This was my first question upon moving the coldest winter I ever spent. After having lived in San Francisco for a few years now, I’ve collected a few of my favorite freebies that I’d like to share with you. Now that cost is no longer the barrier to entry, I encourage you to push yourself outside your comfort zone and give a few of these a shot. You can and will forge new meaningful relationships as you look to further acclimate to the big city (it’s actually horrendously small so you’re about to have the best cramped 7 x 7 mi. time of your life).
The Hustle Pizza & 40s
Step 1, join The Hustle daily tech and business newsletter. I am both a Neo and traditional Nazi when it comes to my email inbox, and these guys are one of the few that I allow each morning. Their sense of humor is a bit cheesy for my taste, but I sincerely appreciate the effort and there’s no question they are able to curate a nice dash of daily news to stay abreast the most critical events, such as whether or not Snapchat is following Instagram with video, live video, more video, perma-video or vice-versa; drones; Facebook; ‘Bezos at it again’; and more techie news splashes (in hindsight, maybe I should unsubscribe). AND, they are frequently, at an increasing rate, throwing free “Pizza & 40s” events all around the city. I’ve gone to several and had a blast eating pizza. Oh yeah, there’s some business pseudo-titan up there giving a talk for you guys, so it’s a learning and networking opportunity as well.
I had to take a break from the last couple events because last time I went some guy demolished the limited pizza they had (in proportion to show-up rate) like I’d never seen before. I was boiling with indignation as I only got two slices myself, all the while watching him snipe a slice, devour it, move around the perimeter, and thrust back in for more. I don’t know if he was military trained or what but I’ve never seen such flawless tactical execution and maneuvering. Anyway, this is a cool event.
Open on Sunday mornings. I recommend getting the Alaskan smoked salmon. The food isn’t free (hoping you caught that part) but you may stroll through the tents and pick up your heart’s desire of organic and pasture-raised foods.
AcroYoga Open Jams
The best one I know is at Bay Club SF, 7pm-midnight on Monday’s. That club also happens to be pretty saucy and sexy, so you should feel honored to walk through their gym labyrinth without paying. AcroYoga is essentially yoga with a partner (preferably female if I get a vote) and an absolute blast. Few wouldn’t benefit from the added flexibility, new yoga moves, and inviting friends. Similar to my buddies at CrossFit, these folks tend to be peculiar in their own right, but it’s all a part of the San Francisco experience for which you signed up.
Their tagline: “Where Leaders Are Made.” Enough said right!?
In all seriousness, this serves as an excellent opportunity for you to hone your public speaking and communication skills while rubbing shoulders with some surprisingly humble and dedicated individuals. The best networking events are ones that aren’t labeled as such, and instead have an alternate primary purpose, i.e. public speaking enhancement. Each club/location is very different and has its own culture, so poke around and see where you click best. Guests are free.
Brainwash Cafe Open Mic
Whether you wish to enjoy some comedy or give it a shot yourself, Brainwash Cafe is a solid option. It’s a bit janky, and an open mind will be required, but who doesn’t love free comedy and an endless runway for those wishing to practice some new material.
Yoga at Grace Cathedral
Free yoga on Tuesdays in beautiful Grace Cathedral. Very difficult for me to make this funny or interesting, but it being a promising weekly option is as stands.
- Give one or more of theses a shot whether you are visiting, just moved, or a longtime resident of San Francisco.
- Build your own list, respective to your location, to push yourself out there, try new things, and meet new people. Make courage, not cost, be the barrier stopping you from taking the plunge. Yay for generic advice!