Fisherman's Wharf

Wax on: a journey into the new Madame Tussauds San Francisco

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You probably won’t win any staring contests inside the new Madame Tussauds that opened June 26 at Fisherman’s Wharf. (Besides, I wouldn’t recommend holding prolonged eye contact with any of the wax figures, especially the Nicolas Cage one.) Like the youngest sibling in the shadow of brothers and sisters who have already established themselves, the SF branch — the fifth North American branch — tries to make a name for itself by flaunting its individuality whenever it’s convenient. Its attempt showcases eerily lifelike figures of well-known San Franciscans in themed rooms.

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Enter if you dare! Spirited local actors highlight Jefferson Street's ghoulish new attraction

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A new attraction is coming to Fisherman’s Wharf June 26, and it’s pretty surreal. The San Francisco Dungeon, the eighth in a series by Merlin Entertainments and the first stateside (most of the other dungeons focus on medieval history and are scattered throughout Western Europe), is a subterranean labyrinth where actors lead patrons on a hodgepodge tour of creepy SF-inspired historical haunts. 

There’s obviously a lot to be skeptical of here. For one, Merlin, which is centered in the UK, is a gargantuan enterprise second only to Disney in the themed tourist trap world — other assets include Madame Tussauds, Legoland, and a bevy of contrived wildlife safaris. San Franciscans already talk a ton of smack about the half-assed efforts by huge corporate attractions on Jefferson St. to appear “local” — the one or two scattered Californian sports figures or cultural icons in Tussauds, for example, don’t conceal the sterility of the whole operation. 

My visit to the Dungeon didn’t run entirely contrary to these concerns.

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A personal goodbye to Bush Man 2, RIP

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San Francisco has lost one of its own. Gregory Jacobs, KTVU confirmed today, passed away of heart failure last Sunday. 

He’s less known by his full name, but better known by his moniker, “The Bush Man.”

No, he’s not the original Bush Man. That would be David Johnson, who’d been there for 36 years, compared to Jacobs’ 30. Read more »

Off to Pompei's Grotto for our 25th annual New Year's Eve dinner

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In a couple of hours, Jean and I will be going to the delightful Fisherman's Wharf restaurant we have  frequented for the past quarter century on New Year's Eve.

Twenty-five or so years ago, we happened to be strolling along on Fisherman's Wharf looking for a place to eat New Year's Eve dinner, We happened upon Pompei's Grotto. in the heart of the Wharf at 340 Jefferson St.Read more »