beer, and CRAFT their product… You’re sure to find the Beer for you, as they usually have handcrafted small batch “specials” worth the extra coin…. Try:

21st Amendment Brewery Cafe

563 Second St.

(bet. Brannan & Bryant Sts.)

San Francisco, CA | Map

415-369-0900

or in the Haight-Ashebury

Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery

1398 Haight St.

(Masonic Ave.)

San Francisco, CA | Map

415-864-7468

or

Rogue Ales Public House

673 Union St.

(Columbus Ave.)

San Francisco, CA | Map

415-362-7880

And don't forget MAX's ! If there's a sticker that says "This is a bad place for a diet" on the door, you're at the right place... You can check out their online site at:

http://www.maxsworld.com/maxs/index.php

Now that I've saved you from the horrors of Coors, Budwiser, Pabst and Miller, my good deed for the day is done...

Oh, and a Survival tip for the intrepid Aussie traveler, "Olde English 800" will serve in a pinch as a stand in... and can be found in most liquor stores.

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tygertim mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
Hey, how come there's no TT8 or Tygertimate orTygertim's Journal on the blog roll? :l

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TeamAmerica has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2009
BigBadAl-"Is Vegemite a banned substance in the USofA? Check with the US Embassy"

Not so much banned, AKAIK, as much as unknown.

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Leo euler mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
I will agree that everyone here pretty much loves an Australian accent.

Some things last year I learned going around in New York, as someone who had never visited:

1. If you are driving a car, it might be several hours before you can find parking. So paying 20 bucks immediately for a parking garage might be a good deal. Also, car driving might be kind of slow for you. The second time I visited, it took me something like two hours to go from one end of Manhattan to the other in a car, lol. If you get a rental car, get one with GPS!

2. I was excited about eating New York pizza. I know every place says they have the world's best pizza, but when I saw a sign outside Totonno's that said something like, "Only God makes better pizza" I wanted to go there...I eventually had the opportunity, lol.

3. If you visit Ground Zero, you will see that it's huge. Also, don't take pictures inside the building right next to it. They don't like that. -_- (it's called the World Financial Building or something like that. Something to do with money).

4. It's just funny how you can be driving around in Manhattan and go from one section to another so quickly. It's cool.

5. By the way, did you know that New York has TWO Chinatowns? The one in Manhattan, and the one in Flushing (Queens). It's kind of interesting. I actually had Christmas dinner in a hot pot place there in Christmas 2007. Hot pot's good if you've never had it.

I wish I had the time to see you in your trip, JB, but I'm afraid I don't this time. Take care, though.

-Samuel C.

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Orin would have you know...

Posted January 26, 2009
Why don't you just turn on global roaming on your current mobile phone?

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Orin swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 26, 2009
And a phone card for longer calls home from your hotel - you can get them almost anywhere - I had a walmart one last time I was over there - as if you get a cheapie mobile (I still think you should just get roaming on your current one - assuming it supports roaming in the US (most do, but check)) you'll still pay evil rates for non phonecard calls to Oz.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted January 26, 2009
Cindy/Trinity says if in California to go to Napa Valley and visit the Coppola Vinyards. Sometimes Francis Ford Coppola will be there.

Trinity also says that Napa has some of the best red wines in the world. Me personally, I prefer rieslings myself so I don't have a dog in this fight. That said, I've got her back.

And she's got mine all the way to NYC.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2009
Don't dress as awesomely as you usually do. Americans aren't ready for an Australian metrosexual. They'll think your Austrian.

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JBW puts forth...

Posted January 26, 2009
Hey JB. As far as coffee in NYC goes, Cafe Grumpy is the ticket: www.cafegrumpy.com/

That said, Ninth Street Espresso also comes highly recommended: www.ninthstreetespresso.com

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted January 26, 2009
Orin, Global roaming ( lol), I was gunna ask, but figured our resident GEEK author would have checked THAT!.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted January 26, 2009
Opps, JB, it does work, A friend I have is now is Boston, her current number is the same as she had in OZ,

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damian reckons...

Posted January 26, 2009
In Seattle, make sure to get someone to take you to see the Fremont Troll. Actually - in addition to the underground tour there ought to be a "other kind of underground" tour or at least a tour of the public art, which is some of the quirkiest in the world.

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Tucker Dwynn swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 26, 2009
When are you going to be in Seattle?

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2009
You cheeky fucker. I have roaming on, but I'm getting the local cell for local calls and voicemail. You think I want to pay Telstra's rates for making a call across the street in NY?

