I want to love it here. But somehow...it depresses me.
The neighborhoods are huge and meandering...nothing is close by. It's foggy all the time. I feel like a woman in menopause -- it's hot one moment, freezing the next. Crazy people are everywhere. Downtown is barren and depressing. The outlying areas are brown, barren, and lonesome, sort of like the Wild West. I miss the East Coast. :(
You need to be very rich or homeless to live in SF. The constant cold and damp is very depressing.
So go back.
It was so vibrant and exciting during the '70s and into the early '80s. AIDS certainly struck a serious blow to the city's energy, but it goes beyond the AIDS crisis. The city's terribly mismanaged now and is a draw for the homeless and seriously crazy.
Friends moved back last year and reported that the Midwest has more leather bars now.
I actually like the cool, foggy weather. But I have to admit that I've never felt more lonely than during the time I lived in San Francisco.
Love it! I'll be there in 5 days!
OP, why are you there? If you're there for the long haul, try to make friends that you can hang out with and go on excursions throughout the city.
This is pathetic fallacy, OP. The surroundings, weather and atmosphere all representing the inner turmoil of you, the protagonist.
Great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. It really is almost like some Midwestern town in many respects. Nothing to do at night, they roll up the sidewalks at 9:30 - it's kind of bizarre for a huge megalopolis...
OP, what's keeping you there?
"so mismanaged" oh coz God knows it was a well-oiled machine under Willie Brown....NOT.
What few white people that are there (excludig Russians and other white foreigners joining the Chinese in scooping up real estate) tend to be a pain in the ass. Move one iota outside of what THEY think is acceptable, and you get a finger wagging tirade, right out there on the sidewalk.
Oh -- if you drive a car, enjoy Critical Mass
I've visited there twice and felt so alienated both times. So many people find it charming, but I couldn't feel its soul.
I hate to pile on, but it's one of the very few places I've visited I didn't like. I found the people unapproachable in an odd way, and I easily talk to people wherever I go.
Summer weather is better in the East Bay and Marin County (although Marin can be very hot in summer).
I hated it too. Wouldn't live there for anything.
For a place that advertises it's 'community' there is none.
I find the entire Bay Area to be most depressing. There is no center to it, it's even more alienating than So. Cal, and yet it's colder and more expensive.
And, if you are white, you must abide by the unspoken rules of political correctness. At all times, as in, don't let any commonsense slip into the conversation.
I've also noticed that women who wear makeup or do anything at all to make themselves attractive are shunned. It's a sin to be stylish.
If I were you, OP, I would join some group or find an interest or hobby to meet like-minded types.
You are going to need a social life to get by in the Bay Area.
it's so shitty
But the traffic is way, way better than LA, which if you've lived in LA for a long time, is a great trade-off.
[quote]There is no center to it, it's even more alienating than So. Cal, and yet it's colder and more expensive. And, if you are white, you must abide by the unspoken rules of political correctness. At all times, as in, don't let any commonsense slip into the conversation. I've also noticed that women who wear makeup or do anything at all to make themselves attractive are shunned.
You've just described Portland, Oregon to a T. I remember a woman coming in on a work assignment who was rather casually chic (not overly made-up or in fancy dress) and the other women in the office catted and cunted about her appearance after she left.
Obviously her fault for putting on a bit of lipstick and not wearing a North Face vest over some thrift-store hipster sack.
Have you tried hanging off a cable car?
Women who wear makeup in the Bay Area are considered uneducated whores, by other women.
They can be very cruel in No. Cal, and love to play up their 'intellectual' superiority. And yet, they will coddle illegal gang members, junkies who will kill you for a dollar, and dangerous crazies.
But try being just a nice, cute, sexy women trying to live a stylish life and those bitches will run you into the ground.
The glory that was San Francisco, is of another day.
And nice, cute, sexy women who are smarter than the average frau are usually found in the proverbial alley, cut to pieces by shivs, shillelaghs, and morning stars...
I've heard it's becoming a lot more dangerous, but that fact is being kept under the radar.
I suspect R25 doesn't get out much.
I prefer Marin County. It's got the best hiking trails and views of the city...
i've been 3 times to visit friends, and i really don't like it either- it does feel souless and depressing, and alcatraz looming across the bay is just creepy.everyone always says it is like boston on the west coast, but there is absolutely nothing remotely reminiscent of boston. NYC reminds me of boston- central park, lots of students everywhere energizing the city,people walking everywhere, beautiful architecture, etc.
I do love the Boston architecture. I've never spent extended time in Boston, but I've been there dozens of times on business and it is beautiful. SF - all the Victorian architecture is just so... Victorian. Get's old. And the central business district architecture is nothing special - though I do like the Transamerica Pyramid to a degree.
SF can be very scary - I've had mentally deranged people follow me for blocks and blocks. I've seen people laying on the streets asleep in a puddle of piss with their cocks hanging out of their filthy clothes. I've had someone charge at me from across the street and run right up to my face angrily screaming unintelligible nonsense (thought he was going to kill me, seriously). I've made a wrong turn near my hotel and ended up walking in what looked like something out of a movie - disgusting whores, scary thugs, and people fucking WASTED on drugs.
When the San Andreas lets loose, which scientists are certain of, either the Bay Area or Los Angeles will get hit, but not both.
If it's the Bay Area, people in L.A. will grieve over the loss of life and property.
If it's LA that gets hit, San Francisco will throw a 'karma' party and dance with glee in the streets.
It's no Llanview OR Pine Valley!
NY has its share of street loons, but only San Francisco gets a bad rap for it.
