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California Atari Travel Tips for March 2014?

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Now I´m going freaky. I´ve just booked flights to the US for some training and conferences and will have free time and a car from March 10 to March 22 in California, starting in San Francisco. I´m not planning accomodation, I´ll be on the road every day and end my trip in L.A. to get the plane back to Germany. Now I am looking for any hints what I MUST see when I´m there, preferably Atari sites. But also other interesting, maybe strange stuff and maybe some user meetings or fairs?

 

Any suggestions? Tell me, please :)

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Shopping the Carmel by the Sea shopping area, near Monterey, CA. south of San Francisco.. I can't think of anything Atari Related.. except Bob1200xl lives somewhere near San Francisco Maybe he will see this and invite you to come by to see his Storage area..

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Hello Sascha

 

Best Electronics is located in San Jose. But I'ld contact him before you pay him a visite.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

PS B&C Computervisions is in El Dorado.

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Sure!

 

We have a lot of Atari 8-bit toys here.

 

By March, we may even have a pretty decent 14mhz machine to play with.

 

PM me.

 

Bob

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The old Atari HQ buildings are still there and look exactly as they did in 1982, but new tenants now occupy them and when I visited I got strange looks from the lunch crowd eating at the benches in the parking lot. However I expect I am not the first stranger to pull up, get out and start taking pictures with a cell phone.

 

The Computer History Museum in Sunnyvale is worth a visit. They have some nice exhibits including an Atari 800.

 

If you have the time, take PCH from San Francisco down to Los Angeles, and skip I5. The coastal route will take several hours longer but is so worth the time. Watch out for speed traps as many small California towns fund the police department on speeding tickets to tourists.

 

Downtown SF is good. Chinatown is overrated. I like "The Stinking Rose" restaurant in Little Italy, probably a cliche by now but still good food. If you like wine and you have the time, a visit up to Napa or Sonoma is also time well spent, but avoid the larger vineyards and try a few random smaller ones. Bistro Jeanty is great for lunch or supper, and more accessible than The French Laundry which is usually booked months out.

 

I enjoy Golden Gate Park and especially the Japanese Gardens. You can rent a bicycle and ride over the Golden Gate Bridge. Personally I would skip Alcatraz unless you really want to stand in line for hours.

 

4Jays retro store is in Antioch CA, and I enjoyed visiting the store. Apparently if you call in advance they will give you a tour of the warehouse. As others have said you can also call in at Best Electronics if you make an appointment.

 

Los Angeles isn't so much a city and more a disjointed collection of suburbs. Santa Monica is full of tourists and the pier is overrated. The Lazy Daisy is a good place to grab lunch or coffee. Newport Beach further down the coast is a more pleasant place to walk about.

 

The best cheeseburger in LA is in Buena Park. Portillo's - a small family run chain from Chicago opened a location there a few years back. Get the bacon cheeseburger with all the options!

 

Hope you enjoy your trip.

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You can always tell whats close to a mans heart by the way he navigates the road, in your case jedi its food and drink :)

 

Have to say that you gave him a very nice travel itinerary, I heard PCH (good old Atari reference as well) is a lovely drive but is Alcatraz really that annoying?

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Let's not confuse the foreigners with Southern California slang talk. (says the Northern California native... :D ) Let me help you decipher that, um, "language" and use real English. :P

 

PCH = Highway 1. No one calls it PCH (which stands for Pacific Coast Highway) anywhere in California except if you live in Los Angeles (LA). If you even try to ask anyone outside of LA where PCH is, you will likely get a blank look. In fact, I never heard of it until about 10 years ago when wildfires were ravaging parts of southern California, and the news reporters kept talking about using PCH as a fire break. I kept wondering (more like yelling) "What the hell is PCH?!". I thought it was hospital or something, but eventually found out what it was. Talk about confusing. :mad:

 

I5 = Interstate 5. Think of it as the US version of the autobahn except with speed limits that no one obeys. :skull: :lol:

 

Hope that helps through my sarcasm... :grin:

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I know of PCH for 2 reasons, 1. I'm old enough to remember films calling it PCH or its proper full name and 2. because of the game on the Atari, Pacific Coast Highway..A frogger clone iirc..

 

Anyway, is it the beautiful drive I've heard it is and is Alcatraz such a bore?