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted January 26, 2009
I've already turned roaming on, and the phone card is a good idea, but I want a cheap throwaway phone for local calls and voicemail without the hassle of cards or Telstra's international rates.

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 26, 2009
I'm at at Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia St, 7 p.m, on 3 Feb.

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Pete ducks in to say...

Posted January 26, 2009
If my Canada experience is anything to go by, and the SBS doco on coffee & the fact that the Yanks only ever buy the worst available beans, take your own pack of Lavazza or other coffee! Next time I go, that's what I'm doing. Screw THEIR bongwater 'coffee' byproduct extraction. Eyeww.

Have a great trip!

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted January 26, 2009
hey!, another thought that popped into my already full head. WHO are you giving the keys to at BLUNTY whilst ya gone?.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
Blunty will get filed, same as always.

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
Wicked,

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Matthew K mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
Happy Australia day.

love

A Pom

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MudCrab mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
Extra to what Monster Yuppie said WAYYYYY above about putting on the Aussie Twag, inventing Australian words and throwing them into the conversation is always fun.

If you get a bad ale tell the girl the beer is 'a bit Moomba' and ask (politely of course) if she could get you another one.

"Actually it's worse then Moomba, it's totally WoggaWogga."

And if you are feeling completely childish remember that ROOT is a clothing label and NOT something to get on a Friday night :D

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Lobes reckons...

Posted January 26, 2009
Happy Australia day all you mad punters!

I am off to the Big Day Out to celebrate all things irreverent. Check me in the boiler room

Oh yeah... Come on Jelena!!

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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted January 26, 2009
Make sure that all the nudie pics sent to you by hot burgerette fans are removed from your hard disk prior to you going through customs.

You can continue to forward them to Rhino for review though as it makes his day a little brighter each time you do.

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G mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
Whats this sneaky upgrade trick i keep hearing....One sure fire way is to get a Right Hon, Next to your name on the Airlines database, Like my Son of a bitch cousin did. His best mate's Mother works for Qantas and did it for him. BASTARD.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 26, 2009
I do not deal well with jet lag. But over the years I've learned a little trick: I drink heavily on the flight, take a motion sickness pill, and sleep through the flight.

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Nautilus mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
Remember, over there fanny means bum.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted January 26, 2009
There are plenty of Starbucks in NYC (though strangely, they are all far away from the lodgings). Here is something I found while noodling around on Google Map.

http://www.joetheartofcoffee.com/

I wonder if I can get a decent cup of tea? I must be the only American who is addicted to the leaf instead of the bean.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Lobes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 27, 2009
I got my US phone from a shop called Radio Shack. Its a chain of electronics stores. They are pretty much everywhere.

New York lives up to its reputation as a pretty crazy place. Just visualise yourself as being in an episode of seinfeld and go with the flow. Something nuts will happen before too long. This website http://flavorpill.com/newyork and the NY Post are must reads for the modern Manhattanite.

My tipping dilemma involved a haircut. I wasnt sure how much to tip the hairdresser, if at all. So I had to surreptitiously text message my American friend while I was being snipped to discover the correct criterion.

FTR the haircut was $30 and I tipped her $5. It seemed to be fairly well recieved.

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mckinneytexas mumbles...

Posted January 27, 2009
A couple of thoughts: first, don't try to drive in San Fran or NY--it just isn't worth it. I can navigate SF, but just barely an only because I'm used to driving on the wrong side of the road. Also, parking can be very tough in SF, impossible in NY--taking a cab or hiring a driver is the best route. Manhattan, if not too cold, is great walking country. I don't know enough about Seattle or San Diego to have an opinion. Houston is a bitch too, but I think I can find a way around that. Always carry 3-400 in cash, 50 of which in fives and ones. Make absolutely sure your ATM cards will work in the US. If necessary, put some cash in a Fidelity account and get a VISA debit card. Do that today because your time is running short. You get the best exchange rate using ATM's when you travel--no agent's fee. Keep two pair of underwear and socks in your carry on. with all of your flying, they are likely to misplace your luggage. You can buy a razor, toothbrush, etc. at any hotel. Jet lag is a bitch. I can't even guess at the sleep cycle variance you'll face when you hit the west coast, but, for example, when we go to Europe, it's technically an overnight flight with arrival usually around 10 a.m. local time, but I still leave the day for recovery--hit the hotel, shower and take a long nap, get up around 5'ish local time and hit the city. I take a sleeping pill at 11 or so and I am on local time until I leave. I believe in better living through chemistry. I'm sure you have the strongest stomach in the world. Still though, I would carry a shitload of quality acid reducers, like Zantac 150, and take one or two everyday before dinner. The cumulative effect of massive amounts of rich food, booze, schedules, airports,etc will take its toll--waking up at 3 a.m. with acid reflux is no fun at all, especially with no medicine at hand. Rolaids and shit like that don't work. Likewise, get your doc to give you a prescription of 20 or so 10mg ambien--good shit for shutting down the brain and getting some rest. Go to a quality travel luggage shop and get the mini-umbrella and keep it in your carry-on travel bag.

