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Preview: PacTrades Hostel Blog

San Francisco Hostel Blog

San Francisco Hostel Blog was created to give people an idea of what goes on deep within the walls of a small hostel located in San Francisco. Being the captain, I'll be acting as chief editor and have our well traveled international staff and guests as

Updated: 2014-10-04T20:44:22.552-07:00


World Cup attendance in San Francisco


Although San Francisco may not have a reputation of being a soccer, ahem* football city. The many cultures that share their space in our fare city insure many way to appreciate the worlds most popular sporting event. Below is the first place to find out where you can catch the 7AM 2010 World Cup matches starting June 11th.
Sports Events : Drink in the action: World Cup Bar Guide
Also, it's worth noting that there are a plethora of free football fields to choose from to pick up a match with the locals. Stop by reception and we we've got a bag of equipment we don't mind loaning out to our early to rise, athletically inclined backpackers.

Disappointed Otters and Street Art


Sorry we've been quiet. I hope you're not as disappointed as this otter is. (image) Anyway, for you art or subversion fans out there, legendary street artist Banksy recently hit two spots in SF in the past week. The bigger piece is located in the Mission on the left wall of Amnesia Bar, on Valencia between 19th and 20th. For reference, it's right above the bar and stationary store Little Otsu. Check out both places anyway, even if you don't like Banksy: During the day, Little Otsu is a great place to pick up a little notebook or even books from local and underground writers. At night, Amnesia hosts a variety of shows, including some Karaoke and Open Mic nights (and some comedy, too).

However, if you find yourself too lazy or disinterested in the Mission (to which the otter above us will simply be disappointed in you), there is the other spot that Banksy hit, which is conveniently located two blocks from this very hostel (which makes me suspect he stayed here...hmmmmmm), at the corner of Grant and Commercial. For the disoriented, here are simple directions: When you exit the hostel, take a right, and then take a right on Kearny, following traffic. The first street you see will be this one lane road (if you hit a stoplight, you've gone too far). Take a left on this street, walking uphill. The mural in question will be on your left at the end of the street. Feel free to pose with it in some post-modern manner. Fair warning though: If you do that, the otter will just be more disappointed in you.

Be a Spy. Be cool. Ride a Zip Line.™



Today, Justin Herman Plaza will be host to a Zip Line for 10 days. What's a zip line? It's basically a line you slide down on with your feet dangling below. Like the thing spies use in movies to get from building to building all sneaky style. The guys who built it are the same ones who built a zip line in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics a couple months ago.

Now, it's only an 80 foot height you zip from, but you fly down a distance of about 680 feet. That's approximately a city block. Incredible stuff.

Where is Justin Hermann Plaza? I know, I'm copying the directions below, but still: When you exit the hostel, turn left, and walk straight until you reach the end of Sacramento. Then, cross Davis (which is where Sacramento ends), walk through the pseudo-alleyway, and you pop right out at the Plaza. It's easy like pants.

Get Stupid. Just not in the Diesel way...


Why not Diesel way? Because Diesel's ads conflate crazy awesome with middle-class stupidity. And you know what? That's not only not cool, but dumb.

Oh, wait, you mean why do it anyway. Right....

Tomorrow is April Fools Day. The First Church of the Last Laugh is holding their annual parade in honor of the venerable Saint Stupid. The parade starts at Noon at Justin Hermann Plaza. Given that this year's "subtext" (or rather, theme) is the religion of business (or business of religion, depending on how you look at things), bring the effigy of your favorite CEO, pink slips, TPS reports, and other business papery stuff. Noisemakers, like drums, whips on your favorite CEO, and blowhorns are also encouraged. Join the fun, and go stupid.

Where is Justin Hermann Plaza? When you exit the hostel, turn left, and walk straight until you reach the end of Sacramento. Then, cross Davis (which is where Sacramento ends), walk through the pseudo-alleyway, and you pop right out at the Plaza. It's easy like cake.
And no, I am not plotting against the staff for tomorrow...

BYOBW 2010


BYOBW • FUN • YES • !!! • 10th ANNUAL • LEAVE NO TRACE!! •�BRING YOUR OWN BIG WHEEL Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Get out your box of costumes and prized childhood three wheelers then head towards Potrero Hill (Bus 10) to get a taste of San Francisco in all it's nonsensical glory. That's right, BYOBW stands for Bring Your Own Big Wheel and it's starts at the top of Lombard St.'s ugly Twin Vermont St. at 4 PM. I don't think I'll be competing this year, but I can tell you where to pick up all the equipment to participate. Check out the YouTube to get a better idea of the entertainment: (object) (embed)

Finding the right concert...


