I’m not attending WWDC this year (sorry!), but I did attend last year, so I have some advice for those of you attending for the first time (and I hear there are a lot of you).
San Francisco isn’t designed to handle car traffic—it’s optimized for pedestrians, in several ways:
- Most streets are one-way, meaning that a car must take a longer route than a pedestrian can.
- The walk/don’t walk signals don’t have buttons, because you don’t need them. When drivers get the green light, pedestrians get the walk signal—every time.
- Almost all parking costs money per hour. Walking is free.
- Parking is so sparse that you’ll walk one or more blocks anyway.
So, if you can walk from your hotel to Moscone and back, do so. You’ll get there faster and more cheaply.
Don’t eat the lunch.
The objects that Moscone serves as lunch are not food. Food, by definition, is edible. Eat out.
Note that I’m only talking about lunch. Moscone serves food at other times of day: a mid-afternoon snack, and dinner. These are OK, and sometimes even pretty good. Only the lunch is inedible.
Attend parties, or make your own.
If you’re at WWDC with some friends or colleagues, you may be able to work on some code with them at the conference. This is a lot of fun, especially if you can get together around a power strip.
Either way, you may want to attend other parties. Some parties are listed on Upcoming. Additionally, there’s CocoaHeads meeting at the Apple Store on Stockton St on Tuesday. If you know any others, please post a comment here and I’ll link to them. (However, I’d stay away from the Thirsty Bear pub. The acoustics in that place are terrible. Forget conversation.)
Bring your (US) AC adapter.
They have charging stations at the conference, but the week I was there, the MBP chargers were broken. They never did get them fixed. I ended up buying a second AC adapter at the Apple Store.
Additionally, Tim Burks recommends bringing a power strip—a good idea if you and your friends/colleagues intend to hack code together at the conference. More specifically, Mark Boszko recommends Monster Cable’s (yes, them) Outlets to Go. He also notes the existence of 3- and 6-outlet versions, which you may prefer, depending on how much space you have in your bag.
Grab a copy of The Onion. You may or may not know this, but The Onion is not just a website and series of books—it really does exist as a newspaper. It’s available for free in newspaper racks in select cities, including San Francisco. I’m sorry, but I don’t remember where the rack I got mine from was—I think it was on Market Street, but I don’t remember the cross-street.
Some good eating places:
- Mel’s Diner, on Mission, southwest of 4th
- The aforementioned Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, on Howard, northeast of 3rd.
- Denny’s, on Mission, southwest of 4th. (I haven’t actually eaten at this specific Denny’s, but I do enjoy the ones here in Orange County, CA.)
- The Yerba Buena Gardens, at the southeast corner of 3rd and Howard, but only on Thursday. (That’s the WWDC Beer Bash. It’s open to all, but if you want alcoholic beverages, you’ll need to be 21 or over—not only is it the law, but they will check your ID.)
- The Carl’s Jr. restaurants on Market Street. There are two:
- On Cyril Magrin St., north of Market
- Somewhere in the United Nations Plaza, near Hyde and Market. Sorry, but there’s no Street View for that one.
Enjoy the WWDC!
Also, be sure to read the comments on this post! Already, Jonathan Wight has made two very wise suggestions. You may also want to check back periodically so you don’t miss any.