San Francisco – day 1 (settling in)

Tuesday was a day to settle in and get some work done from the comfort of my 36th-floor room at the Hilton on O’Farrell St. Being not quite on UK time, but at least somewhere transatlantic, meant I went to bed at around 9pm and woke up at 5am, something I plan to keep up for the rest of the trip to make re-adjustment easier.

I spent some of the morning in Second Life, hanging out in the new IBM complex which opened this weekend. I met one person, and was IMd by another, wondering how they go about joining IBM. I now have the IBM employment page bookmarked, ready to pass on to people who ask this.

In the afternoon I went for a walk. San Francisco is a strange city. Almost European, if it were not for the familiar names (Macy’s, Subway, Quiznos) and white-toothed smiling friendly staff in every shop. It also has a lot of homelessness, more strikingly so than London. I’ve always assumed this is because of the temperate microclimate. It’s actually rather unusually chilly this week, but still around 9oC.

I wandered around the city, not even bothering to avoid the bits the hotel receptionist had suggested I avoid (it was daylight after all) and very quickly ended up at the Weinstein gallery where, while staying at this same hotel, I had unintentionally posed as an art collector back in 2001. I crossed Market Street into the North of the city, and explored 4th and 5th, down to the Metreon Center (which seems less exciting than it did 4 years ago) and the Yerba Buena Gardens.

San Francisco Shopping Center Yerba Buena Gardens Buildings, reflected Tramlines Market Street

The meeting I’m here for is tomorrow. Then on Thursday I have a chance to meet some West Coast friends while I’m in town.