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tygertim ducks in to say...

Posted January 27, 2009
John, When you get to your hotel, take a nap. Then, as San Francisco (downtown) is pretty good walking country, go to the Visitor Center at Civic Center BART station, I think you can get a Pass for all of the Municipal Transit services like MUNI, the Cable Cars, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train, and this should get you close to anything you want to see in most of the Bay Area (BART for instance can get you from Walnut Creek which is accros the bay, to Berkley, almost to San Jose. (

Welcome to Civic Center

Civic Center Station is nearby some notable San Francisco destinations including including City Hall, War Memorial Opera House, Asian Art Museum, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, and the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library.) See : http://www.bart.gov/index.aspx BART does have a neighborhood Map on it's website, but pick one up at the Hotel Concierge desk...

The DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park is Worth the visit along with the Aquarium/Heparium just across from it.

Market St. is a nice slice of San Francisco to walk and get a feel for the town. Beware of the Pan Handlers though... Walk down to the Embarcadero, and hang a left (Herb Caen Way) and walk to Fisherman's Warf (that timeless tourist trap) or take the Cable Car to Ghirideli Sqare which is right there. For Drinks go to the Top of the Mark: Top of the Mark? 9

Address:

Top of the Mark Frommer's Recommended

Address

1 Nob Hill

Location: In the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental, California and Mason Sts

Phone 415/616-6916

Web site www.topofthemark.com

Prices Cover $5-$10

Frommer's Review

This is one of the most famous cocktail lounges in the world, and for good reason -- the spectacular glass-walled room features an unparalleled 19th-floor view. During World War II, Pacific-bound servicemen toasted their goodbyes to the States here. While less dramatic today than they were back then, evenings spent here are still sentimental, thanks to the romantic atmosphere. Live bands play throughout the week; a jazz pianist on Tuesdays starts at 7pm; salsa on Wednesdays begins with dance lessons at 8pm and the band starts up at 9pm; on Thursdays Stompy Jones brings a swing vibe from 7:30pm; and a dance band playing everything from '50s hits through contemporary music keeps the joint hopping Fridays and Saturdays starting at 9pm. Drinks range from $9 to $12. A $59 three-course fixed-price sunset dinner is served Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. Sunday brunch, served from 10am to 2pm, costs $59 for adults and includes a glass of champagne; for children 4 to 12, the brunch is $30.

* approximate times

- topofthemark.com

This is a very important link for you John, it lists all the BEST Places to get a Cab...

http://maps.google.com/maps

San Francisco

Best places/streets to catch a taxi cab in San Francisco

13,996 views - Public

Created on Nov 7 - Updated Mar 3

By Mr. Lohan

There's just too much more.... dam it!

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Patricia would have you know...

Posted January 27, 2009
Jetlag prevention: Melatonin. Heaps of it.

Do not drink alcohol on the plane, as opposed to popular belief. It will dehydrate you and give worse jetlag.

On arrival in SFO, just ask for directions' to Pete's Coffee in town.

If you need free wireless, go to Starbucks. I kid you not. Don't bother buying a coffee. Just ask for the WEP key from someone next to you.

In Seattle, great coffee is plentiful. Even the street carts purvey good coffee.

Try the seafood chowder at Pike Place Market. Local speciality.

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Robert has opinions thus...

Posted January 27, 2009
John, I don't know why these pups queue up to whine about beer in America. You can get just about any kind of brew you desire--bottled or on tap--in the cities in your itinerary. Craft-brew, or microbrew, is all the rage in the metro areas.

Honestly, it's enough to make me think these pasty-faces don't actually circulate in public establishments.

As for the throwaway phone, I believe MetroPCS has service you can purchase by the month. The others want your 2-year contract signed in blood in order to get the phone.

Actually, you probably need only the proper SIM card for the phone you presently have in order to use local services. I think a skip through the darker side of the internet would illuminate this aspect.

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Lobes mutters...