Yeah, it's late. I'm scared to sleep, been having nightmares involving this. You have been warned (it is SFW, but you'll still need brain bleach for it). One of the harder things about coming into a city such as this one, or even just living in it, is that there is never really a good site or publication that strictly offers information on concerts and other events. With most sites, the events calendar is designed in such a way that you only see stuff day of, and that's assuming the calendar is updated with what every venue is doing. With publications such as SF Weekly and the Bay Guardian, they do offer info, but it's often buried in ads, and they don't offer any info beyond what is happening the week of publication. Only recently have I found some sites that provide good show lists, all on one page. This way, before you come into town, you know what's happening in the City. Here are the sites: Their Older Shit Was Better: Named after a phrase that hipsters and music critics seem to utter quite frequently, this site is very simple in its layout: Covers important shows, both major and indie, all on one page. It is focused primarily on the City, though if the act is worth noting, they will mention shows in the East Bay or as far south as San Jose (like this week's Jay-Z concert at the Shark Tank). For most people, this is enough to cover you. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer links to acts if you are interested in them, but sometimes knowing the basic details is enough to go by. TheList: Dedicated to funk, punk, thrash, and ska, you can find bands of all that nature on this list (with some weird offshoots, like the Indigo Girls). Also, given its preference to punk, shows are often given additional details in that regard, such as whether people under 21 have to pay more, if there's going to be a mosh pit, if the show is likely to sell out, etc. A nice touch is the use of search, if things get a bit hairy. A fair warning though: TheList not only covers shows in Bay Area, but much further out, to as far north as Sacramento and east as Reno. The Transbay Creative Music Calendar: Free-Jazz. Musique Concréte. Design Composition. Pure noise. Avant-garde classical. Jandek. If any of these terms (or people) mean anything to you, then this calendar will be useful to you. This calendar covers shows of the artsy-fartsy experimental kind (and we do mean experimental). Covers the entire Bay Area. Dar Dar Dar: This site is for the little guys. By little guys, I mean bands who are playing in small venues, truly up-and-coming artists of any kind, possibly house shows, and bands who have such a niche audience that they're unlikely to break through anytime soon. You name it, if it's small and weird, it's likely to be in this list. A nice touch to the site is the ability to discuss these shows, look for related shows, and even share them with your friends (or yourself, for personal records). Finally, there's FecalFace's calendar for those who just want to see art. Performances, openings, panels, films, signings, auctions, the whole shebang. Some galleries (Femina Potens springs to mind) do not post here, however. So, feel free to look at these sites, see if your favorite band (or artist) is coming to town when you are. Eventually, we'll have someone add these to the side for you look at without having to resort to this point (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink...?) That's all for now. Until next time, beware the singing ponies....[...]

Nerdgasam at Wondercon


(image) For those of you who can't make it the world famous geekout known as the Comic Con this year, you are in luck because in just about 2 weeks, San Francisco hosts the little brother event called the Wondercon. It's the only place you can meet Lou Farigno a.k.a. the Hulk, take your picture next to Darth Vader and get into fisticuff over who made the better star fleet captain (It's Kirk, obviously) in one place. The event will be held over the course of 3 days starting April 2nd at the Moscone Center, a short skip and jump from the doors of Pacific Tradewinds. So pack your cosplay costume and rare comic books and come stay with us at the hostel to get close to the action. *Bonus to guests attending, if you make a face-booking on our website and show us your event registration at reception we'll grant you a $2 discount. Consider the hostel your personal "save" spot of San Francisco. Live long, and prosper. WonderCon 2010 :: What's New

Saint Patricks Day Parade Challenge


Hey there, it's Darren your friendly hostel owner. The Saint Patrick's Day Parade is happening this Saturday March 12th. My Daughter Kate, will be in the parade so I'll be there. So here's your parade challenge. First see if you can find me at the parade. You'll have to do some research beforehand to figure out what I look like. Be the first one to introduce yourself to me and tell me your a hostel guest, and I'll give you something green out of my wallet. Extra green if you can identify Kate WHILE she's walking in the parade. This challenge is not valid for people who I have already met before. For more information about the parade look here.

