Archive for the Filling the Void Category
San Francisco is my favorite city in the world, bar none.
I love NYC, I love Bali, and I love Buenos Aires, but SF is the place for me. And since I’ve been here for 10+ years, I get asked a lot: what should I do when I visit?
This post will highlight some of my favorite things.
Recently, I joined forces with InsideHook – the “essential lifestyle guide for adventurous and discerning men.” I’ll be their SF curator (and advisor), helping them find and share hidden gems in gadgets, food, outdoor adventure, and more. Subscribers get one hand-picked item per day via email. That’s it.
I encourage you to check it out here. At the very least, you’ll get an education in headlines, as their copywriters are amazing.
Now — onward!
Below is one of my ideal days in SF, planned out so everything is within close walking distance.
A Damn Fine Day
Wellness FX Blood Analysis
Activity: Blood-drawing and high-end diagnostics
Description: Visit one of Wellness FX’s labs for a blood drawing to produce an in-depth analysis of your state of health. Results offer a wide range of information, from cholesterol and hormone levels the to an analysis of your body’s electrolytes and vitamins.
Activity: Smoothies, juice blends and more at 21st/Valencia.
Description: SideWalk provides made-to-order juices, smoothies & kombucha juice blends that are as delicious as they are beneficial to your physical and mental health. My favorites? The “Green Machine” and the “Jake Shields,” named after the local UFC fighter (“The strongest kale drink in existence!”).
Street Art Tour
Activity: Walking tour of two alleyways with notable graffiti artwork with Dan Pan. We focused on the Mission district.
Description: Guided walking tour with Dan Pan, founder of 1AM Gallery’s new street-art app. The app allows you to find nearby street art, as well as take pics and have users tell you the artist (very cool). Try Clarion Alley as a starting point, which is run by an artists’ collective.
Pricing: The 1AM app is free.
Mission Cliffs Climbing
Activity: Indoor rock climbing
Description: Indoor rock climbing at Mission Cliffs, a sprawling gym located at 2295 Harrison St.
Lunch at Salumeria
Activity: Lunch at Salumeria
Description: Salumeria is a 20th St. deli and larder that marries the culinary traditions of Old World Italy with the trend-hopping foodie culture of contemporary San Francisco.
Activity: Adult beverages with friends
Description: Enjoying social lubrication with new or old friends. A fine tradition as old as time. Some of my favorite spots include:
St. Vincent (Mission)
Hotel Biron (Downtown-ish, Hayes Valley)
Trick Dog (Mission; Disclosure: I’m an investor)
Bourbon and Branch (Tenderloin)
4 More Free Activities
Hawk Hill: where you can take a bike ride into our Cold War past.
Once upon a time, Fortress America dotted San Francisco’s hilltops with Nike missiles and radar outposts. Of course, those missiles were never fired — but you can still visit the rusted remnants of their vigilance if you bike up to the SF-87C radar outpost, the best-kept secret of the Marin Headlands coastline.
The Lands End Trail, where you’ll find the best maze in the Bay.
Truck up the Great Highway to stretch legs and strut your knowledge of the Sutro Baths. Hike up the Land’s End Trail from the ruins to the labyrinth at Eagle’s Point. It’s only a couple miles round trip, and damn fine panoramic views’ll be in serious supply.
California Cheese Trail: pairs well with Mission Cheese (below) or your vineyard of choice.
As an adult, your knowledge on cheese should surpass the realms of Lunchables and Easy Mac. Showing you the whey: the California Cheese Trail app from the folks at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, available now for iPhone and Android. If you’re up for spending a few bucks on cheesy delights, visit Mission Cheese on Valencia.
The Bay Bridge’s long-awaited East Span.
The opening of the Bay Bridge’s new East Span has been years in the making, and now it’s officially open, welcoming pedestrians and cyclists of all stripes and offering exclusive access to Yerba Buena Island.
6 More Paid Activities
Vantigo: Tour beer breweries in a cherry-red VW Bus.
Indulge your nostalgia for simpler days with Vantigo, now offering tours of some of the Bay Area’s best microbreweries via a pristine ’71 VW Vanagon.
