The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


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Iggy
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"The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 00:21post reply

So, after being a big fat tease last year, I am apparently going to be for real on the west coast of the northern American continent in August.
The current plan is San Francisco from the [insert date]th of August, and the following week, Vancouver.

Any advise about stuff to do in either of these places would be nice, but the main reason I'm posting here is to know who I may stumble upon in these two marvelous and dangerous places.
Will you be the marvel, or will you be the danger?

I'm already starting to pack up some grey fog and liquid depression from London to distribute as present to all those I may meet as an international token of friendship and gloom. Don't forget to tell me your favorite flavor!






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Spoon
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"Re(1):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 00:30post reply

quote:
Vancouver




YO





Iggy
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"Re(2):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 00:37post reply

quote:
YO


Ya.





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"Re(1):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 01:11post reply

quote:
So, after being a big fat tease last year, I am apparently going to be for real on the west coast of the northern American continent in August.
The current plan is San Francisco from the [insert date]th of August, and the following week, Vancouver.


You'll be in two places geographically equidistant (sort of) from my city!

I'll leave the advice to the actual residents of those two places, since I'm at best only somewhat familiar with San Francisco, but I'm curious to hear about Vancouver as well, since I've been thinking of visiting sometime soon.





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Iggy
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"Re(2):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 01:13post reply

quote:
I'll leave the advice to the actual residents of those two places, since I'm at best only somewhat familiar with San Francisco, but I'm curious to hear about Vancouver as well, since I've been thinking of visiting sometime soon.

Let's organize a MMC-Vancouver meet-up!





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"Re(3):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 01:25post reply

quote:

Let's organize a MMC-Vancouver meet-up!


Absolutely! You said August(wish)? When you have firm dates let me know. It's a relatively cheap flight from here, so I'll try and make it happen!





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nobinobita
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"Re(1):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 02:33:post reply

quote:
So, after being a big fat tease last year, I am apparently going to be for real on the west coast of the northern American continent in August.
The current plan is San Francisco from the [insert date]th of August, and the following week, Vancouver.

Any advise about stuff to do in either of these places would be nice, but the main reason I'm posting here is to know who I may stumble upon in these two marvelous and dangerous places.
Will you be the marvel, or will you be the danger?

I'm already starting to pack up some grey fog and liquid depression from London to distribute as present to all those I may meet as an international token of friendship and gloom. Don't forget to tell me your favorite flavor!



Ahhhhh you're making me wish I was still back in the USA! I'm no longer in the Bay Area (if any of you guys are ever in Thailand let me know), but I can recommend some restaurants for you (though keep in mind I haven't been in the area in almost two years).

Lolinda
Classy Argentinian Steak House and Tapas
http://lolindasf.com/
This place has excellent food and decor. Very manly and tasteful (both the food and decor). Everything they make their tastes great. Obviously you'll want to go with the beef, but even the grilled artichoke is delicious and thoughtfully prepared. The mixed drinks are also very good. Awesome place for a date, particularly on a weekday when it's quieter.

House of Prime Rib
Grade-A All American Meat!
http://www.houseofprimerib.net/
This is one of the most famous restuarants in SF and for good reason; their prime rib is GREAT. It is juicy and tender and cooked so well that it doesn't even get stuck in your teeth much (trust me I floss like a man possessed after every meal). The price is very reasonable for the quality. They also serve a mean and very generous martini (they give you the whole shaker so you can essentially pour out a second full drink for yourself).

Protip: If you've still got some room left at the end of the meal they'll give you a second complimentary slice, so unless you have a humongous appetite you don't need to go with the extra large serving.

Maruya
Super Classy Traditional Sushi
http://www.maruyasf.com
This was my favourite sushi place in the Bay Area. Mind you I went there right when they opened so they were firing on all cylinders. It didn't seem like a place that would ever let up in quality though. It feels like a nice tokyo restuarant perfectly transplanted into SF. The food is very traditional (no crazy rolls, nothing with more than 3 ingredients), but also very high quality and creative in their presentation and preperation. If you get the dinner set it will include some really great non sushi appetizers. I once had tofu there that tasted like aged cheese. And the most delicious slice of tomato i've ever had in my life. Great sake and shochu menu too. For what it's worth, my Japanese friends (some of whom were chefs and who certainly know a lot more about food than I do) loved this place too.

