Doing Touristy Things: Westin St. Francis Glass Elevators

This is a series- the first one was on Coit Tower

I had another visitor in town- from Belgium, and we were walking around Post St. on a Thursday night. She didn’t drink- and wanted to see something odd/unexpected, so I navigate to the front of St. Francis on Powell at Post St. entered the lobby, walk past Michael Minna, past the first set of elevators to the rotating door, and take a right before the door.

Yes we did that juvenile thing of hitting every floor button on the way up :)

A sailor from Italy joined us in the elevator, and off we went. The elevator goes up 5 floors in darkness then breaks out into an intense panorama of downtown at night, views of South of Market, Nob Hill, the Bay Bridge, and since it was night, a dark strip with tiny glittering lights farther out- the Bay and Berkeley.

A man wearing a tux and a lei got near the penthouse- he told us there was a great Hawaiian party up there- loads of beautiful Pacific Islanders were in the lobby earlier- and an SFIFF party kickoff (with Maria Bello!) was downstairs, which explained the long line of limos. “This is the best ride in town,” he said of the elevators.

We had a good time identifying strange architecture and buildings- she was into shopping so we found the location for the Apple store, Bloomgindales, etc. “We should have brought a camera.” She said. I had my iPhone but knew it wouldn’t capture anything in the dark.

We didn’t punch any buttons on the way down so we got that swoop feeling when the old building envelops you at top speed, our faces pushed up against the glass to get the maximum impact.

3 Comments so far

  1. TK (popcultist) on May 6th, 2008 @ 7:08 pm

    I was just in those elevators this afternoon. Absolutely love them. They are easily one of the best free (and touristy) things to do in SF.

  2. Kaili (kailiotter) on May 8th, 2008 @ 10:52 am

    I love love love riding those elevators! One of my favorite things in the city for 10 minutes of your time and no money. I DID bring a camera… let’s see if I can dig out those pix…

  3. Doing Touristy Things: Chinatown | San Francisco Metblogs (pingback) on May 9th, 2008 @ 5:23 pm

    […] This is a series. Earlier ones: Coit Tower, & St. Francis glass elevators […]

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