I have a very attractive friend (woman) who dresses stylishly and is a lot of fun. She wears mascara, that's it. I now know why.
SF is such a dream of a city, but that's just it. It feels like a dream, it's doesn't feel real. It's very cinematic and definitely has it's bright spots but there is something disconnected about it. The people don't really seem interested in anything but themselves. I prefer Oakland. When I lived there, I had to be stoned.
I can feel for you, OP. If you're stuck here, why don't you look for a place in the East Bay? On the other side of the Tunnel, the weather's a lot better.
ugh I'm visiting in 2 weeks for the first time in 10 years and now am dreading it. Every travel website I visit rants about the crime, the homeless, the hipsters, the ickiness
Anywhere I SHOULD go? I'm staying in SOMA but now I'm reading its a pit.
was thinking mission, cow hollow, marina, golden gate bridge ferry terminal. Have a day and a half to kill...I'm from NYC what shouldn't I miss...?
[quote]I'm from NYC what shouldn't I miss...?
Here's what you SHOULD miss: your plane. Then you don't have to deal with it.
r36, I just got back from a business trip there. I'm not sure I could live there (certainly couldn't afford it), but it's still a great place to visit for a few days.
SOMA seems nearly deserted to me these days -- it got fancy, then it got crowded, and now it's pretty empty at night. Mission is hipsterfied... too bad, it used to be more fun. Castro is more boring than ever.
Maybe a resident will correct me, but it seemed to me Market Street was a lot better when it came to crazy homeless people than it was even five years ago. I remember riding the MUNI down Market around 2003 or 2004 and feeling like it was Night of the Living Dead. Saw a stabbing at a stoplight.
There are still plenty of people who want to hit you up for change or a cigarette, but that's been San Francisco for years now.
The Mission area can be quite dangerous--you have cute, trendy shops with Mara Salvatrucia gang bangers spoiling the fun.
They will bump into you on purpose to either pickpocket you or start a fight.
Mission Dolores itself is very cool and its'
immediate area is safe and nice.
But be careful generally and try not to take the BART (Bay Area Retard Trolls) into the Mission as it is a clown car full of murderous dwarves, two-headed giants and other assorted monstrosities.
rots o' ruck, sucker!
SOMA can be a pit. If you're anywhere around 5th then run, do not walk, to Market Street, because you will be running the gauntlet of people re-enacting the street scenes in "Taxi Driver." Or maybe "The Walking Dead."
Seriously, guys, you've got a thread going on here to badmouth a whole city? Seriously?
You know, if you don't like San Francisco, don't go there.
And if you live there and you don't like it, quit griping and move.
Jeez, what a bunch of whiners.
"It was so vibrant and exciting during the '70s and into the early '80s. AIDS certainly struck a serious blow to the city's energy, but it goes beyond the AIDS crisis. The city's terribly mismanaged now and is a draw for the homeless and seriously crazy."
I so agree with this analysis.
I wanted so much to come back home and retire in SF. But after recent visits, I am appalled at the filth, arrogance and in-hospitality of my beloved City.
The air of superiority was vom inducing.
R42, describe the superiority and arrogance, please.
Is it my imagination or have Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and even L.A. taken the wind out of SF's sails? These cities seem to be the places to be Pacific Coast wise. Aside from the tech sector and tourism, it just seems to be a "regular city" now, rather than the "NYC of Northern California" than it used to be?
r10 - you hit it on the head.
I love San Francisco - love visiting it for a few days, that is. But I never have had a desire to live there.
I've often thought to myself that it feels like Chicago with hills and palm trees. It's the same kind of working-class, late 19th-century housing stock, only built out of different materials. The same kind of square urban grid. The same kind of provincial mentality where the people take the good aspects of the city and blow them up way more than is due but ignore the bad aspects.
Also, the gay scene is really sort of depressing. It's a lot of old leather daddies wandering around the Castro in chaps. I always feel sad that they define themselves so totally by their sexuality, even at that age. I guess that's a reaction to the horrible oppression that existed when they were young, but it's still sad.
That said, I love the dining scene in SF. The Muni streetcars (not the tourist cable car) are a fun way to get around the city, at least when you're on vacation and don't need to get anywhere on time. And I adore running along the water from downtown to the Golden Gate. But to live there - just not for me.
It's strange. I know so many guys (bears mostly) who've moved there in the past two years. They go expecting life to be a non-stop erotic cabaret, but find it an expensive ride.
Some get on the disability train and work under the table as barbacks, bartenders, or hair burners. Gets a little old, hearing a clutch of them talking about which service organization gives better funding. Some boys don't grow up.
SF just named BEST city to live in so all these armchair philosophers and generalists must not have the facts.
I don't disagree but most of what you're saying could be any city.
SF is a very dangerous city. Just the density of the core municipalities surroundng bay itself makes for excessive violence. Within an 80 mile radius there are 12+ million people.
Everyone is so unfriendly in San Francisco. I say hello to everybody but no one ever says hello to me. Rude much? Everyone always seems to be in a hurry too. What's the rush?
San Francisco is undoubtedly the nation's #1 gay mecca for barebackers who are also often hot young-ish successful professionals. "Safe"-and-VERY-selective unprotected sex, anyone?
For some reason, the city also has the country's highest concentration of both current and former gay porn actors. Can someone explain this?
You people are killing me with the "SF is dangerous" stuff. I've walked around everywhere, day and night (yes even the Tenderloin), and no part of it felt any scarier than any part in LA or other big cities. L.A.'s Skid Row is certainly more frightening than the Tenderloin. FWIW, I love visiting SF; I find it much less dreary than most New England or Atlantic seaboard cities.