Ino Sushi
Fresh sushi served by a surly old Japanese man and his wife
http://www.yelp.com/biz/ino-sushi-san-francisco
.... Annnnnd this place is closed. Oof. All things are impermanent. Maruya is better quality, but this place had a really homely charm. It was best experienced sitting at the pristine counter, eating Omakase style where the chef and owner would gruffly lay out amazing pieces of nigiri for you right on the counter. And he'd judge you by your manners. This isn't novel to me as I grew up in a strict confucian household, but for many Americans it has the soul crushing austere Japanese discipline that they so lack and crave! I hope the owner is ok and has just retired happily.

Rye
My favourite cocktail bar in SF
http://www.yelp.com/biz/rye-san-francisco?osq=tenderloin+bars
This place is staffed by cocktail otaku. They know their stuff and will talk your ear off about it joyfully. You can even describe what you like (and don't like) and they can make something up on the spot for you. Bonus: It's tucked away in the Tenderloin so odds are on your way in or out you'll be accosted by vagrants for the authentic SF experience (I saw a dude smoking crack while pooping on this street once).

Karasu and Maese can vouch for this place as we all met up there several years ago! Great times!

Cha-Ya
Great Vegetarian Food
[url=http://www.yelp.com/biz/cha-ya-san-francisco-4
]http://www.yelp.com/biz/cha-ya-san-francisco-4
I sincerely apologise if it turns out you are vegetarian and can't eat any of the stuff I've been rattling off. But even if you're a carnivore leaning omnivore you can still enjoy this place. Their food is just plain delicious (and light). Karasu can vouch for the quality here!

Dandelion Chocolate
Modern American Chocolate that Actually Delivers
https://www.dandelionchocolate.com/
This is one of those places opened by successful tech people who made their fortunes at big startups and now live out their lives indulging in their passion. In this case it's chocolate and it is GREAT. This place is very no nonsese. Everything is single bean, 70% dark chocolate. The focus is on letting you discern the innate flavour of all the different beans from around the world. It is palpable. Some have a deeper flavour. Some are much fruitier. I know many up scale American chocolates can't compare with what I assume you are used to Iggy, but this place can hold it's own I think.

Philz
Most popular local coffee
http://www.philzcoffee.com/
This place is a local institution. They were one of the earlier coffee joints to popularize the pour over style where each cup is freshly brewed per customer. It's slow but tasty. I personally love their Tesora blend if you just want a nice cup of black coffee. Their mojito ice coffee is really good too though. They can make it just faintly sweet and they use very high quality cream and real mint leaves. Very refreshing! This place has really exploded into a full on ubiquitous franchise since I left though, so I dunno if it's cool and hip anymore. But there is a real Philz, and he does actually show up at the cafes once in a while. Go here to do as the locals do.

There's a ton of other places I'd love to recommend. Thank you for indulging my trip down (recent) memory lane. If there's anything more specific that you want recommendations on (or places to avoid) please let me know.






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[this message was edited by nobinobita on Fri 24 Jun 02:51]

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"Re(1):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 02:37post reply

Iggy's exciting San Francisco adventure!? Pity I'm not living there anymore to welcome you, but let me grab a few entries from the older Game Developers Conference SF thread, and add something after!

1. Presidio is Best: Go over to Crissy Field on the north shore of San Francisco, walking west while looking at the Golden Gate and then scaling the cliff up to Presidio park and walking along the on the cliffs above the Pacific. If you walk down the trails far enough, you'll pass by China Beach, a cool little cove where early Chinese fisherman are said to have hung out, and eventually end up on the west part of the Richmond district, which is neighborhoody and full of good (Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, and other) food.

2. America in SF: SF is its own world, but for a very American experience, you can also go to the other end of town, south of the delightful-but-expensive Ferry Building and stop in for lunch at Red's for seriously good, greasy spoon burgers served on French bread, maybe out on the dock in back by the Bay. Full of old SF types, politicos, etc.

3. Castro While You Can: You might want to swing by the Castro district while it's still at least sort of gay and flamboyant, before the Twitter-yuppie invasion devours this part of the city, too. I don't know what clubs are fun, but I do know that the Castro Theatre is a MAGNFICENT old-time movie theater, the kind our grandparents' generation would go to, with a balcony, curtains and stage, organ player... It doesn't matter what you see there, just get over there.

