Fisherman’s Wharf consists of museums, sea lions, souvenir shops, old ships, sea air, delicious seafood and something else—a real live Bushman.
San Francisco’s World Famous Bushman dwells in the Western part of the Wharf where he lies in wait for unsuspecting tourists. He hides motionless behind five feet tall eucalyptus branches. When people approach he jumps up, shakes the branches and shouts primitive words like “ugga bugga,” and scares his surprised victims out of their wits. The real enjoyment happens across the street where crowds of people watch the show as Bushman’s startled victims jump a foot in the air.
San Franciscans think their Bushman serves an important purpose. He teaches tourists that in the big city you gotta watch out for the bushes. Bushman David Johnson has been at this prank for over 30 years and even has a class 7 business license similar to the many other street performers encouraged by the city—jugglers, dancers,
mimes, statues and musicians.
A visit to Fisherman’s Wharf should include the Bushman along with museums like Ripley’s Believe it or Not on Jefferson, the World War II Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien at Pier 45, and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. For shoppers and sea-lion lovers Pier 39 is a must.
For a restful lunch, pick up some famous San Francisco sourdough at Boudin Bakery and some fresh Dungeness crab from a sidewalk vendor. Carry it to a bench on the quiet pier behind the Franciscan Restaurant and eat it while enjoying a view of the Bay and Alcatraz.
Finally, for a total recovery from the shocking fright you received from the Bushman, head for the Buena Vista Café on Hyde Street for the best Irish Coffee in San Francisco. Maybe in the world.
Yes Virginia, there is a Bushman in San Francisco.