Posted January 27, 2009
The phone I had in the US had no SIM card I think. Or maybe that was Japan... At any rate I wouldnt count on your Oz handset working there with a new SIM. A cheap and nasty throwaway handset is all you need with $50-$100 prepaid credit.

Whenever I check in to fly I just ask the boarding agent if there are any emergency exit row seats available. As long as you're not a cripple they'll put you there. You just have to be prepared to blow the hatches and man the lifeboats if called upon. Might even be useful on the NY leg.

If you're flying into JFK a Taxi to Manhattan will cost $50+. Cheaper way to do it is catch the Airtrain to Jamaica Queens ($5) then take the subway all the way in. Or do what I did and catch the Airport bus ($15) that drops you at Penn Station.

Subway is a good way to get around town but first get yourself a pocket map with the stations marked. Often its just as quick to walk.

City is built on a grid with Avenues running North-South and Streets East-West. Crossing 10 streets equals 1 mile.

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DrYobbo puts forth...

Posted January 27, 2009
Dr Mrs Dr Yobbo was in Berkeley mid last year for an evolution conference. When asked about the quality of coffee she went very quiet and ashen faced and took on the haunted look of a recently repatriated war refugee. I realised she'd seen horrors unimagined by man, woman or donkey, and let it slip.

I have no insights for jet lag other than get your head down and figure the first two days will feel like the dead-on-yer-feet bit of a hangover. My Piss Head Degree supervisor who toured the world and elsewhere on account of being quite apparently shit hot had a scientific approach to jet lag prevention which involved the careful combination of melatonin, alcohol and antihistamines (the latter as a mild sedative.) Bollocks that up and you'll know about it, but apparently when it goes well, it goes very well.

The only Septic beer I know of which doesn't deserve spiral-punting into a skip is Sam Adams, but of the corporate beer factory offerings I've heard OK things about Schlitz, don't know how widely available it is. Most of the Americans I know are Texans and drink Mexican beer.

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tygertim ducks in to say...

Posted January 28, 2009
Sure cure for Jet Lag... Go to the nearest bar and order a shot of EVERCLEAR... used to be you could only buy it in Nevada or Montana (the home of REAL Men).... Oh, and ONLY one shot... as it's like Grappa, (250 proof) my best friend in high school Rob, used to carry a fifth in his trunk as emergency fuel for his Ford Fairlane. Claimed it cleaned his carburetor. I bet it did. And him too.

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Sturt is gonna tell you...

Posted January 28, 2009
Fer chrissakes, please please PLEASE do not - under any circumstances - lay on the ocker affectation. While most Aussie blokes passing through the US think a liberal smattering of "crikey", "strewth" and "onya" is a short cut to getting a leg over a flighty divorcee, or becoming the most popular guy in a bar full of strangers, most Americans are familiar enough with Australians to wonder why it is we feel compelled to play up our bumpkinish image in the company of foreigners. In truth, laying on the ocker has the opposite effect of its intention - it gives most Americans license to look down on us as less cultured and sophisticated than them, rather than letting us think we're putting something over them (which is harder than their stereotype would have you believe). They're just too polite to tell us.

Can I ask you JB, for the sake of our national reputation, to put your game face on. Our reputation among ourselves for sardonic wit, irony and the occasional outrage is constantly undermined here by the phalanxes of witless hoons who pile off QF108 in LA and think they're advancing cultural diplomacy by pretending to be Barry McKenzie.

Tips:

Seattle - eat lunch at Salumi (309 Third Ave S, Seattle) run by the father of Mario Batali (rotund bloodnut American Italian celebrity chef of Food Network fame)

New York - publisher paying: Joel Robuchon or Daniel Bouloud. JB paying: Le Singe Vert (The Green Monkey) 160 7th Ave in Chelsea. Both: outstanding French.

As someone who's lived here for 10 years, there are no easy solutions to the existential dilemmas posed by American coffee and beer (other than amphetamines and whiskey).

If you don't go a day without being totally smacked upside the head by the counterintuitiveness of American customs, either your publisher has you in a very effective cocoon or you're not paying attention.

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Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted January 28, 2009
LoL, Sturt for comment of the day!

JB ya better leave the khakis and pack a few skivvys instead.

In my experience the worst Australian expats are always Adelaide Crows fans. Seems it doesnt matter where in the world you are theres always some drunk f*ckwit in a Crows jersey acting the goose.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted January 28, 2009
Duly noted, although it's been a long time since I played the yob. That'd be havock's gig.

My dining will be a mix of JB and publisher funded, so I may check out all the recommendations.

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Respond to 'JB's travel tips.'

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