What do the following stores have in common?

  • Stacy’s Bookstore
  • Virgin Megastore (Market St.)
  • Disney Store (Union Square)
  • Border’s (Union Square)
  • Border’s (San Francisco Center)
  • Things From Another World
  • Bandai Store / Action Theater
  • PlayStation: The Store
  • Sony Style (San Francisco)
  • Microsoft SF
  • Games Workshop (Metreon)
  • Airtight Garage / TILT
  • Metreon Food Court

Give up? A few answers are correct, all of them related:

  1. All are located between Union Square and Moscone West, meaning they are at most a five-minute walk from WWDC.
  2. Some or all of them would be of interest to many WWDC attendees.
  3. All of them have gone out of business, mostly over the last five years or so (Microsoft SF closed in 2001, all the others are 2008 or later)

There are lots of ways to spin this — Bush recession this, business-hating San Francisco that — but the practical upshot is that you really don’t need to keep Friday afternoon free to do a little shopping. There’s nothing left in the Moscone / Market St. / Union Square area that I can’t find at my local shopping mall (Apple Store included), with the possible exception of a ten-minute stop at Ghiradelli to pick up sweets for my wife.

Personal upshot is that this just leaves me more funds to spend in Japantown, where I can load up on manga and Japanese music at Kinokuniya and other stores in the three-block J-town mall (and maybe see if there’s something unique playing at the Viz Cinema). As I mentioned in my earlier WWDC Tips blog entry, I usually stay in a B&B over near J-town, which means a longer ride to and from the show, but a nice escape from the crowd, and a chance to indulge my anime, manga, and J-rock fetishes.

4 Comments

  • 1. cadamson replies at 4th May 2011 um 8:19 pm :

    Oh, I forgot that Rasputin Music on Powell St. is still in business, so I need to set aside $50-75 for buying CDs there.

  • 2. skovatch replies at 5th May 2011 um 2:06 am :

    They’re putting in a Target at the Metreon. If you’re coming in from out of town, I think this is a good thing. It doesn’t contradict your basic point about how there’s nothing special in that area anymore, but for the inevitable necessity you forgot and way cheaper snacks than your hotel will have, you can’t beat it.

  • 3. cadamson replies at 5th May 2011 um 6:57 am :

    Scott: good point. I will certainly appreciate having a Target right there to sell me Coke Zero and thereby liberate me from the Pepsi Tyrrany of Mosconeville. Still, there’s something sad about the once-promising geek mecca of Metreon (and its arguably iconic location) being reduced to a large discount store.

    Surely “Metreon” is Latin for “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

  • 4. cadamson replies at 6th May 2011 um 11:24 am :

    Timely: SFGate just posted an update on the Metreon reboot: Target to transform appearance of S.F.’s Metreon .

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