4. Japantown (!?!?!): My post in SF was from 2009-2012, and outside of a somewhat useful Kinokuniya, it was pretty pointless---poor restaurants, no Japanese people in sight. I'm told that it's massively improved and has tolerable food now. I guess there's always the Daiso 100yen shop...

5. Get Outta Town - San Mateo: Japanese companies (and thus, people) are concentrated in the Silicon Valley area south of SF, so it's not a crazy idea to go south, not only because you can eat in San Mateo's rather good restaurants (Kokko, Ginji, Mai), you can also experience California as you imagined it, with warm air and sunny skies. I say this as a reminder that in the summer, SF is ass-cold.





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"Re(2):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 03:21post reply

Nice job Maou! You probably know the city better than I do...

Wear layers in SF, because it can get hot in the afternoon. There's no rhyme or reason to the weather in SF, but generally after 5:00 pm the wind picks up and it gets pretty chilly.

Castro Theatre is beautiful. There is a reasonably priced, suprisingly decent sushi place in the Castro called Sushi Time that my wife and I visit sometimes. Other than that it's a fun place to walk around with cool bars.

If you have a car, it's easier to get out of SF and explore other places, but inside the city public transportation is much more convenient than paying a ton for parking.

If you like hipster shopping you can try Hayes Valley, there's Blue Bottle and Ritual coffee there, and this on street stage that is for... something. The Mission is where all the locals are being displaced and yuppies are moving in, but there are still a lot of good and cheap restaurants. Look up Yamo, cheap cash only Burmese food in a bar like space not unlike a Tokyo ramen shop. Valencia used to be dangerous but now it's kinda upscale. It's worth an afternoon walk.

If the weather is nice, I second Chrissy Field. The Golden Gate bridge is really beautiful on sunny days. If you like museums, MOMA SF just reopened downtown, and the de Young and California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park are very "San Francisco" (and the Academy has night showings).

Finally if you've never been, Union Square is kind of a staple of SF downtown. It's mostly tourists, but it's fun once.

I'll try to check the thread when I can if you have questions. :)





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"Re(3):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 04:45:post reply

quote:

If the weather is nice, I second Chrissy Field. The Golden Gate bridge is really beautiful on sunny days. If you like museums, MOMA SF just reopened downtown, and the de Young and California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park are very "San Francisco" (and the Academy has night showings).

Finally if you've never been, Union Square is kind of a staple of SF downtown. It's mos




Ah man! I can't believe I forgot about the Cal Academy of Science! GREAT recommendation! It's one of the coolest places in the world! I used to take my niece and nephew there all the time. It is a wonderful paean to scientific progress (and it isn't even preachy about it!). There are all sorts of wonderful exhibits. There's a Penguin Show. A green house with butterflies. An amazing aquarium. There's an awesome living roof that's full of whatever flora fauna happens to sew its seeds up there. If you're lucky you might even see bones bleaching in the sun for future exhibition!

My absolute favourite part of the Cal Academy though is the Naturalist Center. It's a mini library full of not just books but actual preserved specimens of real animals that they'll let you handle! It is the most wonderful place to hang out and sketch. As KTallguy as pointed out, they often do events at night just for the grownups:

http://www.calacademy.org/nightlife

It's really nice to sip on wine and watch the jellyfish and nocturnal fishes in the dark.

Speaking of Academic places--this is more something you should see if you live here, rather than on a short visit, but the SF main public library is the best library I've ever seen (and I grew up in DC which had a ton of great libraries). It's a beautiful building that consists of 5 floors of wonderfully kept books on every subject (they even have a respectable manga selection thanks to Viz being in town). I loved to go here to write stuff for my blog since a well kept library still generally has more (and better sourced) information than the internet.

The main library is next to the Asian Art Museum, which is one of the best in America. It's also very close to the Museum of Modern art.

For sight seeing, if you are an early bird I implore you to hike all the way up Twin Peaks and catch the sunrise. On a clear crisp day it is the most beautiful sunrise I've ever seen. The colors are so rich and wonderful. On a foggy day it still has a serene Silent Hill quality to it (dress warm, it's very cold and wet up there!)

