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Mobile Marketing

Making the most of WWDC with @justin

Robi Ganguly  //  June 9, 2012  //  6 min read
Photo of Golden Gat Bridge

Sure it’s touristy, but what a sight to see in person

(This is part of an email interview series we’re sharing this week in advance of WWDC. Since so many people come in from out of town to attend the conference, we thought it would be helpful and fun to get some advice from long-time attendees and SF residents about how to make the most of your trip to the Bay Area)

We pinged Justin Williams (@justin) for his thoughts on the topic. As a long-time WWDC attendee we figured that he would great insights into what to do when coming into town for the week.

What is your favorite place to grab a drink and run into random WWDCers?

Blue Bottle at Mint Plaza or Samovar Tea at Yerba Buena Gardens. I am not much for hanging in large crowds, so getting together with just three or four people I haven’t seen in a couple months in a much more relaxed atmosphere than an unruly bar is more my vibe.

If you could lead a field trip for 15 WWDC attendees where would you take them?

Whenever I have guests in town, I almost always take them to get a couple scoops of Humphry Slocombe ice cream in the Mission.  On a nice day, there’s usually a line out the door, but the crazy flavor concoctions they come up with make it more than worth the trip. If you do go, get the Cinnamon Brittle or Secret Breakfast. If you’re more daring, give the Salt & Pepper a whirl. It’s pretty good if you’re in the mood for something daring.

What is the best cocktail you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

I am a big fan of the Burritt Room. It’s still in the downtown area, but far enough away from Moscone that it has a decent mix of locals and out-of-towners. If you want to make a trip to the Haight, it’s hard to go wrong with the Alembic.

Where is the best beer in San Francisco?

Beer? Beer is gross, dudes. Wine or champagne first. Cocktails second. Never beer.

Have you found a coffee shop worth working in and skipping WWDC sessions for? If so, where is it?

I suppose Blue Bottle, but I usually don’t look at WWDC as an opportunity to get work done. The work I am usually doing is in the sessions or meeting with other delegates at the conference. The code you need to write can wait until next week. This week is about educating, inspiring and (of course) having fun.

What’s the best meal you’ve had in San Francisco and where did you have it?

I have been here five months and have had my fair share of awesome food experiences. The one thing this city does not lack is excellent restaurants. If you are in the SOMA area, I just recently went to Coco500 at 4th and Brannan and had an excellent time. The fresh catch is always amazing no matter the day. Their desserts and cocktails are awesome too. Even better is that it’s not a loud restaurant, the waitstaff is attentive and personable, and the portions aren’t so big that you feel like you need to spend the rest of your trip at the hotel gym.

If you’re looking for a lunch spot, my favorite quick salad is a couple blocks away at Mixt Greens on Mission or Ayola on New Montgomery. Their Sparta Salad is my favorite.

What’s the most fun thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Hop in a cab (or an Uber if you want to be a true San Francisco douchebag), have them take you to one of the neighborhoods in the city not named “Tenderloin” and just get dropped off. There’s plenty of touristy stuff to do, but my favorite activity is to just walk around, go into shops, try random restaurants and just experience the city for all it has to offer. It’s only a 7 mile stretch of land, but each neighborhood has its own unique personality and character.

I hated San Francisco until I started leaving the Moscone area and seeing what else it had to offer.

What’s the most unique thing you can do in San Francisco that you’d recommend to visitors?

Grab a ridiculous amount of silver body paint and cover yourself in it. Head down to the Fisherman’s Wharf and try to give those silver guys who stand still for change a run for their money (pun!). Actually, don’t. I’m not really sure what to do that is unique.

What one thing do you bring home from SF every time you visit?

Well, I live here so there’s not much for me to bring back home that i don’t already have access to. I suppose I always bring home that WWDC jacket they give us. I never wear them though. I’m saving them for the day one of my few Android developing friends see the light and come to the nice, blue waters of Objective-C.

Thanks for sharing Justin!

Want to see advice from other friends of ours? Check out tips from:

Buzz Andersen

Jonathan Barbero

Ryan Nielsen

Andrew Wooster

Ash Ponders

About Robi Ganguly

Robi Ganguly is the Co-founder and CEO at Apptentive. He is passionate about giving customers a voice via mobile. Follow Robi on Twitter @rganguly.
View all posts by Robi Ganguly >

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