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Sports & Recreation

  • Best Thing About the New Ballpark

    The Willie Mays Statue

    The charismatic Mays played in 2,992 major-league games, resulting in 3,283 hits, 140 triples, 523 doubles, 1,903 runs batted in, 7,095 putouts (unsurpassed for an outfielder), 338 stolen bases, and 660 home runs. Facing up to the toughest challenge in sports -- connecting with a major-league baseball -- Mays succeeded one out of three times, an amazing statistic. (He once executed the hit and run with a line drive to center as he was staggering to the ground from a... More >>

  • Best Underutilized Urban Park

    McLaren Park

    Just north of the Sunnydale housing projects and south of Bernal Heights is a huge, tree-studded, grassy-knolled -- and practically empty -- park. From the air, its rolling, forested hills appear to stretch across a quarter of the city, but on the ground it's a bit hard to find, though determined people will get there. One of the (until this very moment) best-kept secrets in San Francisco concerns the existence of a beautiful nine-hole golf course on the edge of... More >>

  • Best New Neighborhood Park

    Woh Hei Yuen

    Twenty years in the planning, and desperately needed by the city's most densely populated neighborhood, Woh Hei Yuen ("Garden of Peace and Joy") opened in the fall of 1999 following a long legal battle in which the city finally took over the site of Cathay Mortuary by eminent domain. Designed by Asian architects, the park can accommodate hundreds of people at once. Its graceful stone archways, pagoda shapes, and bamboo trees frame a play area made from bouncy soft tiles,... More >>

  • Best Place to Be a Part of Something Good, Plus Get Pumped

    The Embarcadero YMCA

    It's not only for the young, nor is it exclusively for men, nor is it particularly Christian, and it may not even be an association anymore. But really, the Embarcadero Y has just about everything a gymgoer could want: weights, racquetball, swimming, spinning, aerobics, dance classes, yoga, martial arts, basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, personal trainers, plus community programs -- from summer camp to the Y's private, non-tuition Youth Chance High School -- that you just don't find at for-profit health... More >>

  • Best Exercise for the Electronically Addicted

    The Netpulse Exercise Bike

    Welcome, friends and neighbors, to the Information Age, an era perhaps best defined by its unparalleled number of distractions. When you add them up -- chat rooms, Web zines, e-trading, cable TV, lazy afternoons spent Palm Piloting in the park -- your consciousness can now reside almost entirely in an electronic world. Of course, the rest of you will still be here on Earth, and may start getting a little soft around the edges. Fortunately, Netpulse has a solution. Available... More >>

  • Best Gym Showers

    Crunch Fitness

    Depending on how much you work out -- and your body shape -- these showers could be the best or worst in town. That's because they're on public view. Frosted glass comprises one side of an entire row of shower stalls, which are visible to anyone heading to the locker rooms, while a waist-level spotlight illuminates each shower from the inside, creating the effect of washing shadow dancers. Both men and women get equal treatment. Since the shower stalls are... More >>

  • Best Hike in the City

    Glen Canyon Park

    The softball fields surrounding the Glen Park Recreation Center are no different than others in the city, but travel north, behind the tall stone building, and a path leads through a stand of eucalyptus and into a lush forest. The trees form a canopy over the trail. Keep to the left and find a rope swing. Then follow the path around to a boulder-strewn ravine, perfect for rock climbing. The trail back leads to a series of planked bridges spanning... More >>

  • Best Power Walk

    Why endure the company of sweating cell-phoners in some overpriced gym when you can raise your heartbeat climbing over San Francisco's well-oxygenated, vista-blessed, practically perpendicular hills, free of charge? Begin your hourlong trek at Jones and Filbert. Head south up the horrible two blocks of Jones to Green and take a right. Head west on Green for the 12 easy blocks to Fillmore, then go left up Fillmore to Vallejo (a brutal stretch), turn right, and tackle the increasingly unpleasant... More >>

  • Best Bike Ride

    Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

    This only works during the summer months: Get off work early -- 4 p.m. or so -- and ride your bike to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel 65 miles south of San Francisco. Spend the evening chatting with vacationing Swedes, Brits, and so on, then bed down for the night. Wake up at 5 or 6 a.m., and ride back to work. This makes for an invigorating midweek vacation, but remember to bring along some earplugs: Your fellow hostellers always... More >>

  • Still the Best Place to Let Your Dog Run Free -- For Now

    Fort Funston

    Nesting seabirds aside, you'll find plenty of people ready to argue that it just isn't right to place a dog in the bounds of captivity. This is Canidae, after all, a wild thing, a warrior with prominent teeth, an alert manner, and no inborn patience for the Ralston-Purina Corp. But if you insist on muzzling this naturally feral critter into senility, at least give him or her a taste of freedom now and then. Below the bluffs and hang gliders... More >>

  • Best Place to Play Pool

    Gino and Carlo

    If you want to shoot stick in a civilized, Tiffany-lamped setting, head for Chalkers in the Rincon Annex (512-0450). But if you want a little barroom milieu to go with your eight ball, Gino and Carlo is the place. The 58-year-old North Beach saloon not only pours a mean bourbon, it boasts a room in back with two tables, a wide array of cue sticks, dark wood paneling, walls as green as felt, and a gallery of autographed photos from... More >>

  • Best Children's Museum

    Randall Museum

    Founded in 1937, and located up a winding street behind the Corona Heights park, the Randall Museum is open seven days a week and has no admission fee (donation requested). A combination museum, botanical garden, and menagerie (with a permanent petting zoo), it attracts 60,000 visitors a year. The basement is the headquarters for the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club, which has a 30-by-60-foot layout depicting forests, canyons, mountains, and a medium-sized city, like a miniature Frontierland and Main Street... More >>

