Get ready for culture

Get ready for culture

Andi Berlin

San Francisco is like the New York of the West Coast: It’s cultured, big, open late, full of scary transients and easy to get to. If you’re itching for an exciting weekend of drinking, partying and staring at light shows (and tired of Las Vegas), hop on a plane or take the drive. It may be over 10 hours, but seeing those walruses at Pier 39 makes it worth it. Here are some other sites you might want to check out while you’re there.

The Fillmore
1805 Geary Bloulevard

This concert venue has a rich history dating back to the mid-’60s with the Deadhead scene, Pink Floyd, the Doors, Janis Joplin and others, but even now it’s still a mainstay in San Francisco music. Hipster icons Girl Talk and the Klaxons just played there a couple months ago, and Band of Horses and Blackalicious are slated for the coming weeks.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street

This museum is a must-see, mainly because it showcases a Marcel Duchamp ready-made of a toilet bowl, the porcelain Michael Jackson and Bubbles sculpture by Jeff Koons, and the remnants of a performance piece by Matthew Barney. In “”Drawing Restraint 14,”” Barney bungeed the walls of the SFMOMA and then drew some scribbles, all dressed as General Douglas MacArthur.

The bizarre Forever 21 in Union Square
7 Powell Street

While you’re in the city’s main shopping district, with coveted retail chains like Gucci, H&M, Betsy Johnson and more, you can check out the ridiculous Forever 21 in the old Bank of America building. This multi-story extravaganza looks like an Edwardian palace or the Ritz Carlton, but still has the same polka-dotted tunics and cheap leggings as before. They’re even pretty much the same price.

444 Jessie Street at Mint

This ultra-hip club has film screenings as well as dance parties, fashion shows, touring bands and video installations, accompanied with electronica light shows. LCD Soundsystem, Fischerspooner, Justice, Diplo, have all been there, making it the Fabric of San Francsico.

Little Italy
Adjacent to China Town and Fisherman’s Wharf

Oh god, the sandwiches. Little Italy has a myriad of small Italian shops where you can create your own hoagie with ingredients such as capicola, fresh mozzarella and salami. Plus, you can stop by the beatnik bookstore City Lights, where Alan Ginsberg published the influential “”Howl.”” If you keep walking toward Union Square, you might come across the random donut shop run by Asians who scream at the bums who walk by.