The last neighbourhood I needed to get to before I felt like I had really seen San Francisco thoroughly was the Mission—unofficially known as Little Mexico. The area is known for its culture, burritos, and up-and-coming shopping/restaurant scene. It lived up to all of these expectations and more. Valencia Street is packed with great spots that each scream San Francisco in their own way. From sustainable chocolate cafes, to a backpack store specifically for biker commuters, my favourite concept was Beta Brand—the physical store-front for their online platform. The website allows any designer to submit a design online, have users vote on what should be created, and winning designs will be crowdfunded and then carried online and in-store.
Another famous area of the Mission is an alley between Valencia and Mission St. that is lined with street art. I was really impressed by all of the murals; most works contained very political messages surrounding local issues such as displacement, drugs, and black rights. I couldn’t leave the neighbourhood without trying an authentic Mexican burrito from one of the many tacquerias in the area.
Stanford has really risen to the top of my radar over the last couple of years for prospective grad schools, if I ever chose to pursue an MBA, so I figured I may as well stop by to check out the campus while in the area. I was blown away by the size of the campus; it is so big that most students bike around because walking would take too long. The buildings are really historic and beautiful and my visit only confirmed my attraction to the school. With a 5% acceptance rate, I’m not holding my breath but a girl can dream.
My last “why not” stop of the day was the Google campus. I wasn’t sure how far I would make it before getting kicked out, but it was actually quite acceptable to stroll around outside of the offices. When I inquired about a tour, the security guard said they did not exist but the Google store and the android statue garden was now open to the public. I briefly contemplated sneaking into the office but quickly decided it was in my best interest to not get blacklisted from the number 1 company to work for in the world. I did, however, check out the statue garden and the store and it was just cool to walk around the campus. Cool things I passed by: employees using google-coloured bikes to get around campus, Google-sponsored workout classes, and of course more free 24/7 cafeteria access.
After a great three days of exploring, it was time to go to “work.” Our FC is located in Tracy—about 60 miles East of SF (in the middle of nowhere). But the building was really awesome, as it was my first time in a Kiva site; Kiva is the name of the robots that transport all of our shelving to and from associates in newer FCs. All in all, another successful trip of business mixed with pleasure!