You can hike down to The Castro and grab some breakfast afterwards maybe (be careful of the endless mimosas!). I'd recommend some bars in Castro, but I honestly can't remember the names of any of them at the moment! Every time I went out there the night would end in a haze. Good times were had though. Very positive vibes. Not testosterony at all.

If you have access to a car and want to do a beautiful hike I highly recommend going out to point reyes. If you take the main path, in about an hour you'll see all sorts of beautiful flora, lots of different towering trees, and then you'll eventually hit the beach where there's a little waterfall going out to see. There are some days where the low tide occurs much later in the day. It's wonderful if you can catch the tidepools while the sun is out. It's surreal walking so far out into the seafloor, cool seagrass underfoot as little sea fauna scurry about. You can check here for tide predictions:
https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaatidepredictions/NOAATidesFacade.jsp?Stationid=9414290

Muir Woods is also super worth seeing. I wish everyone could experience the redwood forest at least once in their life. Some of the trees are taller than jumbo jets!

Man, so many memories are rushing back to me now. Anyway, thanks again for this excuse to lose my way down memory lane. I hope you have a good trip!






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[this message was edited by nobinobita on Fri 24 Jun 04:56]

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"Re(4):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 06:22post reply

I lived in Presidio during my time in the Bay Area, so I can confirm that Presidio is a pleasant place to be.

Though Disney is not everybody's cup of tea, the Disney Museum in Presidio often has an exhibit dedicated to an artist which worked at Disney and was influential there, and seeing the evolution of their work and the influence of their work is very interesting because the history of it is so recent.

The small restaurant King of Thai, which was renamed Thai's King due to mysterious internal disputes that may or may not have to do with conflict in Thailand a few years ago, is surprisingly authentic and good. If you are not in the mood to constantly hit the most storied eateries of the bay area, it's a good retreat.

The Chinese food in Vancouver is significantly better than the Chinese food in San Francisco, but just walking around the Chinatown in SF can be fun.

Folsom Street Foundry is the rising place for Capcom game tournaments.

My favourite gimmick tourist attraction is the Musée Mécanique, which is a place that has coin-op entertainment machines (not video games!) some of which are like a century old.





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"Re(5):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 06:43post reply

quote:
My favourite gimmick tourist attraction is the Musée Mécanique, which is a place that has coin-op entertainment machines (not video games!) some of which are like a century old.

YES! I haven't been there in years, but a scholar like Lord Iggy'nton will surely appreciate this venerable display of proto-media devices! It is billed more like an amusement funhouse, but in actuality it is filled with raree shows, praxinoscopes, European music boxes that create audio-visual music box spectacles from 100 years ago...with a proper historian, they could put up plaques and make it a museum of media theory and history, but it doesn't even matter that they don't! Of course, there's early pre-electronic pinball, too.





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"Re(6):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 19:16post reply

Thank you all!
The MMC truly is a gentleman's club, especially now that the UK hilariously tumbled into vile buffoonery.

I'll try to get a more firm date soon-ish! But for now I'll have to go play with cute tarantulas and adorable vultures just in front of the office because work is hard.

You're all great!





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"Re(7):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 19:37post reply

quote:
Thank you all!
The MMC truly is a gentleman's club, especially now that the UK hilariously tumbled into vile buffoonery.

I'll try to get a more firm date soon-ish! But for now I'll have to go play with cute tarantulas and adorable vultures just in front of the office because work is hard.

You're all great!

I came to Northern Europe and people are meeting in Canada!



Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
j/k Travelling is not an option for a while except for Stockholm

End of Spoiler

.





Iggy
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"Re(8):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 20:35post reply

Well, the UK is definitely not an option either for the foreseable future.





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"Re(9):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Fri 24 Jun 22:23:post reply

The Musée Mécanique is cool. One of my favorite experiences when visiting Brandon in SF was falling asleep inside Audium's "sound wall". A friend of ours has said a lot of good things about The Armory. Although considering the Monty Python sketch you have woken up into today, maybe you should scale down your ambitions and just pre-order Watch_Dogs 2 instead.





