the numbers. Credit Cards: See
Credit Cards, p 167.
PARKING Most city parking meters
take nickels, dimes, and quarters
and have time limits of anywhere
from 15 minutes to 4 hours. Legal
street-parking spaces do exist; they
are next to unpainted curbs and
usually are accompanied by meters.
Yellow, white, green, and red curbs
are all off-limits; the exceptions are
commercial zones (the yellow curbs),
which are open to cars after delivery
hours. If you return to your parking
space but your car isn't there, phone
y 415/553-1239 to see if it's been
towed, as opposed to stolen.
The best parking rates are at city-
owned garages, some of which are
listed here: Union Square Garage,
333 Post St.; $2/first hour, $12/4
hours. Fifth and Mission Garage,
833 Mission St. (SoMa); $2/first hour,
$8/4 hours. Ports-mouth Square
Garage, 733 Kearny, at Clay (China-
town); $2/first hour, $8/4 hours.
North Beach Garage, 735 Vallejo
near Powell; $2/first hour, $8/4 hours.
PASSES The San Francisco City-
Pass is the best way to experience
all the color and culture of the city.
The CityPass features a book of
admission tickets to a variety of
attractions. You also get 7 days of
unlimited transportation on the
cable cars, new Embarcadero street-
cars, and all Muni services. City-
Passes can be purchased online or
throughout SF—ask at your hotel or
PASSPORTS Always keep a photo-
copy of your passport with you when
you're traveling. If your passport is
lost or stolen, having a copy signifi-
cantly facilitates the reissuing process
at a local consulate or embassy. Keep
your passport and other valuables in
your room's safe or in the hotel safe .
See “Consulates & Embassies,”
above, for more information.
PHARMACIES Walgreens, the Star-
bucks of drugstores, has stores just
about everywhere. Phone y 800/
WALGREEN for the address and
phone number of the nearest store.
SAFETY Don't walk alone at night,
stay in well-lighted areas, and carry
a minimum of cash and jewels
Although San Francisco isn't crime-
ridden, it is not a 24-hour town and
you are putting yourself at risk if you
venture out at 2am. We have some
dodgy neighborhoods you might
consider avoiding: The Tenderloin
isn't great, although it is home to
a huge immigrant population that
manages to live side by side with
the drug addicts, hookers, and
vagrants. Evenings are particularly
rough; daytime is okay. Parts of Van
Ness Avenue, from Civic Center to
Broadway, are grimy. Sixth and Sev-
enth streets from Market east to
Harrison are home to an assortment
of folk that are iffy; this is another
area to avoid any time day or night.
SENIOR TRAVELERS The Senior Citi-
zen Information Line y 415/626-
1033 offers advice, referrals, and
information on city services. The
Friendship Line for the Elderly
y 415/752-3778 is a support, refer-
ral, and crisis-intervention service.
Members of AARP (formerly known
as the American Association of
Retired Persons), 601 E St. NW,
Washington, DC 20049 y 800/424-
3410 or 202/434-2277; www.aarp.
org, get discounts on hotels, air-
fares, and car rentals. U.K. seniors
can contact Saga y 0800/414-525;
www.saga.co.uk for a range of prod-
ucts and services, including holidays
and insurance. Australians over 50
should contact the National
Seniors Association y 1300/76-
SMOKING California law prohibits
smoking in public buildings, restau-
rants, and bars. Many hotels are
completely nonsmoking, and others
have limited floors for smokers.
SPECTATOR SPORTS Giants Base-
ball, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, 2nd and