Esther was an amazing tour guide and worth every penny. It felt like we were hanging out with a long-time friend. We had no problem at all understanding her English, and appreciated everything we learned (and tasted) along our Jewish Ghetto tour. I wish we could have hired her every day, to walk around Rome with us. She even waited for our bus with us in the pouring, freezing rain, at the end of the day, just to make sure we got on the right bus. Thank you Esther! Highly recommend.
This day was incredible. We did the tour with Bill our guide. He knew everything there was to know and more, was really friendly without being intrusive and showed us the best of everything there was to see. The places you're taken too are mainly off the tourist track so you feel as though it is all there just for you.
We did several tours on this trip and compared to others, it was by far worth every penny and we'd do it again. We had a picnic lunch, which was fine, plus plenty of water and snacks if needed. As there was just the two of us Bill was also our photographer, which we really appreciated.
My best friend's parents were in town from Charleston SC and we had an amazing time going on Russell's street tour (btw Russell is a South Carolinian too--a wonderful bonding point for our group!) We covered an incredible amount of ground (physically and metaphorically) in 3 hours and Russell is an encyclopedia of knowledge on the changing street art scene in this city. Off-the-beaten path is thrown around a lot, and my first instinct is to say, don't believe it, especially if it's used to refer to the Mission. Well, I stand corrected. Russell took us off-the-beaten path in the most trodden, buzzed, blogged about, instagrammed neighborhood of SF. This is an amazing experience for a visitor or native San Franciscan--Russell will open your eyes to a whole new world within our 7x7 mile town. Be prepared to have your mind blown.
But first, a little background: As an old skool raver (think flyer art), and for other reasons, I have always loved graffiti & murals, with a large collection of photos I have taken all over the world. I knew next to nothing about the artists, history, inside meanings, etc. and only recognized one of the artist names rattled off by Russell throughout the tour (guess who... it starts with a B) ... However, I had my mind blown by the beauty and humor of most of the pieces we saw! San Francisco is probably home to the coolest, most mindbending street art in the world, and I have lived here for 2.5 years, but I was still gasping with awe every 15 minutes or so at a hidden gem, or one I just never walked by. And our guide was PERFECT. A true veteran of the scene and artist himself, he was clear and detailed, incredibly knowledgeable (yet never making shit up the 2 occasions he didn't know something), warm and humorous, and sharing the same contagious passion about street art as me. We could have talked for 3 more hours after the 3 hour tour but unfortunately he had another one lined up at 4pm. He left us with lots of great resources (of all different kinds of media) to continue our own research and urban art-hunting... Opened up a really sweet Pandora's box of brain candy that I look forward to exploring. Worth every dollar. 5 stars out of 5 : )
classic 70s jazz bar with red mood lighting, fabulous jazz music and a really good crowd all dancing really well to the music. Was a magical experience. I hear they have something or the other every night, must check it out!
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