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Map: Find San Francisco's Pokémon Gyms

This is why everyone is suddenly so interested in your laundromat

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Who knew that gym would mean something different today than it did a week ago? You can thank Pokémon GO, the augmented reality game that has saturated the Bay Area, for that. The smartphone game based on the 20-year-old monster-catching franchise now has more US users than Twitter. It added $9 billion in value to parent company Nintendo just since last Wednesday.

What with Pokémon Go proving so popular, let's take a look at a phenomena of concern even to non-players: The proliferation of San Francisco Pokémon Gyms. These are the hotspots where players bring the toughest critters they've rounded up to fight for ultimate bragging rights.

The can be found in restaurants, churches, civic buildings, theaters, public infrastructure, and even the White House. The story of why these particular locations have been chosen has to do with the tangled history of developer Niantic Labs and its parent company Google.

There's been some debate how to handle the sudden influx of smartphone-waving Pokémon trainers at these locales. If you're one of the GO faithful, here's where you can fight for fame and glory in San Francisco. If you're not, here's where you can expect a bigger, slightly weird crowd than usual, and plan accordingly.

This is only a small sampling of what's out there. Do you have a favorite Gym nearby? Let us know, and we'll add it to the map.

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1. Yerba Buena Gardens

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Yerba Buena Gardens, 750 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103

Yerba Buena (San Francisco's original name) refers to the wild mint that used to grow all over these hills. As such, grass-type Pokemon seem the best bet for claiming and keeping this locale.

2. The Armory (Kink.com)

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1800 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103

All sorts of punishment is meted out inside the Kink studios on a daily basis. Over on YouTube, you can watch a local gamer get similar treatment when he tries to take on the Machamp on guard duty.

3. Coit Tower

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Coit Tower, 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94133

Not only a hub for Pokemon catching, there's a Gym on top of the tower. Previously it was guarded by a giant Lapras, but may have changed hands any number of times since.

4. Golden Hydrant

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20th St & Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114

Fire Pokemon are not recommended should you try to claim this locale next to Dolores Park, built on the heroic hydrant that stood up even to the inferno of 1906.

5. Lombard Street

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Lombard St
San Francisco, CA

The top of the street is the Gym spot, but its accessible from up to 15 meters away, so no need to climb all the way up, if you made the mistake of approaching from the downhill route.

6. Union Square

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Union Square
San Francisco, CA 94108

Probably the real world location that most closely resembles the in-game Gym design.

7. Crissy Field

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Crissy Field
San Francisco, CA 94129

Reportedly, there are several Gyms at Crissy field, which due to their close proximity tend to change hands frequently in the midst of hot competition.

8. Lucky 13

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2140 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

The favorite dive bar got word of a potential demolition threat last year. The gym would presumably survive any such trial.

9. Kezar Pub

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770 Stanyan St
San Francisco, CA 94117

This Haight sportsbar, named for nearby Kezar Stadium, is owned by the same local Irishman as Mad Dog in the Fog. How much patience he has for wandering Pokemon players is yet to be seen.

10. UCSF Parnassus

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505 Parnassus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94143

Not to be confused with UCSF's actual gym, which we understand is quite nice.

11. Women's Building

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3543 18th St #8
San Francisco, CA 94110

Twenty years ago, almost all Pokemon were dudes. In modern Pokemon games, though, you're just as likely to catch a female as a male of any given type. We've come a long way.

12. Cow Palace

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2600 Geneva Ave
Daly City, CA 94014

Our recommendation for taking on this Gym? Tauros. Lots of Tauros.

13. 24th and Noe

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24th St & Noe St
San Francisco, CA 94114

Most Gyms are notable spots in the real world too, but one Redditor notes a Gym in this humble parking lot on 24th Street, between Noe and Castro. Careful not to back over any Geodudes when you're pulling out; those things are worse than potholes.

14. Internet Archive

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Fourth Church of Christ, 300 Funston Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118

When the staff finally figured out what was going on, they posted a sign: “Feel free to battle at the Team Mystic Gym on our steps, but please do not disturb our staff.”

15. Esmeralda Steps

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95 Winfield St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Our advice for anything with steps: Fighting Pokemon who can run up them, Rocky Balboa style.