R31 dscribed the differences between the two cities perfectly.
But SF probably won't fall to the San Andreas. More likely to a huge one on the Hayward fault.
SF IS dangerous. One time a homeless shook his cup at me and came after me.
no matter where you go, there you are
on my third time living here and I love it
find a place where you'll be happy and everything else will come. start by looking inside
If you want to know what hot is, go to Southern California. If you want to go somewhere truly freezing, go back to the East Coast.
There's nothing wrong with San Francisco or any other city for that matter. Ones reactions to any location is due to ones own problems with life at the time. SF is remains one of the most beautiful places on earth and those who don't fit in aren't likely to fit in any place else. I love the place but then I'm happy with who I am.
One should pay attention to feeling like OP's. There is much to be learned from our peculiar negative reactions. I wish OP well and a safe return to surrounds that better cater to OP's personal problems.
[quote]You need to be very rich or homeless to live in SF. The constant cold and damp is very depressing.
I like the cold and damp and fog just fine, but agree that it's a place to live only if rich or perhaps very young. Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Cow Hollow... those neighborhoods (among a few others) include some superb places to live. Outside of the top tier of neighborhoods, so many areas look bleak and sun-baked...too scruffy (however steep the real estate prices), too many wires everywhere overhead, a weird bleached-out pastel color palette, and too few trees.
r62, you have such an unknowledgeable perspective of San Francisco. Twin Peaks, West Portal, St. Francis Woods, the Richmont, Noe Valley, Buena Vista, Hayes Valley, the Filmore, Prescidio Heights, SOMA, the Marina, Upper Market and countless other neighborhoods hardly look unkempt or dreary. You simply talk in spite of your lack of knowledge.
R63: I did write "among a few others" and my list was not meant to be comprehensive any more than I assume yours was.
Some of the places you list certainly have their attributes, but there are only a couple of them where I would want to live, and some where I certainly would not: not that they're horrible places, just that they don't appeal to me. The area in which I would be happy in San Francisco is a small and compact one relative its size -- in that sense it's both like many other cities and not.
To understand when someone is offering personal opinion and not hard facts, and to understand that different people like different things... these are cornerstones of not getting your panties in a bunch.
It was beautiful to me in the late 70s and 80s -- when I returned in 2001, it was like hell.
I was very sorry to see that.
It's much more segregated than major cities on the East Coast, and that took me by surprise.
It's not more segregated. There are just hardly any African Americans left in the city. The Latin American and Asian immigrants are no more segregated than in other cities.
R67, I lived in the Bay Area for 40 years. I moved to DC a few years ago. I tell you that San Francisco and its suburbs are far more segregated than DC and the DC Metro. There seems to be no integrated middle class in San Francisco and surrounds, and that includes Asians and Latinos. It's much worse for (non-immigrant) African Americans.
What's it like to live in Marin County?
Well r68 I guess your personal experience is the only thing that counts, the rest of us should just leave this thread at once.
Seek meds for your hallucinations, R70.
I never said anything of the sort.
OMG OP.. stop complaining. I live in the rainiest city in Europe. It's been raining non stop here for the last three weeks basically. I love it here, even despite the rain. Who the hell cares about the weather anyway? It is what you make it out to be... if you want to be miserable then be miserable. If you want to be happy, then try to look at the good things, surely there must be something good about living there?
San Francisco is a city in search of itself. It is full of cliques that remind me of high school. There are parts of town that are great, but mostly, it's as described: dirty, dangerous and unpleasant. And it is extraordinarily expensive.
However, leaving the city is akin to leaving the country. It is radically different across the bridges or down in Silicon Valley. And nowhere near as gay friendly outside of the 49 square miles that make up SF.
Sadly, part of what makes a city vibrant and exciting isn't possible in SF. If you're a cop or firefighter, you can't afford to live in the city. You have to make a very good salary to afford any space, especially near anything worth seeing or doing. And the Mission... Ugh.
And, it's full of political loons. It's so far to the left, it's hard to describe. For example, one of the ballot measures coming up is the restoration of the Hetch-Hetchy reservoir. Now, if it was being proposed today, it would be a nonstarter, but since the city fathers had the foresight a hundred years ago to provide for an ample water supply, and that is one of the factors that made SF one of the greatest cities on the West coast, why the hell are we discussing bringing it down? And where the hell is SF going to get its water if we drain it and spends billions of dollars restoring it? Water is going to be the currency of the western US in the coming years, and SF is one of the few cities with a sustainable, renewable source... unless the hippies get their way.
But to answer the question about why there are so many porn stars in SF, this is the seat of the gay porn industry. California is hell-bent on driving one of the few viable (non-tech) industries out of state, so that's changing as most of the major players have moved operations elsewhere, but there is still enough of an industry that it's where the porn stars come before heading to New York and higher paying clients.
SF will come back one day, it probably just won't be in the foreseeable future.
Just a bunch of eldergays (who are invariably white) complaining about how things aren't the way they used to be.
[quote]What's it like to live in Marin County?[/quote]
The majority of Marin County is crunchy and middle class to rich, slow growth. People keep to themselves, but aren't overtly assholes. People range from white people with dreadlocks to yacht owning "fiscal conservatives". Permissive parenting is popular. Watch the movie "Serial". Not much has changed since then.
I did find that people were far friendlier in SF than they are in DC.
People in SF are definitely NOT friendly. They never say hi to me when I pass them on the street.
