San Francisco, United States
Gouri, 30
Development Analyst at Room to Read
see her San Francisco city guide

a bit about Gouri

What do you do and why do you do it?

I work in a non-profit organization that focuses on providing educational opportunities to children worldwide. I do it because I believe that development, understanding, and positive change stem from education and providing everyone with the opportunity to learn. Needless to say, I LOVE my job!

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

I was a waitress for a few months at an ethnic restaurant. The customers weren't the kindest, and the management and I had no common language - which resulted in my burning my hands on a hot dish. I quit just 2 months in. Tip your waiters/waitresses well!

Were you born and raised in San Francisco? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to San Francisco?

I grew up in Aurora, Colorado. After college, I moved to the east coast to work and for graduate school. I always had my eye on moving to San Francisco, though. I'd visited as a kid, and completely fell in love with the city! SF brings the best of both worlds to me - nature and city life. Both are just an arm's length away, wherever you go in this area.

What’s your current hood in San Francisco and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

I actually live in South San Francisco. Best part? I don't have to pay exorbitant rent prices like those who live in the city (welcome to one of the most expensive cities on the planet!). Worst part? This means I actually have to commute by public transportation to get into the city (Not a fun experience for a germaphobe!)

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

I listen to a wide variety of music - anything from pop to alternative to Bollywood. Only thing I really can't stand is country music!

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

These are songs I'd listen to generally too, but the first ones that come to mind are Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer and Breakeven by The Script.

Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?

Friends - it's a classic, and still makes me laugh, even after all the times I've watched it. Planet Earth - it's mesmerizing to learn that you know so little of the world you live in.

Name some spots in San Francisco that are good for a Tinder date.

Hmm, I've never used Tinder before, so this is not something I can speak to fully. But perhaps a walk along Embarcadero to take in the ocean, followed by some fro-yo or a drink near the water?

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).

There are so many current political "leaders" who are options for this question. Too many choices! On the plus side, people are doing a great job of "roasting" them anyways.

Who’s your hero and where in San Francisco would you take them out for a serious hang?

There are so many great people to chose from for this one, but Anuradha Koirala and Malala Yousafzai are definitely quite high on my list! I'm not sure where I'd take them for a hang in the city...but who can say no to a good ocean view and a sundae from Ghiradelli's?

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Fabulous? Me? Low-maintenance, comfortable clothing is more my style! I don't have a particular shop I frequent often, but when the occasion arises, I'll most likely try H&M first!

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

I don't have one! You can always find something good if you look hard enough!

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I love just walking along the piers at Embarcardero. I work so close by, but I somehow never seem to have enough time to just sit and enjoy the peaceful view. It's something I want to try to start doing more!

Where do you go in San Francisco for a casual night out?

I find little that the little restaurants in North Beach make for the best nights out. It's casual, easy to get to, and there's always the potential to make the night more exciting with so much to do near by.

Where would you go in San Francisco to celebrate some freaking good news?

A nice fancy dinner in a cute little joint on Valencia, followed by a good cup of Chai from Curry Up Now while strolling around the shops and bookstores. Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate!

What’s your choice of transportation in San Francisco and why?

Walking! I still find it breathtaking to see the streets curve up the steep San Francisco hills, and watch the trolleys slowly drive down. It's the kind of view you wouldn't get if you weren't just observing it all at your own pace.

What are the San Francisco spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

The Golden Gate Bridge (of course); Embarcardero and Pier 39; Union Square (depending on the time of the year); and Pacifica. If there's more time, I'd definitely suggesting a drive down to the redwood forest, or up to Yosemite!

What are the San Francisco spots tourists should run from screaming?

I honestly can't think of any. I definitely think there are places some people would like more than others, but part of being a tourist is coming back with stories - both good and bad!

Tomorrow’s your last day in San Francisco. How do you spend it?

I'd wake up and go for a long hike in Pacifica in the early morning to watch the fog roll away from the ocean and take in the view. Then I'd head down to Embarcadero to stop by for some fresh fruit from the farmer's market and coffee, and make my way over to the Golden Gate Bridge (I'd have to say goodbye to the bridge!). I'd finish the day by watching the sun set near the Palace of Fine Arts.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

As cliche as it may sound: Paris. I'd romanticized the city all my life, and was not at all disappointed when I went with my husband. The city is bustling with culture and art, and (contrary to popular belief), people were so friendly and ready to point out directions, or speak to us in the coffee shops. I'd love to go back again!

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