Pricing: $85 per person
Trumaker and Co.: Shirtmakers who come to you.
Restock your shirt library with Trumaker and Co., a custom shirtmaker with a highly mobile fleet of outfitters. It’s simple: you make an appointment, they send a tailor your way.
Pricing: from $98, free outfitter appointment
Boatbound. Because every man should own a boat…if only for a day.
Herein: your guide to using BoatBound, a new AirBnB-style boat rental service. SF Bay or Half Moon Bay?
Pricing: from $250 per day
Big Sur Roadhouse. The Big Sur getaway you’ve been looking for.
There’s a sprawling new Cajun restaurant in Big Sur. There are also some skinny-dip-friendly hot springs down the road. That gives you at least two good excuses to visit.
Pricing: from $50 per person
Mikkeller. It’s like a beer tour of Europe in a single bar.
The legend of Danish brewery Mikkeller has been growing across the pond for some time; they just opened their first North American alehouse in San Francisco.
Shelter Co.: Romantic private camping service with tent butlers.
Shelter Co. offers completely customized luxury camping experiences. You want tent butlers? They got tent butlers. You want a private island? They will rent you a private island.
Pricing: from $2000
Let’s Talk About This…
Want more activities, rare finds, and goodies? Sign up for InsideHook and let me know what you think. I’ll also choose one person who signs up for a 30-minute phone call with me.
Then what? How about you try my Pacific Northwest roadtrip from SF to Whistler? Damn, I love the Bay Area.
What’s your favorite city in the world, and what are your favorite 2-4 activities?
If you’ve ever fantasized about taking time off to globe-trot, I would highly recommend Rolf Pott’s Vagabonding
. It is one of only two books I took with me when I traveled the world for 18 months. Outside Magazine founding editor Tim Cahill calls Vagabonding
“the most sensible book of travel related advice ever written.”
I recently partnered with Rolf to release the exclusive audiobook for Vagabonding. For more on this incredible book, click here
How to Live Like a Rock Star in Buenos Aires
How to Hack Tokyo for Less Than NYC
How to Travel Through 20+ Countries with Free Room and Board
How to Travel to Exotic, Expensive Cities on $50 a Day (e.g. Paris, Hong Kong)
Goofing around at Burning Man ’08. Ah, the memories…
This is just a quick announcement post.
Below, please find the winners of Chip Conley’s Burning Man 2013 contest (See “28 Festivals and 8 Reasons They Can Change Your Life“), as well as the finalists for the Charity:Water roundtrip ticket anywhere in the world.
Please vote for your favorite Charity:Water finalist! The most votes wins — deadline is this Friday, Aug. 23 at 5pm PT.
First, Burning Man Tickets — Enter Chip
Wow, what an impressive and heartfelt collection of stories about how festivals have or could transform your lives! Thanks to the 250 people who shared with us. This was a difficult choice and, while only one person wins the two tickets to Burning Man 2013, I’ve selected one winner and three alternates depending upon whether the first place winner can use the tickets (since the event starts in a week and ends on the Monday of Labor Day). Congrats to these four! Tanis, DW, and Rebecca, we will immediately reach out to you if the person above you on the list can’t use the tickets.
For everyone else, take a look at Fest300 and imagine which festival might transform your life or give you a whole new perspective on how you could live your life. In this era of digital overload, festivals offer you the opportunity to connect more deeply with yourself and others.
FIRST PLACE… Read More
Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels.
Chip Conley is the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which he began at age 26 and built to more than 30 properties in California alone. In 2010, Joie de Vivre was awarded the #1 customer service award in the U.S. by Market Metrix (Upper Upscale hotel category).
Conley has also been named the “Most Innovative CEO” in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times, and I’m proud to call him a friend.
Last year, he decided that he wanted to become the world’s leading expert on festivals.
Why? Because he’d seen his personal and professional lives transformed by places like Bali and Burning Man. Since that decision, he’s traveled to more than two-dozen countries to experience more than three-dozen festivals and launched Fest300.
Why are festivals — one of the mankind’s oldest traditions — most important than ever in a digital world? What are Chip’s favorite festivals and how can they tranform your life?
