Five Things to do Stoned in S.F.
Because going to the movies or grabbing a cone from Bi-Rite gets old.
This year has been a wild ride so far and the need to take the edge off has never
been more real (at least for me). To that end, I’ve been trying to innovate my pot smoking
habits by creating fun little adventures to take around the city. I’ve always been on the
active side, and that personality trait persists after I get high.
Here are a few suggestions of things to do after smoking a motivating strain of herb that are unique to San Francisco.
VISIT A TINY AQUARIUM
A tropical oasis — complete with orchids — tucked away in the Inner Richmond.
I learned about 6th Avenue Aquarium 11 years ago when my girlfriend at the time lived around the corner. First off, it’s not just an aquarium — it also doubles as an orchid
shop. Before you cross the threshold into the calming blue abyss of gurgling fish tanks, be sure to take a few moments to appreciate the lovely collection of orchids for sale in the front of the store. The unique details of each flower are trippy to say the least, and as far as I know, this is the only place in town where you can pick up a beautiful plant and a tropical fish at the same time.
I suggest you toss on some headphones, crank up some driving Krautrock, and take your time meandering through the store. The graceful movements of the fish are easy on the eyes, and their insane names are a great source of inspiration, especially if you’re starting a metal band. Highlights include “Pink Marble Convict,” “Medusa Worm,” “Black Skirts,” and “Clown Loach” — although that last one sounds more like a member of the Insane Clown Posse.
6th Avenue Aquarium, 425 Clement St. (415) 668-7190
HEAD TO STOW LAKE
Come for the herons, stay for the ducklings.
Stow Lake is one of the chillest spots in Golden Gate Park, and lately I’ve been getting
super high and partaking in a bird-forward sequence of events I’ve found to be most pleasant. First, I’ll pop over one of the bridges to the center island (known as Strawberry Hill) and check out the great blue herons that have been building a nest on a neighboring island. My favorite spot to gaze around is on a path near the base of the
When you’ve had your fill of watching the majestic herons effortlessly swoop across the placid, artificial lake, it’s time for The Duckling Hunt. This part is season-specific, so I suggest getting out there before they all grow up. Start by walking around the brush on the banks of the lake. If you’re lucky, you can spot a glimpse of an adult duck leading a trail of fuzzy lil’ ducklings through the water that might as well be out of a damn kid’s book.
Stow Lake, 50 Stow Lake Dr. goldengatepark.com
GO HAM AT A MARKET FROM A FAR-OFF LAND
Take in the tastes, sights, and smells of a foreign market.
There’s something about smoking weed that makes me innately more curious than when I’m sober, and I’ve found wandering around foreign markets trying new foods to be a particularly thrilling experience.
Head to Nijiya Market in Japantown and, at first, you’ll be tempted by the siren song of recently-made sushi, salads, bento boxes, and karaage-style fried chicken. Keep moving and you’ll find a refrigerated aisle with every kind of green tea beverage you can imagine. After that, I suggest perusing the frozen treats section and the candy aisle. It doesn’t matter if you can’t read what the ingredients are — make selections based on products that have cool packaging, bright colors, or particularly delicious-looking images of the food.
You can also head to New World Market, a place that feels like it was airlifted out of Russia and dropped directly into a lot in the Richmond. The pastry section is out of control, and their cured meats are on-point. Like Nijiya Market, the packaging of the food here is super-cool, especially the tins containing many different kinds of chocolate wafer cookies. The people behind the counter will usually let you sample most anything you’d like, and I have yet to find a comparable selection of Russian and Eastern European beer anywhere else in the city.
Nijiya Market, 1737 Post St. (415) 563-1901.
New World Market, 5641 Geary Blvd. (415) 751-8810.
STIMULATE YOUR CURIOSITY AT PAXTON GATE
A natural history museum made for stoners.
Paxton Gate is hands-down one of the trippiest places in the city. (And if taxidermy
freaks you out, you might want to skip this one.) Their business caters to the cross-section of consumers who are interested in animal skeletons and busts, butterfly specimens, succulents, and crystals.
The interior is reminiscent of a magical cabin in the woods, complete with antique cupboards containing scores of tiny drawers holding talismanic treasures. Be sure to pick up a fox’s penis bone, a beaver tooth, or a dead butterfly for that special someone. They’re sure to thank you later.
Paxton Gate, 824 Valencia St. (415) 824-1872 or paxtongate.com
CHECK OUT ALL THE ANDY GOLDSWORTHY SCULPTURES IN THE PRESIDIO
Site-specific odes to dead trees.
Andy Goldsworthy — a sculptor who takes natural elements and refashions
them into cool installations — made a series of sculptures using trees felled during a massive reforestation project in the Presidio.
“Spire (2008)” is a 100-foot spire made with 37 Monterey cypress trees that is located in a clearing off the Bay Area Ridge Trail near the parking lot for the Presidio Golf Course. “Wood Line (2011),” which is also along the Bay Area Ridge Trail near Presidio Boulevard and West Pacific Avenue, is a curvy path made out of sections of eucalyptus that meanders through a grove of tall trees.
A third Goldsworthy sculpture — “Tree Fall (2013)” — is located inside the Powder Magazine building on the Presidio’s Main Post. The ceiling consists of a felled eucalyptus encased in clay made from local dirt, meant to show visitors the tree’s underground root systems. If getting high and checking out immersive subterranean conceptual art piques your interest, this place will be right up your alley.
thepresidio.gov or bayarearidgetrail.org