  • Best Thing About the New Ballpark

    The Willie Mays Statue

    The charismatic Mays played in 2,992 major-league games, resulting in 3,283 hits, 140 triples, 523 doubles, 1,903 runs batted in, 7,095 putouts (unsurpassed for an outfielder), 338 stolen bases, and 660 home runs. Facing up to the toughest challenge in sports -- connecting with a major-league baseball -- Mays succeeded one out of three times, an amazing statistic. (He once executed the hit and run with a line drive to center as he was staggering to the ground from a... More >>

  • Best Underutilized Urban Park

    Jerry Garcia Amphitheater

    Just north of the Sunnydale housing projects and south of Bernal Heights is a huge, tree-studded, grassy-knolled -- and practically empty -- park. From the air, its rolling, forested hills appear to stretch across a quarter of the city, but on the ground it's a bit hard to find, though determined people will get there. One of the (until this very moment) best-kept secrets in San Francisco concerns the existence of a beautiful nine-hole golf course on the edge of... More >>

  • Best New Neighborhood Park

    Woh Hei Yuen

    Twenty years in the planning, and desperately needed by the city's most densely populated neighborhood, Woh Hei Yuen ("Garden of Peace and Joy") opened in the fall of 1999 following a long legal battle in which the city finally took over the site of Cathay Mortuary by eminent domain. Designed by Asian architects, the park can accommodate hundreds of people at once. Its graceful stone archways, pagoda shapes, and bamboo trees frame a play area made from bouncy soft tiles,... More >>

  • Best Place to Be a Part of Something Good, Plus Get Pumped

    YMCA, Embarcadero

    It's not only for the young, nor is it exclusively for men, nor is it particularly Christian, and it may not even be an association anymore. But really, the Embarcadero Y has just about everything a gymgoer could want: weights, racquetball, swimming, spinning, aerobics, dance classes, yoga, martial arts, basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, personal trainers, plus community programs -- from summer camp to the Y's private, non-tuition Youth Chance High School -- that you just don't find at for-profit health... More >>

  • Best Exercise for the Electronically Addicted

    The Netpulse Exercise Bike

    Welcome, friends and neighbors, to the Information Age, an era perhaps best defined by its unparalleled number of distractions. When you add them up -- chat rooms, Web zines, e-trading, cable TV, lazy afternoons spent Palm Piloting in the park -- your consciousness can now reside almost entirely in an electronic world. Of course, the rest of you will still be here on Earth, and may start getting a little soft around the edges. Fortunately, Netpulse has a solution. Available... More >>

  • Best Gym Showers

    Crunch Fitness

    Depending on how much you work out -- and your body shape -- these showers could be the best or worst in town. That's because they're on public view. Frosted glass comprises one side of an entire row of shower stalls, which are visible to anyone heading to the locker rooms, while a waist-level spotlight illuminates each shower from the inside, creating the effect of washing shadow dancers. Both men and women get equal treatment. Since the shower stalls are... More >>

  • Best Hike in the City

    Glen Canyon Park

    The softball fields surrounding the Glen Park Recreation Center are no different than others in the city, but travel north, behind the tall stone building, and a path leads through a stand of eucalyptus and into a lush forest. The trees form a canopy over the trail. Keep to the left and find a rope swing. Then follow the path around to a boulder-strewn ravine, perfect for rock climbing. The trail back leads to a series of planked bridges spanning... More >>

  • Best Power Walk

    Why endure the company of sweating cell-phoners in some overpriced gym when you can raise your heartbeat climbing over San Francisco's well-oxygenated, vista-blessed, practically perpendicular hills, free of charge? Begin your hourlong trek at Jones and Filbert. Head south up the horrible two blocks of Jones to Green and take a right. Head west on Green for the 12 easy blocks to Fillmore, then go left up Fillmore to Vallejo (a brutal stretch), turn right, and tackle the increasingly unpleasant... More >>

  • Best Bike Ride

    Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel

    This only works during the summer months: Get off work early -- 4 p.m. or so -- and ride your bike to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel 65 miles south of San Francisco. Spend the evening chatting with vacationing Swedes, Brits, and so on, then bed down for the night. Wake up at 5 or 6 a.m., and ride back to work. This makes for an invigorating midweek vacation, but remember to bring along some earplugs: Your fellow hostellers always... More >>

  • Still the Best Place to Let Your Dog Run Free -- For Now

    Fort Funston

    Nesting seabirds aside, you'll find plenty of people ready to argue that it just isn't right to place a dog in the bounds of captivity. This is Canidae, after all, a wild thing, a warrior with prominent teeth, an alert manner, and no inborn patience for the Ralston-Purina Corp. But if you insist on muzzling this naturally feral critter into senility, at least give him or her a taste of freedom now and then. Below the bluffs and hang gliders... More >>

  • Best Place to Play Pool

    Gino & Carlo Cocktail Lounge

    If you want to shoot stick in a civilized, Tiffany-lamped setting, head for Chalkers in the Rincon Annex (512-0450). But if you want a little barroom milieu to go with your eight ball, Gino and Carlo is the place. The 58-year-old North Beach saloon not only pours a mean bourbon, it boasts a room in back with two tables, a wide array of cue sticks, dark wood paneling, walls as green as felt, and a gallery of autographed photos from... More >>

  • Best Children's Museum

    Randall Museum

    Founded in 1937, and located up a winding street behind the Corona Heights park, the Randall Museum is open seven days a week and has no admission fee (donation requested). A combination museum, botanical garden, and menagerie (with a permanent petting zoo), it attracts 60,000 visitors a year. The basement is the headquarters for the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club, which has a 30-by-60-foot layout depicting forests, canyons, mountains, and a medium-sized city, like a miniature Frontierland and Main Street... More >>

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