One man who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge left a suicide note saying that if one person said hello to him as he walked from his house to the bridge, he wouldn't jump.
I find it beautiful and dull, dull, dull. Gay is so VERY gay, precious little theatre that is interesting.
Back in NY and fucking love it.
I moved out here two years ago from the midwest and before that the east coast. I left a great social life in two cities to sit in my apartment on a saturday night. There is no "here" here. A dull, uninspired city with a tragic gay population. If you like "sex-positive" tatooed, sleazy, dirty guys, you'll love it here. If you like guys that have style, like to look good and have interests besides piercings, they are probably straight.
If I didn't have a half-way decent job, I'd be out of here so fast. There is no california worth anything beyond LA.
[quote]I miss the East Coast.
Me too, OP -- & I've been in Calif over 50 years.
There is something alienating about SF. My memories of visiting are of walking and walking and walking to this area, then walking and walking and walking to another area.
I lived in NYC which definitely has its pros and cons, but there are places along the way that are engaging. I agree that the people on the street are much more aggressive and rude than NYC or LA. Lots of young people "homeless for the summer." One guy in his twenties followed me a little while asking why I was wearing a T-shirt from an New York club and said "why are you wearing that shirt, as if you've been there!"
A friend of mine from LA moved all his stuff up to SF, and moved back the same week.
I've lived here for about 10 years and was never a big fan of SF, but still like living here alot. It's really a very small city. I think people assume it's a big city like LA or NT or Chicago, but it's not even close. For a city this size it does pretty well. I travel alot and could launch the same complaints about any city.
But we do love our naked grizzled eldergays.
[quote]I moved out here two years ago from the midwest and before that the east coast. I left a great social life in two cities to sit in my apartment on a saturday night.
This hits the nail on the head. It's not the city, it's the people you're with. If you had lots of friends in the city, then SF would be your favorite. If you had met your first love in SF, then you would love SF. Even NYC would be boring and horrible if you know no one and just sat in your apartment all the time.
I have an OK time whenever I'm there on business -- people are cordial enough and I like taking MUNI to various neighborhoods and just walking around.
But the one neighborhood I do not get -- at all -- is the Castro. I get the fact that it's changed over the years, become yuppified and straighter or whatever, and I could get it if it was just a tourist district (which it is to some extent), but it's lots of locals and it's just miserable.
Crummy restaurants and generic bars pumping out generic boring music. T-shirt and sex shops selling generic gay pride shit that feels like it's been hanging around since the 1970s. (Who wears those necklaces with the six rainbow-colored anodized aluminum rings?) On my last visit, I went to the Haight, where I hadn't been in years, and it actually felt more friendly and relevant to the times.
I almost wish I could write off the Castro experience to everyone else being younger or hotter or richer, but they're not -- it's just one of the busiest but least interesting neighborhoods in the city.
Anyway, I don't dislike San Francisco the way some in this thread do, but I do feel that way about the Castro. San Franciscans, if I'm missing something (and maybe I am), please tell me and I'll check it out when I'm there in a couple of months.
I don't know what to say. I agree about some of SF's negatives, but I ALWAYS love visiting SF, and have never really had a problem with unfriendliness. While I've had run-ins with crazy homeless, I've never been a victim of any crime or felt unsafe, while, of course, using big-city good judgment when out and about.
I find SF beautiful and dynamic, but again, this is coming from someone who only visits for 4-7 day periods.
If the weather is the problem, you could always live in the South Bay, which has much better weather, at least in terms of being sunny and not foggy, and take in SF as it suits you. But, of course, the South Bay has its own drawbacks.
I really like the East Bay, at last certain parts. I could easily live in Oakland. I know, it has a bad rep as a violent city, and I've seen those horrible areas of Oakland. But, it is a city of 400k+ and the good areas are very good, IMO.
SF area strikes me as best for "on the go" types who want big city living part of the time, but can deal with that living not being as "BIG" as someplace like NYC, and who want to mix that with being outdoorsy and enthusiastically using the whole area to keep yourself busy.
I'm biracial, my boyfriend is black. We love SF, but are were initially struck by the incredibly low black population in general (I think SF is down to less than 6% now) and among gays. We only see a smattering when out at night. A high concentration of black gays is something we certainly don't need, given that we can get that at home and when we visit our friends in Atlanta.
We figured maybe the black gays congregate in Oakland, so we asked our black lesbian friend who lives in Oakland, and she said there wasn't much. Is there really no black gay bar/club in all of the Bay Area?
The Castro is an odd place. My deduction is that it's really for the tourists. It's like a gay ghetto museum. Rents went crazy high there in the last few years, so it's hard to get decent places to eat or any business to stick around.
And oddly enough, outside of the city, there is absolutely no gay nightlife. There's an odd gay dive place here and there, but nothing for hundreds of miles.
As I said earlier, it's really a small town, and as a small town it rates pretty well, but when you start to compare it to bigger cities, it pales.
[quote]The Castro is an odd place. My deduction is that it's really for the tourists. It's like a gay ghetto museum. Rents went crazy high there in the last few years, so it's hard to get decent places to eat or any business to stick around.
That's part of what I don't understand. Usually when rents go that high, you get a few expensive-but-worth it restaurants, fancy art galleries, theaters, swanky bars, etc.
There's just nothing. Bad bars, and not even as many as you might expect in a gay district. A few mediocre Thai restaurants, burrito spots, and sandwich shops, all of which are pretty cheap. (And if cheap restaurants can make it there, why not some interesting ethnic or experimental places, instead of pad thai and burrito joints?)