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[this message was edited by chazumaru on Fri 24 Jun 22:41]



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"Re(1):The MMC travel thread : 2016 edition" , posted Sat 23 Jul 02:29post reply

YO SPOON (and any person in Vancouver early August).
If you have a moment to spare when I'm there, drop me a line!
welcome.pingouin at gmail!





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"MMC travel thread : Singapore" , posted Sat 23 Jul 17:55post reply

Singapore! Land of mystery, chicken satay and old-ass Pokémon. OK, I really don't know much about Singapore.

But I am probably spending some free time (around a week) there in early August, if they are kind enough to let me in. Anything I should know? Any tips the MMC can share?

Should I rather visit the city-state? Or visit some neighbouring islands? Should I take a peak in Malaysia or is that complicated custom-wise? Is it maybe a bad time to visit Malaysia? Any Singapore/Malay cuisine I should not miss? There will be a lady with me in case that changes things for some reason.





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"Re(1):MMC travel thread : Singapore" , posted Sun 24 Jul 00:49post reply

quote:
Singapore! Land of mystery, chicken satay and old-ass Pokémon. OK, I really don't know much about Singapore.

But I am probably spending some free time (around a week) there in early August, if they are kind enough to let me in. Anything I should know? Any tips the MMC can share?

Should I rather visit the city-state? Or visit some neighbouring islands? Should I take a peak in Malaysia or is that complicated custom-wise? Is it maybe a bad time to visit Malaysia? Any Singapore/Malay cuisine I should not miss? There will be a lady with me in case that changes things for some reason.



If I remember correctly, orchid road is a street full of technology stores. One mall there was also full of retail technology stores and had an arcade with fighting games. I played KOF neowave at the time and I was surprised to see it setup like Japanese arcades with two monitors for one game. Orchid mall or orange mall, is NSFW. Not sure if it's still there but it's entertainment for men, three floors at that.

Lots of gambling in Singapore. I think I remember seeing places for betting on horse races. At the time, I was mostly trying curry mutton which was amazing. It's goat meat with rice vegetables and sauce. The food has a mix of Indian and Chinese. I heard the zoo was nice.

You should definitely go to Malaysia. It's not far and would be nice to hear on the experience. I did forgot to mentioned during my time in Singapore, we were told that it's illegal to spit on the floor and to make contact with a women's eye. Let me know if that still holds today.





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"Re(1):MMC travel thread : Singapore" , posted Sun 24 Jul 04:51post reply

quote:
Singapore! Land of mystery, chicken satay and old-ass Pokémon. OK, I really don't know much about Singapore.

But I am probably spending some free time (around a week) there in early August, if they are kind enough to let me in. Anything I should know? Any tips the MMC can share?

Should I rather visit the city-state? Or visit some neighbouring islands? Should I take a peak in Malaysia or is that complicated custom-wise? Is it maybe a bad time to visit Malaysia? Any Singapore/Malay cuisine I should not miss? There will be a lady with me in case that changes things for some reason.



I'm from Malaysia but hopefully I can offer some help here.

In Singapore, food is not much a very big difference from Malaysia. E.g. Satay, Nasi Lemak, chinese food ... pretty much the same you can get in Malaysia.

Tourist attractions, you can pretty much get from Internet. If you plan to go to Universal Studio, please get the express ticket, you don't want to line up like 45 minutes for a 10 minute show. But its quite small if compare to other locations.

Transportation : It's convenient to any point you want to visit.

Security : I can say its safer than Malaysia, LOL!!!

Month of August : In chinese calendar, this month is like a Ghost Festival month.
If you happen to be here and if you found MONEY BILL on the street, please don't pick up and use it. These money is for the ghost.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Festival

Arcade : I used to go to Bugis when I was there for 2 years, that place has alot of Pro Players but I'm not sure for now though.

Language : You will not find any difficulty in there as most of people speak English fluently.

Is there anything more you want to know ? I can answer for you in here.

But if you plan to visit Malaysia, I don't mind bring you around (if your lady is OK, haha).
Anyway, I live in Penang where lot of people coming here for food and beach vacation.





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"Re(2):MMC travel thread : Singapore" , posted Mon 1 Aug 04:07post reply

Thanks a lot, Hasukii! I received a lot of good advice over the past few days. I hope we are lucky with the weather.





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