16. Transbay Tube?

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Embarcadero Station, 298 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94111

At first we assumed that the map point in the middle of the bay on one of the many crowd source maps was a mistake or a prank. But reports from other cities have confirmed mid-water Gyms that players are rafting and kayaking out to claim. Perhaps this warrants investigation?

17. Disney Museum

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104 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94129

You can't catch the mouse, sadly. Stick him in a Pokeball and Disney would sue you back to the Steamboat Will days.

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1. Yerba Buena Gardens

Yerba Buena Gardens, 750 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Yerba Buena (San Francisco's original name) refers to the wild mint that used to grow all over these hills. As such, grass-type Pokemon seem the best bet for claiming and keeping this locale.

Yerba Buena Gardens, 750 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103

2. The Armory (Kink.com)

1800 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

All sorts of punishment is meted out inside the Kink studios on a daily basis. Over on YouTube, you can watch a local gamer get similar treatment when he tries to take on the Machamp on guard duty.

1800 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103

3. Coit Tower

Coit Tower, 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133

Not only a hub for Pokemon catching, there's a Gym on top of the tower. Previously it was guarded by a giant Lapras, but may have changed hands any number of times since.

Coit Tower, 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94133

4. Golden Hydrant

20th St & Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Fire Pokemon are not recommended should you try to claim this locale next to Dolores Park, built on the heroic hydrant that stood up even to the inferno of 1906.

20th St & Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114

5. Lombard Street

Lombard St, San Francisco, CA

The top of the street is the Gym spot, but its accessible from up to 15 meters away, so no need to climb all the way up, if you made the mistake of approaching from the downhill route.

Lombard St
San Francisco, CA

6. Union Square

Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94108

Probably the real world location that most closely resembles the in-game Gym design.

Union Square
San Francisco, CA 94108

7. Crissy Field

Crissy Field, San Francisco, CA 94129

Reportedly, there are several Gyms at Crissy field, which due to their close proximity tend to change hands frequently in the midst of hot competition.

Crissy Field
San Francisco, CA 94129

8. Lucky 13

2140 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

The favorite dive bar got word of a potential demolition threat last year. The gym would presumably survive any such trial.

2140 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

9. Kezar Pub

770 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117

This Haight sportsbar, named for nearby Kezar Stadium, is owned by the same local Irishman as Mad Dog in the Fog. How much patience he has for wandering Pokemon players is yet to be seen.

770 Stanyan St
San Francisco, CA 94117

10. UCSF Parnassus

505 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94143

Not to be confused with UCSF's actual gym, which we understand is quite nice.

505 Parnassus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94143

11. Women's Building

3543 18th St #8, San Francisco, CA 94110

Twenty years ago, almost all Pokemon were dudes. In modern Pokemon games, though, you're just as likely to catch a female as a male of any given type. We've come a long way.

3543 18th St #8
San Francisco, CA 94110

12. Cow Palace

2600 Geneva Ave, Daly City, CA 94014

Our recommendation for taking on this Gym? Tauros. Lots of Tauros.

2600 Geneva Ave
Daly City, CA 94014

13. 24th and Noe

24th St & Noe St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Most Gyms are notable spots in the real world too, but one Redditor notes a Gym in this humble parking lot on 24th Street, between Noe and Castro. Careful not to back over any Geodudes when you're pulling out; those things are worse than potholes.

24th St & Noe St
San Francisco, CA 94114

14. Internet Archive

Fourth Church of Christ, 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

When the staff finally figured out what was going on, they posted a sign: “Feel free to battle at the Team Mystic Gym on our steps, but please do not disturb our staff.”

Fourth Church of Christ, 300 Funston Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118

15. Esmeralda Steps

95 Winfield St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Our advice for anything with steps: Fighting Pokemon who can run up them, Rocky Balboa style.

95 Winfield St
San Francisco, CA 94110

16. Transbay Tube?

Embarcadero Station, 298 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94111

At first we assumed that the map point in the middle of the bay on one of the many crowd source maps was a mistake or a prank. But reports from other cities have confirmed mid-water Gyms that players are rafting and kayaking out to claim. Perhaps this warrants investigation?

Embarcadero Station, 298 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94111

17. Disney Museum

104 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94129

You can't catch the mouse, sadly. Stick him in a Pokeball and Disney would sue you back to the Steamboat Will days.

104 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94129