San Francisco has both pricey-but-good restaurants and interesting ethnic restaurants and startups, but none of them are in the Castro, and haven't been for many years, at least as far as I can tell. The whole neighborhood feels like it's given up, except for the Castro Theater.
What is San Mateo like? Pretty? Expensive, or...?
Tom Brady lives there.
San Mateo has the hottest guys. It also has T-Pumps.
What is brown, barren and lonesome about Berkeley?
Who said anything about Berkeley, R92?
R36 here back from SF: thoughts on sf
-SOMA is on the edge of scary - I was in Oracle world madness and even with all those people in the street it was uncomfortable. We saw on the news two people were shot a block from our hotel on 3rd & mission.
-The BART station on Powell is like a bad movie & the cops just look at you and shrug apologetically when the crazies start stirring the shit.
-Mission - the part by 24th/Mission is way dicier than I anticipated, but the humphrey Slocumbe ice cream was great. I expected more interesting shops on valencia - kind of disappointing.
-Telegraph Hill was stunningly beautiful, how do these people on the paths get their furniture up there when they move in/out? I liked North Beach too.
-Marina was nice but not much personality. Union Sq. the same.
-Hayes Valley was cute - Nolita-ish I'd say.
-Never got to the castro but it sounds like I didn't miss much.
Overall - it was nice but I wouldn't rush back. Liked the food scene but wasn't seeing much else in the way of fun. Sadly it smells like urine everywhere and the amount of street people is astounding, ranging from panhandlers to seriously mentally ill people. If you hate kids it's a great town for you - unlike NYC I saw amazingly few children/parents/strollers in the above areas.
After living in the Bay Area for 29 years, I couldn't wait to move back to the East Coast where I grew up.
Now I can appreciate how happiness is all in our minds, because my happiness-to-unhappiness ratio is exactly the same as it was on the West Coast. Life is what you make it. Moving to a different city doesn't make you a happy person.
r97 is partially correct, but SF nonetheless has turned into a sewer since the 70s.
But most cities have...
Why do people only talk about the homeless in San Francisco when the homeless population is exploding in New York?
R86, I hear what you're saying about black gay bars, but there really aren't any places where there are predominantly black clientele.
The closest one, IMHO, is Bench and Bar in downtown Oakland on 17th Street (one block from Broadway), but it's mostly Latino with one or two hip-hop nights a week.
Also, it's more of a dance/club bar and not a place to go after work to socialize.
Anyone have any more to add about San Mateo?
Is Mizez Slocumbe still living in the Castro or Duboce Triangle - whereever dead Daddy Moneybags bought the place for him?
San Mateo is home to the Ramen Empire of Santa Ramen, Ramen Dojo and Ramen Parlor.
San Mateo is also home to Tom Brady and Dominic Briones from Big Brother.
San Mateo has the highest concentration of Japanese restaurants in their downtown area.
San Mateo is also home to the CUNT empire with Curry Up Now and DOSA Republic.
San Mateo also has a very high concentration of Mexicans. In one part of downtown, ALL the shops are Mexican. If you go past 1st Ave., it's as if you've stepped into Mexico.
SF disappoints me these days. It's physically very beautiful, but the people seem very boring - mostly privileged tech dorks, with a smattering of third world immigrants thrown in to run service establishments.
In all honesty, most cities in America are either smoking, post-apocalyptic shitholes or soulless playgrounds for the rich and drab. And SF has squarely moved into the second camp.
Your point, r104?
Yes, OP, San Francisco has many problems, most of which are inflicted by braying East Coasters.
R49: New England is about 100 miles radius and 14 million people.
Yet we don't seem to have the same problems you ascribe to the western area.
SF is better than LA.
What's in LA?
Mizez Slocombe is in Cole Valley and happy. Just saw him today :).
I lived in SF for two years and never understood the hype. My biggest complaints were the following: despite conventional wisdom, the weather is dreary; worse, I thought the place seemed so soul-less.
SF is just full of these narrow-minded tech geeks who all think they are the next Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg or Marissa Mayer. Assuredly, a tiny fraction of them probably are, but a whole city chock full of people with that mindset is incredibly dull and super-obnoxious.
Also, SF is entirely composed of transplants. If it's not, it certainly feels that way. There is no sense of anyone having roots in the place or any real vested interest (or interest at all) in the city's history-- or its future. No one who has any idea in where the city came from or where it wants to go.
Overall it was a disappointing experience for me. I made some friends whom I adore, but was happy enough to leave. I am in Philadelphia now, which I love. Even though I am not from here, it feels like home in a way SF never did.
We moved from Presidio Heights to St. Francis Wood two years ago because we wanted a couple more bedrooms, but I really miss my old place. The street life just isn't the same, and it feels cloistered and yet rushed. If we can unload the new place we're heading back up, maybe to Pacific Heights where there are some larger places available. The OP is right - you have to watch yourself here or it can get depressing.
I lived in Noe Valley for 5 years. I really liked it. It could be cold in the Castro, but just over the top of Castro Street in NV the Sun was shining. Sure you get a lot of "prairie girls" (transplants from the plains states) and it is a bit of a cow town in that you see the same people over and over, but in terms of sheer physical beauty I don't think there's another city its size in the country that can touch it.
What about Bernal Heights? Good? Bad?
I agree beautiful city, but I was surprises at how lifeless it is. But man is it pretty.
San Francisco is becoming a lot less "far-lefty" wacko city. San Francisco is really, in essence, an Asian city now. As Asians continue to proliferate, the city will become less liberal, or at least less "wacky liberal."