How to buy stuff and make yourself feel better the morning after


Hi. They call me Dash sometimes. I work at Pacific Tradewinds Hostel as a receptionist. I will attempt to post events from time to time, especially in the Bay Area. I may also throw brain-bleach worthy material at your face. Wear a mask.

Of particular note this weekend is the White Elephant Sale in Oakland (Yes, that place across the Bay that's also a "city"). It is one half Antique Shopping, one half massive flea market. You can get a lot of good stuff there (just about everything you need, really) at cheap prices. Further, all the money you spend goes directly into the pockets of the Oakland Museum of California, allowing them to stay open and get cool stuff for exhibitions.

You might be thinking: "Oh bull. It's just a flea market." On the contrary. It is a flea market where all the items are stuff donated by rich people. So expect some pretty banging stuff.

The main event in on Sunday March, 7th and It is located at 333 Lancaster St. Getting there from the hostel shouldn't be too hard: Take the BART from Montgomery St. Station to Fruitvale station (trains you want to take: Dublin/Pleasanton or Fremont, EAST BAY side of the platform). From Fruitvale, you can walk there (though you may have to consult directions for that), or you can wait for the shuttle that the market is providing at no charge.

More information can be found here. Buy stuff! It's the American way.

We want you!


For those of you who have been interested in participating in a hostel community by way of volunteering, this post is for you. A space is opening up on the good ship PT in next 2-3 weeks and we're looking for a friendly, dynamic & well traveled individual to lend a hand to our crew for a couple of months. Please get in touch with your good captain via email or phone and I can give you more details. It's difficult to make up my mind over a phone so I highly encourage you to drop by the hostel in person in order to introduce yourself and find out more about this amazing opportunity to connect with the backpacking community and San Francisco.

SF0 to the hostel, the cheapest way.


At the Pacific Tradewinds, we frequently get asked many similar questions and what most answers come down to for the guests is a choice between price and convenience; i.e; easiest vs. cheapest. Submitted in the URL below is a PDF for the answer to cheapest way to get to the hostel from the SFO. A little known bus route that only costs $2 for a 45 minute trip into the city. It's definitely not as easy as taking the bart, but if you are patient enough to follow the schedule it will save you $6. How's that for budget? cheapest way to get to the hostel from the SFO

Love in San Francisco


(image) Idea's about love in San Francisco have changed a bit since the 1960's when it involved putting flowers in your hair. CurbedWisdom asked random people on the streets of San Francisco "How do you know when you are in love?" Seems to me CurbedWisdom found a lot of San Francisco Hostel guests for this video. Some of the responses are poignant some are funny, all are real people in San Francisco. You will see why when you watch the video which is for mature audiences.

Closest Hostel to the Parade


(image) Chinese New Year Parade is this Saturday and Pacific Tradewinds Hostel is the closest hostel to the parade. Just steps away from our door. The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is one of the world's top parades and it's probably the largest celebration of it's kind outside of Asia. There will be more than 100 floats as well as great costumes, firecrackers, marching bands, acrobatics and of course the huge dancing dragon. This years dragon will be more than 201 feet long and it will take a team of over 100 men and women to carry it. Please note that our San Francisco Hostel is located near the corner of Sacramento and Kearny on the map above. For more information about the parade visit

Congratulations to all Olympic Athletes


(image) As the 2010 Winter Olympics come to a close we would like to say congratulations to all the athletes. In the Olympic spirit of international friendship and camaraderie, we would like to offer free accommodation to ANY Olympic athlete that would like to stay with us, no matter what country you are from.

To those of you who did not compete, but went to Vancouver or Whistler to cheer on the athletes, we invite you to stay as well. For the next week, we are offering a $2 per night discount in exchange for a some small token of the Olympics. A brochure, a drink coaster, a ticket stub, whatever you have.

So once the games are done, come to San Francisco and tell us some stories. See you here.

Mavericks Surf Announced for this Weekend!


For those folks traveling on surf safari in search of the world's most mondo waves will be excited to know that this weekend is
Mavericks Surf annual surf competition. Just 1 hour south of the Pacific Tradewinds on the PCH you can catch the action. If you're on your way up from LA come and stay with us for a quick drive to catch the action.

