(Here is a blog post I posted to photojoaqers.com , a new blog I started up with a few friends.)
Once upon a time there were 5 "techies" (Adrian, Sonny, Brian, Andrew, & Robert from in Austin TX) who loved to take photographs. They said to one another other, "if we ever are at the same location at the same time, we should go on a bar hop photojoaq!" Well... That day finally came when Robert came to visit San Francisco, we were finally able to make this a reality. First stop on our list was suggested by Brian, the Mandarin Hotel. At first glance the lobby / bar looked pretty simple with not much going on. In fact it looked so boring we were giving Brian a hard time for suggesting this location. We headed over to the bar for our first round of the night. The funny thing was, once we got there we looked at each other and thought ugh.... now what do we do? You know, like that awkward moment when you're at a school dance clinging to the wall like a "wall flower." Fortunately for us, Adrian broke the ice and described our mission for the night to our bartender. From that moment on we were ready for an epic night! Now for photos of our first location. The Mandarin Hotel SF, head up to the 38th floor where you'll be greeted by amazing aerial views of downtown San Francisco. (BTW after seeing these amazing views Brian earned his street cred back with us.)
Next stop on the agenda, the "Rickhouse" which was suggested by Adrian. A nice little trendy looking spot with a hip crowd and decorations with character. There weren't amazing views of the city here but that didn't stop us from capturing photos and "geeking out" about photo gear.
Finally our last bar of the night, "The Buddah Lounge." Yep just as it looks, a total dive bar! Most people walking by probably think "what a dump!" Surprise! It was rated one of the 33 best dive bars in America. Mark the bartender is really the one who brings this place to life! He's insane, funny, and one really cool guy. We tried to order their signature drink called, "Three Penis Chinese Whiskey," thankfully they were out of it. Mark ended up bringing out this crazy looking Chinese bottle and poured a round of shots for us. It was definitely a crazy drink with a crazy taste. There was also a jukebox there where I loaded it up with Hip Hop songs from the 90's, aka the "Golden Era" of Hip Hop. This is one of those places you'll just have to experience on your own to really know.
Lastly we concluded the night by having dinner at this Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown called "Golden Star," where Brian repeatedly stated... "this is the best damn 5 spice chicken I've ever had!" The food was good and cheap! Two words that rarely go together! All in all it was a fun night with each location offering us a different experience.