Day 1: Landing in San Francisco (Pre-Macworld blogging)

W Hotel @ San Francisco - 01
W San Francisco: our base of operations
Click to see W San Francisco photoset

As my friend Peter managed to get a good deal on the swanky W in San Francisco, there’s no better way to report from Macworld than a hotel right across from the Moscone Center, where Macworld Expo 2008 is to be held.

The W is quite an amazing experience. A room with a fantastic view of Bay Bridge, bright cheery bedding (neat cloud mirrors), a glowing color-changing Buddha, a mini-candy store, an iPod dock with tuned-in Tivoli radio, a sizable work desk with multiple power outlets, HDTV with HD-DVD player, and the list goes on… Just take a look at the photoset above to get what I mean.

Priscilla & Kevin - 1But enough on our accommodations, being in San Fran for me was about Macworld and meeting people (like geek celebrities). On my first evening in SF, the first person I got to meet up with was Priscilla who stopped over from CES in Las Vegas, heading home to Singapore. We shopped a little at H&M, then had nice (and reasonably priced) Thai food along Powell Street.

After dinner we headed over to Borders along Union Square where I bumped into Roy Chean, the Singaporean Mac Specialist who came in from the University of Melbourne Australia. It was Roy’s first time in SF, and I’d offer to bring him around but I really had lots to do here. He’ll be busy with Mac conferences as he’s sponsored under the Apple university consortium (I believe). I’ll be seeing him again at Macworld Blast, an official expo party. Devo should be performing this year and I’ve created an Upcoming event for inbound folks to add.

Dim Sum brunch @ Grand Palace (South SF) - 05The next morning, Peter, Florence and I joined up with Dennis and Sam (with their kids) for a day of feasting. You know every time I come to SF, there seems to be an infinite number of new eateries to check out, not that I’m complaining but I’d be afraid to live here. Anyway, our first stop was a dim sum brunch at Grand Palace in South San Francisco. I could have made a time lapse video of the food streaming in, but I got lazy, so do your own. Here’s stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3. I said that coming into San Fran from suburban Buffalo and looking at this mad spread made me feel like an Ethiopian kid seeing food for the first time. I ate slowly, just in case.

Japan Town - 02Since we’re big on desserts, Dennis drove us over to Japan Town where we got to have the famous Muchee (I had red bean), then finish off with Sophie’s Crepes. I seriously can’t gobble down so much, but I-must-try.

Since Florence was here for a few days, we followed her shopping around Union Square. Other than checking out various branded stores, I spotted some Segways and GoCars (tri-wheeled cars) roaming the streets.

Espetus Churrascaria Brazilian Steak Dinner - 05Dinner reservation had to be made five days ahead for Espetus, Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House. Our group grew, with the addition of Marie, her bf Pan as well as Peter’s cousin, Arthur. It’s one of those cooked meat on swords deal, where servers come to you table to fill your plates with ridiculous quantities of delicious meats. Here’s a spiced chicken heart I tried. You even had a coaster which you flip to indicate your fill… green meant keep going, while red meant enough, enough. You do not want to look at the bill…

Desserts @ Golden Island Cafe - 5Before we could call it a night, we ended up Golden Island Cafe. Why? Desserts again of course! Marie suggested the Mango and Grapefruit with Sago, while Florence tried a Sweet Desserts sampler (just around $4!). Here’s the dessert menu and business card if you’re ever in the neighborhood.

Stay tuned for more Macworld-ish news. Meantime, you can check out the slideshow of photos so far…