Jeffrey Gerson, San Francisco's man about town.

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June 29, 2018
Photo of Jeffrey Gerson by Pei Ketron

How I See San Francisco: SF's Man About Town Jeffrey Gerson

You're likely to run into Jeffrey Gerson almost anywhere in the city. When he's not working on the newest product marketing strategy for Instagram, he's pulling together events for Soho House, hosting dinner series, out taking photos or exploring new coffee shops.

Check out tips below from San Francisco's man about town for the best ways to experience San Francisco. You can (try to) keep up with him on Instagram at @jeffreydgerson.

What does a typical day in San Francisco look like for you?

Almost all my days start early with coffee at a local spot near my home in Noe Valley. On weekdays, I hop on Muni to head downtown to work. On evenings and weekends, I'm usually exploring the city with friends or hosting events to help bring various pockets of the San Francisco community closer together. 

What should every visitor do at least once?

It may be a no-brainer, but go to Alcatraz. I know so many locals who have never been, and it's worth the time to explore. They have a great self-guided audio tour, narrated with the stories of former inmates and guards that bring the history to life. 

Which San Francisco neighborhood do you like to explore?

Literally all of them. Each neighborhood has its own vibe and treasures. You miss so much if you confine yourself to just a few. If I had to choose one, though, a day spent wandering Ocean Beach ranks very high on my list. 

Where do you indulge your artistic side in San Francisco?

SFMOMA and the de Young are heavyweight champions here, but I love dropping into all the small galleries around the city as well. Fraenkel Gallery, Pier 24 Photography, Marrow Gallery and Hashimoto Contemporary are all current favorites. 

What's your favorite annual event that happens in San Francisco? 

Dore Alley and Folsom Street Fair are absolutes for me. Most people don't realize that it's almost entirely volunteer supported, and the proceeds from the fairs support charities in the Bay Area and beyond. They've raised more than six million dollars since 1984. I usually don't dress up (or down) to attend, but it's always a blast nonetheless. 

Where and what would you choose for your last meal in San Francisco?

The trout tostadas at Cala, hands down. I don't even like seafood that much, but those tostadas—and everything else—that comes from Cala is absolute magic. 

Which restaurant is still on your list to dine at in San Francisco?

Is it cliché to say Lazy Bear? I've become such a fan of True Laurel since Nicolas Torres spun it off. It's only made me want to take the plunge into the full experience more. I'm just waiting for the right occasion. 

Who do you follow to keep up with San Francisco news?

I still go to the San Francisco Chronicle for the most official news, but The Bold Italic will always be one of my favorites. They get right into the things San Franciscans are actually curious about, no matter how serious or irreverent, and write to it wonderfully.

I also love everything from @everdaybayarea on Instagram. They're working with great local photographers to share diverse viewpoints from across the Bay Area. Worth the follow.

Where do you like to shoot sunrise and sunset?

I always love watching sunrise from the outlook at Slacker Hill, even if it is a bit of a trek. It's wild to be up at the same level as the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge. It's lovely to be up there and watch everything come to life as the sun rises.

By sunset, I'm usually out and about around the city. Lately, I've really enjoyed the sunsets from Charmaine's, the rooftop bar at the Proper Hotel, especially if I can get a seat outside to watch all the buildings glow during golden hour.

What’s one part of San Francisco that you wish visitors knew about? 

It's technically not in the city, but everyone should get up to the Marin Headlands. It gives you a great excuse to drive across the bridge with a lot more to do than just stop at the scenic overlooks. The Marin Headlands Center for the Arts, the Marine Mammal Center and Rodeo Beach make for a great excursion. Then head to Sol Food afterwards for the best Puerto Rican food in the Bay.

What makes you fall in love with San Francisco all over again?

I’m such a sucker for the fog. Every time I see it spilling over San Bruno mountain or crowding in over Twin Peaks, something still catches in my chest. It's a nice reminder to me of how unique and special the city is, not only culturally, but even down to our climate and geography. 

Any last final advice for travelers coming to visit San Francisco?

Even though it’s California, it’s colder than you'd expect. When we say bring layers, we mean it.  

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