This post — full of inspirational photographs — answers all of these questions.
Chip is also giving away two free tickets to this month’s sold-out Burning Man, which include drinks with Chip and quite possibly Larry Harvey, the founder of Burning Man. Deadline for submissions is this Friday! Details at the end of this post.
Enjoy… Read More
I’m turning 36 years young! Here in a village in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.
My 36th birthday is here!
It’s going to be a great natal year–I can already feel it. Perhaps it will be good luck for you, too. In this post, I’m giving away a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world.
But back to that strange birthday gift…
Much to the chagrin of my momma-san, I’ve become quite difficult to buy presents for. Some friends even think I’m impossible to find presents for. Not so. I love handwritten letters, homemade brownies, girlfriends in next-to-nothing, and–most of all–when people do something nice.
You, my dear readers, have an awesome track record of doing nice things.
For my b-day in 2010, you all raised more than $100,000 for high-need public school classrooms in the US. In 2011, you helped build libraries overseas (Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam), and last year, you helped poor youth in developing nations finish school.
In lieu of gifts this year, my birthday wish is to provide clean water to the people who need it most. I’m doing it on this page. There are fun prizes involved, so keep reading… Read More
(Photo credit: Moyan Brenn)
This is a tactical post on travel from Ryan Holiday, who’s written on this blog before about the pragmatism of Stoicism and lessons learned as Director of Marketing for American Apparel.
To his 21 rules, I’ve added a few of my own tricks. Please share your own rules and tips in the comments!
Enter Ryan Holiday
Why are you traveling?
Because, you know, you don’t magically get a prize at the end of your life for having been to the most places. There is nothing inherently valuable in travel, no matter how hard the true believers try to convince us.
Seneca, the stoic philosopher, has a great line about the restlessness of those who seem compelled to travel. They go from resort to resort and climate to climate, he says, and continues:
“They make one journey after another and change spectacle for spectacle. As Lucretius says ’Thus each man flees himself.’ But to what end if he does not escape himself? He pursues and dogs himself as his own most tedious companion. And so we must realize that our difficulty is not the fault of the places but of ourselves.”
It’s hard for me see anything to envy in most people who travel. Because deep down that is what they are doing. Fleeing themselves and the lives they’ve created. Or worse, they’re telling themselves that they’re after self-discovery, exploration or new perspectives when really they are running towards distraction and self-indulgence.
Is that why you’re packing up your things and hitting the road?
Not that I don’t travel myself–I did my fair share this year alone. Both coasts of Australia. I was in Amsterdam for a speaking gig (and I found myself at a tulip farm with Tim where he caught a chicken with his bare hands). I researched for my next book in Rome. I went down to Brazil. I went to Copenhagen. I spent enough time in New York that it felt like I lived there. I road tripped across the United States more times than I can count–New Orleans to New York; New York to Miami; Miami to Austin… The list goes on. If there was a chance to go somewhere I’d never been, I tried to take it, especially if it was historic.
But are you, as Emerson once put it, ”bringing ruins to the ruins?”… Read More
The Vang Lam preschool we built in Vietnam. So cute a lumberjack would cry! Now we have three more locations.
You all should be *very* proud.
I’m thrilled to share completion reports for the three libraries you supported and made possible. The funds were raised for my birthday campaign in 2011.
They’re finally done!
This post include photos of the dedication plaques for each library, as well as information about the impact that each library has had on the local community.
In a nutshell:
- The K-to-6 library in Cambodia will help 500 students per year become literate. 500 per year = 2,500 over the next 5 years.
- The Grades 1-5 library in Sri Lanka will help 2,000 students per year become literate. 2,000 per year = 10,000 over the next 5 years.
- The K-10 library in Nepal will help 550 students per year become literate. 550 per year = 2,750 over the next 5 years.
In the next 5 years, you all will have helped change the lives of more than 15,000 students. Not only that, but you will have helped add critical thinkers to the world who can perpetuate a virtuous cycle of solving problems. Cool, right?
Here are the dedication plaques for each school. Click to enlarge:
Plaque in Cambodia!
Plaque in Nepal!