When my friends ask if "S.F. is really that gay", I say "No, it's really that Asian."
As for the Castro, yes, it is kind of depressing. Terrible restaurants, tired bars, haggard looking people.
I will say this: the cops and firefighters in S.F. are amazing professionals.
I lived there for years and could never get used to the terrible weather. It was always too cold and too foggy. All pretty to look at when I was inside but I always dreaded going out. The place just depressed me.
It depends what you are looking for, but SF has already surpassed New York as far as desirability. High tech and social media are dominant industries now. NY is smelly with shitty weather. Today was a beautiful day.
[quote]California is hell-bent on driving one of the few viable (non-tech) industries out of state, so that's changing as most of the major players have moved operations elsewhere,
Yes, that must explain why Twitter is headquartered in SF, why Google is building a tower there, and why the largest concentration of tech start-ups in the nation is in San Francisco.
Oh, yah, and I forgot to mention that Zuck just bought a place near Noe Valley.
SF Tech is clearly over.
No way is Frisco more desirable than NY. San Fran is basically a hard-drinking, raffish, port city. Always has been. It doesn't have an inkling of New York's culture and allure. Anyone who thinks otherwise is laughable. NY is America's economic and arts capital; DC is its political capital. S.F. may be the tech capital but tech does not make a city "great", by a long shot.
I would hardly call SF hard-drinking. The place really is like Salt Lake City in many ways. The high tech pod people have clearly taken over. The fun is gone.
 Have you ever been to the Marina, particularly when the Niners are playing. It's a bit of a scene.
this is my third time living in SF. it's not for everyone, so what? all this whining has no effect on my love of this place, but it will follow you wherever you go
R125, it's the usual NYC self-congratulatory bitching that every city on the globe isn't Manhattan.
South Park was on to something. The people of SF do love the smell of their own farts. They somehow think that the rest of the country is missing their "specialness". Which is absurd. And laughable. Get over yourselves, San Franciscans!
If you miss the east, move to Berkeley. Telegraph Ave. is not unlike Harvard Square. Rockridge in Oakland is similar to any number of Boston neighborhoods.
SF is an ADULT city, not for college nostalgia.
It has always been a commercial city about making money, and has a stronger focus on this than Dallas or New York ever have. And they are better at it than Dallas or New York since they don't need to steal to make money. If SF's politics are "loony left," they have been proven right again and again. You should be listening to and following them because they understood the evil of Republican American long before any east coast people did.
Some of you sound like Wayland Flowers' puppet Madam (i.e., old and don't realize that New York is over). It is now 2013, and San Francisco far exceeds former stars New York, Miami or Los Angeles.
Right, 129, New York, the capital of the world, along with London, is over. You are amusing.
Not just Zuck but all of them are in SF - Jack Dorsey, FB, Marissa Mayer, etc etc etc. ALL of the elite of SV having HUGE places in SF.
[quote]The place really is like Salt Lake City in many ways.
Los Angeles is far more important than Frisco.
I am 63 years old, third generation, born in San Francisco. I now live in the North Bay and have family all over the entire Bay Area.
San Francisco is a beautiful city, but it has changed. In fact, it has continually changed since the Gold Rush. New people are always coming in from all over the states and the world.
There has always been an air of pretension among both the natives and newcomers. Natives insufferably proud of their birthplace and newcomers awarding themselves medals for "moving here."
It's horribly expensive and difficult for regular folks to find decent housing.
The techies are only the most recent wave on newcomer and they are paying exorbitant prices to share tiny apartments. wealthy newcomers snap up real estate that locals can no longer afford.
My view of the region is affected by my families history and family memories and I love the place for that. It is still stunningly beautiful, in my opinion, but it is not an easy place to live.
I love the fog, but the fog is not everywhere. It is confined to certain areas, but outside those areas (mainly SF and Daly City) the weather is good.
Also, I just got back from New York, my last trip was 15 years ago. I LOVE New York, but it too has changed. So expensive and crowded! I was appalled by the number of insufferable people in the MOMA who did nothing but wander about pointing their hand held devices at the most amazing art and snapping pics without actually looking at the original piece. Put down your cameras and look at the art, dolts!!!
Taking photos in SF museums is not allowed. I approve.
134, does San Francisco have any museums ?? I wasn't aware.
They do r135 - Legion of Honor, DeYoung, Asian, & other smaller ones. MOMA is closed till 2016 when they re-open larger.
I was talking about the porn industry, R120/121. That's why I put "non-tech" right there in the middle of that sentence. Hey, I'm happy tech is moving into the city. I have some great real estate that I plan on selling in a couple of years once tech bubble 2.0 nears it's peak.
Lived in SF for 7 years and moved to NYC four years ago. All I have to about these SF naysayers is that enough people DO want to live there and love it so that rents have gone up significantly in the last X years. Not for you? Fine. There's a line of people who would love to live there. I miss a number of aspects about it.
SF native here. We do exist. The City's demographic always changes, and we will always be bored by you, no matter your income or what freakshow you belong to.
Our weather pattern is so simple and is easy to predict. You'll like it or not.
Have explored all over the world. SF is among the most difficult and expensive places to be. Most worthwhile places are.
If you have a special skill, or if you just want to live here and have done your homework, there is a niche for you. We don't roll out red carpets, but all are welcome.
The city of San Francisco is expensive and desirable only for men who desire cock. Unless you're from China and have low rent with relatives, there's no other reason to live here. Except for that penis thing.