 

I'd love to see it for the historical meaning and as a film fan to see where Clint Eastwood filmed 2 of his movies and where some of The Rock was filmed..

Edited by Mclaneinc

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Highway 1 is a nice drive if you have the patience. North of SF, it is very windy so the maximum speed you can go is about 25-30mph (or ~50km/h). This is also the case between Carmel and Hearst Castle. Hearst Castle is cool if you like 1920s inspired European architecture. Unfortunately, I don't have the patience so I stick with the freeways. However, the portions that are straighter (thus faster), I would say it is a nice drive as long as you keep your eyes on the road. :)

 

Speaking of beautiful drives, I would say the most breathtaking drive I have ever been on was another Highway 1 - Alaska Highway 1 (Seward Highway) around the Turnagain Arm just south of Anchorage. I have never seen water so clean that the mountains reflect off the bay.

 

I am kind of embarrassed to say that even though I have lived in the SF Bay Area all my life, I have never been to Alcatraz. :o One of these days...

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Hello Sascha

 

Never been there, but I'ld consider visiting Hollywood and some of it's studio's, San Francisco's cable cars and that street that zigzags downward, has all these flowers and that can be seen in so many movies. (Just googled "San Francisco street". It's "Lombard street".)

 

BTW you know that you have to "Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair" in Frisco?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

BTW Jon and Ponch are probably retired by now.

Edited by Mathy

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I know of PCH for 2 reasons, 1. I'm old enough to remember films calling it PCH or its proper full name and 2. because of the game on the Atari, Pacific Coast Highway..A frogger clone iirc..

 

Anyway, is it the beautiful drive I've heard it is and is Alcatraz such a bore?

 

I'd love to see it for the historical meaning and as a film fan to see where Clint Eastwood filmed 2 of his movies and where some of The Rock was filmed..

 

The Alcatraz facility is maintained by the National Park Service. A good deal of it was left to rot after the prison closed, and the occupation in the 70s did more damage to the structures.

 

Some of the facility has been restored and it makes for an interesting day exploring if you are fit enough to climb up and down lots of stairs. The island has some golf cart style vehicles for those who have trouble walking, but they won't get you into some of the areas such as the vegetable gardens which are very steep.

 

The dining hall has been preserved and some of the cells, and the rangers give very detailed tours. You can also just explore on your own which is nice.

 

Quite a bit of the facility though was still in ruins when I visited in 2012.

 

A lot of tourists consider it a must-visit site. If you pick a good weather day and catch an early boat ride you can certainly enjoy a few hours of relative calm on Alcatraz Island, and the views back to downtown and of the Golden Gate Bridge are cool. But the boat charters are private and they will make you stand in line, you will have your picture taken and you will exit through the gift shop! Hence you have to put up with a lot of hassle, but if you loved the movies and the history of the place then it may be well worth it.

 

If you are going in the summer you should book in advance as the tours get very busy. Sometimes they have cancellations so you might be lucky. The island has minimal facilities so eat before you leave.

 

As for the whole PCH/Route 1 thing. I5 from the Bay Area south to Los Angeles is about the most boring drive imaginable short of taking I90 through South Dakota. If you have the time and the opportunity, grab a Camaro Convertible and take the coastal route. The rental lots only offer the pedestrian V6 versions of the pony cars, but the coastal route doesn't lend itself to excessive speed anyway.

 

I work and regularly visit my teams in San Francisco, San Jose, Pleasanton, El Segundo, Irvine, Ontario and San Diego. Most everyone knows what you are talking about if you talk about PCH or "The coastal route". True it is known officially as SR1 and by a variety of different local names along it's length and there's always the pedantic purist.

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Thank you Atarian and Oracle for the lovely descriptions, sounds right up my street, just need to win our lottery to get there now. CA was net on my to see list when we had the money back in the 80's but somehow it got put off and then my world went crash.

 

It happens..

 

I can dream :)

 

Cheers..

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Wonderful recommendations so far, thank you all. I´m collecting. Some hints where to stay for low money (I don´t even mind sleeping in the car or in a tent) would be great. :)

 

@McLaneInc: After a big crash last year I normally would not be able to do such a trip. But after grabbing enough money for the flights I decided to just do it. Some things need to be pushed to happen. :)

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Skr, I presume the joys of being single?