Plaque in Sri Lanka!
Now, the completion reports (and pics) for those interested… Read More
Imagine a huge stadium full of kids like this. It’s a lot, and you’ve helped them all.
This post is an experiment. I’m calling it “Feel Good Friday.”
There’s enough bad news in the world, so let’s spread a little optimism…
Since May 13th, you have directly helped 21,559 high-need public school students in the US. In fact, in the last few years, we (the community on this blog + me) have directly funded classroom projects for nearly 200,000 students (!!!).
Below are some of the teacher thank-you’s, which I think you’ll enjoy.
And one more thing:
THERE ARE STILL 3 DAYS LEFT IN OUR COMPETITION!
It’s anyone’s game to win. The prize is roundtrip airfare to a leisurely dinner with me and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. We can discuss anything you want, including business. If you’re interested in winning a seat (four (4) people will win), here are the rules.
If you’d simply like to donate $1 and feel great, click on my giving page here and choose a project you love.
Have a great weekend, all. Letters below… Read More
When will you stop dreaming and start playing? (Photo: Musician “Lights”, Credit: Shandi-lee)
I’ve always wanted to play the guitar.
It started as a kid, listening to my dad play around the fireplace during the holidays. The fantasy continued with Guns N’ Roses and the iconic Slash. From hyperspeed Slayer to classical Segovia, I was mesmerized.
But I never thought I could do it myself.
Despite tackling skills as esoteric as Japanese horseback archery, I somehow put music in a separate “does not apply” category until two years ago. It was simply too frustrating, too overwhelming.
My fascination with guitar wasn’t rekindled until Charlie Hoehn, an employee of mine at the time, showed me the 80/20 approach to learning it.
This post explains how to get the most guitar mileage and versatility in the least time… Read More
Preface from Tim
The following is a guest post by John-Clark Levin, Joe Luchsinger, and Jason Soll.
I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to publish it, and today is that day. Why? I have big battles coming next week, and they make me want to tackle the world.
By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll learn how they:
• Booked the heart of Times Square for three days for only $20
• Brought together teams of elite competitors from as far away as Nepal and New Zealand
• Organized a record-breaking competition as full-time college students…from 3,000 miles away
• Received a promotion on every page of YouTube.com, ultimately receiving over 800,000 webcast views and tens of thousands of comments during the course of the event
• Landed extensive coverage by the Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, CBS, and AOL News
• More than doubled the previous Guinness World Record for the Longest Continuous Handshake
After telling the crazy story behind this event, called “Shaking History,” they’ll teach:
• How systematically studying both your successes and failures can take you to the next level
• Why taking on charitable projects allows you to make astounding breakthroughs in the size and scale of your endeavors
• How to achieve spectacular results by defining your own “best practices”
• Why you can be the best in the world at something
Now, on to the story… Read More
In 1902, Einstein (far right) formed “The Olympia Academy” with two friends, who met to discuss books about science and philosophy. Three years later, Einstein’s Annus Mirabilis papers vaulted him to international fame.
I’m asked “How do I find a mentor?” all the time.
I’ve never had a good answer. The sad fact is this: people you want as mentors don’t want to view themselves as pro-bono life coaches. So what to do?
First, change the question. Perhaps it’s a cliche to say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears, but it’s a prescription in disguise. Here, the better question is “How do I become an ideal apprentice?”
The best treatment of apprenticeship I’ve ever found is in Mastery, the latest book by Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power. His writing on apprenticeship, mentor cultivation, and in-depth mastery of skills makes Mastery the perfect companion book to The 4-Hour Chef, in my opinion. It’s one of the few books I made time to read cover-to-cover in the last few months.
The below article explores examples of world-class apprentices and how you can emulate them. Once you do that, growth is a foregone conclusion.
Enter Robert Greene
The path to greatness is simple. It’s the path followed by everyone from Renaissance artists to the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley. In writing my first four books, I immersed myself in the study these types of people–some of most powerful figures in history. Over the course of many hours of thinking, researching and writing on excellence–the last four years of which were dedicated to writing my newest book–I discerned an unmistakable formula for becoming the best… Read More