Calendar of summer tech events in Silicon Valley and Bay Area 2012

It is that time of the year. Many of our Italian and European friends take advantage of summer vacations to visit the Bay Area and regularly ask for a list of interesting tech events.

As in previous years, I have started a list interesting tech and business events taking place in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, in July and August 2012. The focus is mostly web, internet marketing, mobile, healthcare, social media, software etc.

Here’s the Google calendar in HTML and iCal format.

PS: I am not associated with, nor endorse any specific listed organization or event.

Visiting San Francisco FAQ

Night shot of Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco
Night shot of Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have lived in the Bay Area for less than 10 years, so by no means I know it all. But I feel it would help to collect the most asked questions I get from San Francisco visitors:

Q: What’s the best Italian restaurant in San Francisco?

A: I get this question a lot, predictably. My favorites in alphabetical order:

  • Acquerello delivers a formal dining experience of superior quality and service.
  • La Ciccia is a true neighborhood gem of a restaurant delivering Sardinian fare that is up to par with the original stuff.
  • Cotogna is a relatively new entrant on the scene and an instant success among foodies.
  • Farina e Focaccia has established itself as a must visit for fresh pasta and Genovese focaccia lovers.
  • Perbacco features Piemontese cuisine of consistent quality in a classy and relaxed  ambiance. Try the agnolotti!
  • Quince, top of the line. Period.

Q: What is the best pizza in San Francisco?

A: Pizza seems to polarize people, maybe cause everyone has a very personal opinion of what a great pizza should be like. Anyway, here’s my very personal list:

  • A16 delivers top wood-fired owen pizza with seasonal toppings.
  • Delfina has established itself as a solid spot in the SF pizza scene.
  • Zero Zero has got to be my personal favorite. Choose the Margherita Extra with buffalo mozzarella.
  • [Special mention] Pizzaiolo is technically not in San Francisco. Well worth the trip to the Temescal restaurant row in Oakland.

Q: What is the best spot for a drink?

A: So many choices, so little time.  This one depends on a number of criteria. I go by the bartender’s craft as the primary factor. San Francisco is home to some of the best. Again, in alphabetical order:

  • 25 Lusk, 70s ambiance and a nicely laid out bar.
  • Bourbon & Branch‘s bar tenders are as good at it gets. It is a speakeasy, so you need to call for a door password.
  • Burritt, a nice new spot in the Crescent Hotel.
  • Nihon has a top notch whiskey stock. The location is out of the way and the ambiance cosy and stylish.
  • Toronado, if you are into beer this is your spot.

Q: Is it worth visiting Pier 39?

A: In a word, no.

Q: Is it worth visiting Alcatraz? 

A: In a word, yes.

Enjoy your stay!

Summer Solitude in Yosemite? Quite Possible

I have been wanting to take a break and get back to Yosemite for a couple of years now. The prospect of summer crowds not that appealing, I started looking for a good solo hiking trip in the Yosemite wilderness that I could complete in less than a week and that would afford some solitude. It took just a couple of weeks planning. Because I was purposefully avoiding the more popular options, such as the John Muir Trail and the High Sierra camps, I was able to secure a permit just a couple of days in advance. I called the Wilderness Reservation line and booked a 6-day, 5-night stay in the park’s southern backcountry, timing the 50-mile loop so as to hit the remotest sections over the weekend and get in and out Yosemite Valley during weekdays. Oh, and I travelled from SF to the park (and back) by train and bus.

So, here is the log. Continue reading “Summer Solitude in Yosemite? Quite Possible”

Where’s the bear? Lost Coast solo backpacking

So I finally did it. With the weather forecast promising three straight 80s-and-fog-clear coastal days, I headed to King Range National Conservation Area to descend north to south the 25.6-mile stretch of the Lost Coast trail from Mattole to Shelter Cove. Here’s the log.

Friday, Oct 10, 2008

3:15 am: Left San Francisco to drive north on H101. Deserted Golden Gate bridge has a surreal quality to it. I am doing good time all along the way, though encountering multiple slower men-at-work areas along the freeway.

Continue reading “Where’s the bear? Lost Coast solo backpacking”