I don't care if you're a busboy, Neurosurgeon, or a native, or a rich social network techie, SF will always be a place where dudes come to do other dudes, whether you ask for it or not.
We will always give you our famous cold welcome, but it is your choice to be here and fall in love.
R139 is scary as hell.
Discussing the "vibrant economy" of SF on this thread is laughable when most of the people living there live off their parents' money!
I miss the SF of the 70s depicted in movies such as What's Up, Doc?, Foul Play, Bullit and Hardcore.
SF hasn't changed much in the XX odd years I have lived here.
Every five years or so there is a new cycle of uppity youngsters. Techies are soulless soul suckers so devoid of personality that their first question is 'where do you live' (as if they know what the fuck they're talking about) instead of 'whats your name?'!
Sick of know it all young white girl with their phony liberal bullshit and the closeted gays, gawddamn, most of the gay men here are closeted.
There I said it. SO sick of closet cases bringing their dysfunction here, I mean get a clue will ya.
Worse, are the phony liberals coddling the insane and violent street bums - more closeted gays. What? Didn't you know MOST of the street bums are gay. Of course. Men on the street sex and snuggle with each other.
That said, ice the bums and phony white liberals and this city could be something!]
Glad to have scared the hell out of r140. Bet she's a cheap date, too.
I like the fog, too. I can see it come in from my window, over Twin Peaks. It's pretty, and reminds me of dry ice. I also like sleeping in the cool when it comes in like it at night like it is right now. Then it burns off by late morning, and it's another gorgeous day.
I love this city.
r139 has to be extremely old. Young gays can't afford to live in SF & SF is less and less gay by the minute. Most of the gays that live in SF are elder gays.
Was there for five years...started out in Bernal Heights, which was pleasant enough.
Loved my apt on Nob Hill...authentic Bay Windows. :)
It was too darn cold for me, so I went to south bay.
south bay was too expensive...and I figured, if I'm in Cali but not SF, then what's the point of being in Cali? So I moved to nice weather & comfortable living.
I miss the burritos...and Chinese food. But not the weather, costs, and rules.
The pod people have taken over San Francisco. The place is as fun as suburban Dallas these days.
Are thee any up and coming Bay area areas just waiting to be colonized by hipster "cool"? Do SF area people go to Stockton or Sacramento for entertainment or dining?
R146, where r u now?
Remember before the big crash how Vallejo was going to be the next Coolsville?
Do you know the way to San Jose? It's warmer there.
You should explore areas outside of San Francisco. While I love the city, I really love many of the surrounding areas especially the North Bay. Check out wine country, the Sonoma coast, Point Reyes (the lighthouse from the John Carpenter movie The Fog is out there), Muir Woods. The Peninsula is nice too. Half Moon Bay is beautiful and the Pacifica coast....
Unfortunately, it rains a lot around the holidays which can be kind of depressing. Spring/Summer/Early Fall are my favorite.
California itself seems now to be crowded, dirty, expensive - kind of like a place that has been a victim of its own success.
Like most Americans, I've often toyed with the idea of moving there and starting over, but plenty of ex-Californians live in New York, and I'm less than impressed with their lack of maturity, substance abuse, skin defaced with tattoos, piercings, skin cancer trauma, etc., and it makes me think, do I really want to live in a state populated with lots of people who won't behave like responsible adults? The answer is always no.
Love the weather, of course - that's something that is unlikely to ever change.
It's cheaper to live in Brooklyn these days and you get more for your money than living in SF.
San Francisco is a wonderful city. The City hasn't changed, but the makeup of the population has. All the talk about sf being so much better in the 70's is due to those posting, having been so much younger themselves. Today the city is more beautiful than ever. The movers and shakers are even younger wealthier than ever. This fact makes the income gap more noticeable and the once shabby-cool simply looks tawdry. I jog regularly from the St. Francis yacht harbor to the base of the Golden Gate bridge and believe me there is no better place to be on this earth.
I thought I'd hate LA and love San Francisco, but almost the opposite happened. SF is okay, the setting is magnificent, but the appeal of the city is not in much of anything human.
LA has its flaws, to be sure, but if you're not a child looking for a Hollywood fantasy, you can find about anything you want, and enjoy it in the sun.
A fire, a little weed, some friends and good conversation, a canyon view in the early evening...heaven on earth.
Los Angeles, I love you with all my soul.
so glad to be in Manhattan after 30 years.
I love SF but it has changed dramatically in the past 13 years. It's more extreme now than NY as far as high rent and the clear economic split between haves and have nots. Facebook has completely changed how people interact and behave - it impacts where they want to go, where they want to spend their money, and even who they want to be seen with. I am considered maybe upper middle class but I only can afford to live her because I have a rent controlled unit. 2-3 story buildings in my neighborhood that were under a million ten years ago are now selling for anywhere between $10 and $25 million. In Pacific Heights, it's even more outrageous and the rest of the city is not far behind.
I'm a native New Yorker but I lived in SF at various times through the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
My first memory of the city in 1972 is seen through a gauzy filter, the kind they used to use on Doris Day, and it really was just like Tales of the City.
I lived there for three months in 1978 when Jonestown and the Moscone/Milk murders happened. After White was sentenced, I remember his family passing out flyers for his French fry joint down on Pier 39.
I remember Dianne Feinstein breaking in and shocking everyone by saying "Both Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Milk have been shot . . . and killed. And then the collective gasp. After she became Mayor she would never march in the Gay Parade. People asked her why and she said,, "I just don't think it would be dignified for the Mayor of SF to walk down the street in front of a giant dildo."
