Sunday, September 30, 2007

Netroots Nation* '08: The Case For Making it a San Francisco Treat

Photo by Itinerant.

Why San Francisco? So many reasons, but so little time before the decision gets made, given that 2008 will be an extraordinarily busy, thrilling, and jam-packed year for progressive bloggers, journalists, and politicians alike. And since, it would seem, the selection process is still rumbling along quietly, I'm going to be bold (and yes, a bit biased) and nominate the beautiful and incomparably appropriate City by the Bay for Most Favored Host for Yearly Kos*, now known as Netroots Nation.

Read on, my pretties and handsomes, and I will convince you.

You're undoubtedly familiar with the fact that San Franciscans are an intellectual, culturally diverse, and enormously progressive populace, one that enjoys wildly thriving business, arts, and LGBT communities. Thumbs up to SF for meeting all those criteria, definitely.

So how about its main convention facilities?

Seems to me the location, location, location requirement is fulfilled and then some: the Moscone Center is an award-winning convention complex that's perfectly located within the perfect metropolis. Unlike many other U.S. cities, where convention centers are situated in outlying areas that are disappointingly and inconveniently far removed from their vibrant and feature-filled nuclei, San Francisco built its main such facility, The Moscone Center, within walking distance of more than 20,000 hotel rooms--rooms to suit every budget and style. There are countless amazing restaurants, coffee shops, and bars nearby, too.

Plus, the Moscone Center is green. And union-friendly:

The intent of sustainable programs is to promote and support operational and business practices which lessen adverse environmental impact, benefit the local community and make economic sense. The success achieved at the Moscone Center is due to the close collaboration of numerous players including SMG staff, the City and County of San Francisco, show management, general and exhibitor appointed contractors, attendees, exhibitors, the Public Utilities Commission, and the ten labor unions represented at the Moscone Center. All sustainability programs are an extension of their efforts.

Then there is Greens, the venerable vegetarian restaurant, friendly to all who appreciate delicious food; indeed, the menu, the local wines offered, and the view of the Golden Gate bridge mean happily distracted carnivores will never miss the meat. (Yes, you might have to ride one of those famous and thoroughly enjoyable cable cars to get there, you poor thing.)

Not that San Francisco is lacking for meat markets, mind you--an important criterion to keep in mind when choosing a city, ye High Priests of the Orange Order. Nightclubs and restaurants and bars, oh my!

That gorgeous San Francisco summertime climate is also something to think dream about, my friends. If you're like me, which is to say, someone who doesn't exactly enjoy being stuck in traffic while a surly cab-driver grumbles that no, there isn't any air-conditioning in this sauna-on-wheels and too bad about your nice outfit getting soaking wet even as you bake to a crisp, you'll love this: in August, high temperatures hover around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and lows are in the mid-50's.

Come on, how perfect is that? You can walk everywhere wearing suits, as opposed to (literally) sweat-suits.

And when you're not busy conventioning, you'll be able to choose from a range of diversions unmatched in breadth and depth by any other American city: Art. Sports. Theatre. Opera. Haight-Ashbury, which for some of us is a walk down (hazy) memory lane. Live music to suit every taste. Parks and botanic gardens. World-class people-watching from an infinite number of outdoor cafes, and sights to see from every hilltop. Chinatown and dim sum. And of course, shopping--at one-of-a kind (and endlessly fascinating) boutiques and ateliers, as well as at larger stores that invariably turn out to be the jewel in their respective national chains, from Old Navy and the Gap (both of which are flagships) to Neiman Marcus and Barneys.

Further, keep these two companies in mind: Ghirardelli Square and the Scharffen Berger factory. (A city with everything going for it and they've got chocolate. It's almost too much.)

You can get from most major U.S. cities to San Francisco (or nearby Oakland) via one of any number of the usual suspects airlines, too.

And finally, on a personal note, by next summer this Florida resident will be a U.S. citizen longing for a parallel home-away-from-home, a splendid, richly-storied, and foggy old American city in which to leave her heart.

I think I've covered all the main arguments; do add your own in comments, and by all means let the folks at Kos World know what you think.

Until next year, then--I'll be the one with flowers in her hair.

Also at Ezra's place.

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