Reserve Via Facebook


(image) Once again, we have rolled out another way to make our guests life easier. Now you can reserve your bed in Pacific Tradewinds without a credit card! That's right, if you are on Facebook and become a fan of Pacific Tradewinds Backpacker Hostel we will accept your promise and hold a bed for you based on that promise. The form is simple and we don't need a ton of numbers, expiration dates, CVV2ID$#*! codes. Just your name, email, arrival date and the promise you'll come when you say you will. Have a look at our Facebook page now. And, while you're at it, become a fan and make a reservation.

Web Phone Widget


(object) Greeting folks, Were working on expanding our services to you, our guests and have implemented a Google Voice account so it's easier and cheaper to call your friends across the country and keeping in touch with your family back at home, over-seas.
The widget above is a test to see if you guys can use the service to call us direct from our website to ask questions or make reservations. Give it a shot and we'll give you a discounted nightly rate if you mention that you are using Google Voice to make the call.
There are going to be a few hiccups because we are in the testing phase of this tech, but we think getting in touch with the hostel directly and the convenience of making phone without a calling card will make up for it.
So stay in touch, give us a call and come to San Francisco soon!
Cpt. Dave

No Pants on Subway Day - Save the Date


January 10, 2010 - Subway riders in major cities in the USA (and the world) will ride their subway without pants. As you can imagine this event is the most fun in San Francisco. So make your hostel reservations now. We'll give you a $2 discount at check-in if you coming to San Francisco for No Pants on Subway Day. Be sure to mention your no pants status at check-in. REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION: 1) Willing to take pants off on subway 2) Able to keep a straight face about it You can get more information about the No Pants on Subway Day here and here.

Off Season Stimulus Plan


Hey fellow travelers, Now that we are heading into the Autumn/Winter season, starting Nov. 1st we're reducing our rates to $24 (USD) a night to accommodate the thrifty off-season travelers looking to get the best value of their foreign monies (krown, bok, yen, rubbles, etc.) I'm talking to you Australia! For the adventurous, spur of the moment travelers, don't be afraid to walk right up, we'll make the space. For those who like to have all their ducks in a row book now, over the phone, 1 (888) SFHOSTEL or on our site at to reserve. This is your Captain speaking, happy to offer a deal. Yar! Dave V.

Folsom St. Parade! (Leave the kids at home)


(image) This weekend is the Folsom St. parade. I would post photos but it would be indecent. You can never do justice to the filthy kind of things that happen down there. Here's a link provided by SFist: A Folsom Street Fair/Leather Week Preview
Also, a pretty literary map of SF to balance it all out.

Bar Crawls


(image) For those of you who like to plan and party simultaneously, I sumbit to you CrawlSF a website referred to me by a band of party goers dressed in polo-plaid at my post as a door man in the infamous triangle of the Marina. Seems they plan one massive bar crawl once a month, the next one is on August 8th. Keeps your peeps tuned into their website for more details. Until then you'll have to stick our guns and join us on one of our many un-official bar crawls (We call it "drinking") to the many colorful neighbor hoods of the city. This week it's Queer Monday in the Castro to send off our most excellent activities director, Dave Warren.

See Oakland!


For those of you who want to expand their travels into the beaten path of California, please consider making your way to Oak-Town! Cheer for the A's and see the grittiest of hipsters.
Attached is a video from the board of tourism for your consideration.
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Guest Information Pages Started


I'm continually getting information, flyers, discounts etc. that I think would be of interest to our guests. I have always waited for the day when I have the time to incorporate all the information into an amazing website. Consequently the site never gets done. Well I have a new philosphy about this section of the website - just get it online. Have a look. Dave, send me some stuff. I know you know more than I do about things to do.

Lets Get Gay


Hey fellow travelers, this is your event update for the weekend. It's Gay Pride in the gayest city of them all. Pick up some hot pants, rainbow flags and some glitter to celebrate a little sexual diversity. Otherwise, straight attractions are still available for the timid, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz respectively. (Cable Cars are so gay.) The official parade is on Sunday starting at 10:30 AM on Market St. For a break down of events check out SFist for details

US Regional Air Guitar Championships Coming


(image) Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not real. The US Regional Air Guitar Championship is coming to San Francisco on June 26-27th. For more information see this page. I know what you are saying, "I didn't come to San Francisco to see imaginary music!" Ok then, music isn't your thing. You must be here to see the Air Sex Championships June 24th. Ha! Got your attention now. You want to check out the official Air Sex site. for the details on this event. (image) If you want to buy tickets either event, go to The Independent.. Have Fun!