 

Here its married, daughter, unable to work because of illness and a few other things :)

 

Whilst I applaud your sentiment sometimes there's just too big a wall in the way :)

 

DO have a wonderful time, I feel so jealous but on the otherhand it makes me smile knowing someone is having a great time in these sad days :)

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Hi all,

 

meanwhile I am in California for nearly one week and really enjoy it. Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet Bob1200XL, I am still excited. Bob, you´re a great guy.

 

@McLaneinc: Oh sorry, yes, that was selfish. I am single and only responsible to myself. I guess if I were married with children, that trip simply would not happen. But I am not, and so I just have a great time. Will start going south from SF tomorrow or Sunday, let´s see. L.A. and San Diego have to be visited too. :)

 

I am always hunting free WiFis to check email and such (currently many thanks to Starbucks for free WiFi ;) ). If someone between SF and San Diego wants to meet (I would love play Atari on a real machine again ;) ), just send me a PM, I´ll send you my phone number then.

 

Sunny greetings,

Sascha

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Speaking of beautiful drives, I would say the most breathtaking drive I have ever been on was another Highway 1 - Alaska Highway 1 (Seward Highway) around the Turnagain Arm just south of Anchorage. I have never seen water so clean that the mountains reflect off the bay.

Getting off topic but you are absolutely right about this drive, I drove it last year in the summer at midnight and it was absolutely beautiful. People might say how could you tell at midnight but in the summer the sun doesn't set and the light stays an odd twilight hue all night. Made everything look even cooler.

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Never been there, but I'ld consider visiting Hollywood and some of it's studio's, San Francisco's cable cars and that street that zigzags downward, has all these flowers and that can be seen in so many movies. (Just googled "San Francisco street". It's "Lombard street".)

You mean the street where the black Dodge Charger scraped the wall on the right when being chased by Steve McQueen in his Ford Mustang in 'Bullitt'? Never could find the street's name, thanks for the info!

 

re-atari

Edited by re-atari

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Lombard Street. Supposedly the "2nd crookedest street in America" -- the first being "Wall Street." :grin:

 

-Larry

 

If you have time, take a bus tour (or drive) to Muir Woods. Sequioas not as big as Yosemite, but arguably more beautiful and much closer to S.F.

 

A hop-on, hop-off city tour is always great.

 

You have probably noticed by now that traffic in the Bay area is quite bad.

 

-Larry

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Skr / Sascha,

 

Hope you are having a brilliant time and the weather is great....

 

Hope you do some pics to see...

Edited by Mclaneinc

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Don't forget Disneyland out in Anaheim. Not Atari or even tech related but still a big landmark to see.

 

I checked it out last year when I flew out to California for Blizzcon, I think (as best as I can remember) its about 40min or so from LAX.

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You mean the street where the black Dodge Charger scraped the wall on the right when being chased by Steve McQueen in his Ford Mustang in 'Bullitt'? Never could find the street's name, thanks for the info!

 

re-atari

Whoooa? My car actually IS a black Dodge Charger... So, should I go and scratch that wall? :skull:

Muir is the schedule for tomorrow. Just visited Atari HQ, Apple at Infinite Loop and - best of all - Bradley Koda from Best Electronics. :)

Yeah, that traffic here is really heavy, try starting early tomorrow, currently I stay in Sunnyvale. :)

Pictures later, I have my EOS 5D with me and just save all to a HDD, editing it later when back home.

 

And yes, of course Anaheim. :) And eventually Mexiko for one day with a friend from San Diego. Time is running way too fast.

Edited by skr

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Whoooa? My car actually IS a black Dodge Charger... So, should I go and scratch that wall? :skull:

Only if Steve McQueen is on your tail. But, if so, you're doomed anyway. Check out the '68 film, and you know what I mean...

 

Jokes aside, enjoy your trip and stay safe!

 

re-atari

Edited by re-atari

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You mean the street where the black Dodge Charger scraped the wall on the right when being chased by Steve McQueen in his Ford Mustang in 'Bullitt'? Never could find the street's name, thanks for the info!

BTW: a bit off-topic, but for those interested, the Bullitt film locations are described in great detail at http://www.rjsmith.com/bullitt-locations.html

 

re-atari

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Nice one re-atari, I'm a massive film head, love those bits where they visit the iconic bits from films..

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