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Seattle Does San Francisco for Cheap

Bayview Park, Sutro Tower, San Francisco

Courtesy of the City Guides Facebook page, this article from the Seattle Times shows how to have a luxurious good time in San Francisco on a tight budget.

The article is a bit more thorough and creative than most of its type, but I'd take it further and, for the truly adventurous, try using to avoid paying high city hotel room rates - you'll also meet real locals in the process.

Can't make it to China, Japan, France, Italy or Mexico this year? Explore San Francisco's ethnic neighborhoods and attractions, and circle the globe without leaving town... Dim Sum in Chinatown? Panini in Italian North Beach? Both are tempting, but we settled on the Mission District for an afternoon of street art, tacos and ice cream.

I do love that they recommend free City Guides walking tours, something every SF local should take advantage of (be sure to donate!). Last year they served nearly 40,000 walkers, and have dozens of tours, most of which can be dropped in on without a reservation. (Full disclosure: I recently graduated from the excellent guide training program at City Guides; stay tuned for more details.)

CNN Says San Francisco is Infested with Bedbugs

CNN Says San Francisco is Infested With Bedbugs

Without naming the actual hotel involved, CNN opens this article on urban pests with an anecdote about the creator of a website called getting bitten in San Francisco.

We're aware of at least one egregious bedbug mating/feeding zone here in the city, but is it fair to highlight SF in the lede that way? Maybe.

There are 497 San Francisco hotels listed on Yahoo Travel, and 64 in The Bedbug Registry's database. There are 85 New York hotels found in the registry, but that's out of 794 total on Yahoo Travel. That gives NYC an infestation rate of 10.7% and SF a rate of nearly 13%.

Now, I realize my method is less than totally scientific. There may be any number of reasons that cause more bug reports in one city than another, and it's impossible to know the accuracy rate of the reports that are made. For instance, here's an entry for the Hotel Verona in SF:

Friend seems to have a number of bedbug bites. Other hotel residents had reported them.

Such diagnoses are not exactly confidence-inspiring. Other considerations: There may be hotels in either city not listed on Yahoo Travel, though that effect probably cancels itself out. And, the math is cumulative, so it doesn't necessarily represent conditions at any given time.

In any case, WTF? The fact that approximately 13% of SF hotels have had bedbug reports is not good. And NYC shouldn't be bragging about their rate either.

Go ahead and rip apart my math/logic in the comments.

We’re #1! – Nastiest Hotel in the World

Nastiest Hotel in the World is in San Francisco?

We finally made it to the top of one of those year-end lists, y'all!

It's Trip Advisor's 2010 Dirtiest Hotels list, and our very own Heritage Marina kicked serious ass to get to #1. (I know it's a U.S. list, but everyone knows we're the only country that counts, so by the transitive property of, like, math, I'm declaring it the #1 spot on the planet.)

Images of filth and glory after the jump...

Flag Change at Alcatraz

A bit of a special moment on The Rock that I happened to see while on a tour with my visiting parents. I dig the precision and respect the officers give to the process.

(Be sure to lower your computer's volume because the wind really batters the microphone, especially in the beginning; the sound of the ratchet later is pretty cool, though.)