I really don't like Los Angeles that much. If I could live in the Hills, maybe. Naaaa. I had a nice life there with the BF, the dog, the convertible, the house w/pool (back when you could get a three-bedroom in the valley for $35K...1977). Great parties. Everybody got drunk, pushed in the pool. Surprise anal.
Finally, SF was THE place for me. I moved there right before AIDS hit and everything changed. I began to find the weather depressing too. When I moved there in '84, I thought, where are the hot guys? These people all look like they've been up for a week. Turns out they had!
But the air is crisp there and I love the fog, even the bad neighborhoods have a view. I could see myself retiring to Northern California one day. I love the Anderson Valley north of SF.
I think New York has the hottest guys.
The weather has been absolutely perfect for the last few days. Went up to the Marin headlands on Tuesday, and the view was just spectacular.
East Bay is where it's at. Moved from there 20 years ago, was just there 2 weeks ago, and it's even better. Sad to hear SF isn't.
Those of you from flyover land better stay there, you would shit you pants if you realized how much it costs to live in S.F.
Yes, it is expensive and at this point I wonder if it is worth it. I mean for the same money you can live in New York and I think it is better there. San Francisco doesn't offer too much. It isn't even fun any more.
I don't know how NY is on nature R164. I think part of the SF Bay Area is the mix of nature and city. You have all of the cultural amenities and luxuries of a big city (opera, ballet, shopping, great restaurants, hip bars, art and technology) with easy outlets to the beauty of CA (surfing in Pacifica, hiking in the Redwoods, Highway 1, wine country, the Central Valley if you feel like visiting the wild west). I think SF proper is overrated but with BART/transbay bus the city is extremely accessible from more affordable areas.
R165 nailed it.
This morning, I had to put down a beloved, 19 old cat.
I drove him down to the beach in Pacifica and took him into the sand in his Kitty Karrier.
I was crying (violently) and wondering what I'll do and where I'll live for the rest of my life. A large group of male high school students drove up to us in their 4wd pick-up truck during lunch hour. They looked very Daly City and were possibly Philipinos.
Their apparent leader ran out of the truck and came up to me on the sand, yelling: "Buttchcha Ahhh, Blanche, Ye AHHH in that wheelchauihhh!". After asking me and my cat if we were OK, he hugged me before running back to the truck -- with the rest of my joint. The truck was decorated like a Zebra on LSD for Halloween.
I can't live anywhere else. Just can't.
Nice bullshit story, R167. Woulda been cool.
R165 makes good points but ends up sounding like a total Mary with his description of what the big city has to offer.
Dreary dreary dreary... and you'd better speak Mandarin.
I grew up in the city and have fond memories but the city I knew is gone.
During last visit I saw an Asian frau walking down the street in her rice pickin hat, pole over her shoulders with buckets hanging from either side. Christ.
Is there still a gay "scene?" That last time I was in the Castro, it was like there was "no there there." Sleazy bars with trashy twinks and ancient relics mourning their "love of my life died of AIDS" partners from barstools in wrinkle room bars. DEPRESSING as hell. I know AIDS decimated the city's gay presence and energy over the years but...it never really recovered did it? I mean, still.
I lived in San Francisco from 1971 until 1991. My partner and I then relocated to Madison, WI. We love Madison and would never return to S.F. in a million years.
(Much as I loved it during the 70's and much of the 80's, it is definitely not the place it used to be anymore.)
In other words r171, you can't afford to live in San Francisco anymore, so you had to move to the Midwest.
If you are going to live in the city be prepared to test positive for TB. You'll catch it taking the Bart, the bus, or even just walking around Chinatown.
The Chinese immigrants in San Fran are right off the boat and have not been inoculated for TB. Many are positive.
I love Chinese people in general, and I am NOT slighting them. But facts are facts, just as the TB explosion in downtown LA is a result of immigrants from Latin America.
New York and San Francisco were ruined by AIDS and capital. AIDS ruined the creative, celebratory, anything-can-happen atmosphere, and capital drove out everyone but the poor and the thieves at the top and a few of their well-paid servants.
Two once-great cities, ruined by two fatal diseases.
Now, what are the new REAL cities, here and abroad? The ones not yet ruined.
LA, R174. There are pockets of really creative people, almost in hiding from the usual Shepard Fairey-style, "Isuzu Trooper presents Tagger Art" open bar hipster shallowness that has sterilized NYC and SF.
[quote]Is there still a gay "scene?" That last time I was in the Castro, it was like there was "no there there." Sleazy bars with trashy twinks and ancient relics mourning their "love of my life died of AIDS" partners from barstools in wrinkle room bars. DEPRESSING as hell. I know AIDS decimated the city's gay presence and energy over the years but...it never really recovered did it? I mean, still.
It's funny -- I still enjoy visiting San Francisco for work or pleasure... but for everything BUT the gay scene. There still are a couple of tumbledown bars in the Tenderloin and South of Market that can be fun, but the Castro is one of the city's least interesting neighborhoods (except for the Castro Theatre). But I can still have fun for a few days there just hopping on the Muni, going to different neighborhoods and walking around.
Des Moines, the Paris of the Prairie
Different Strokes for different folks.
I have never partook in the gay scene in SF when visiting, but then again, I usually don't. There is too much else to do and see. I think it's a beautiful place overall but the real beauty is in the east bay and Marin and of course wine country. The weather in SF dulls the senses too.
Damn,not one person who actually lives here in SF have posted on this thread in ages. Its a city. Stop hating cause you can't afford it, jealousy is a bad look. Of course the Castro is still gay but yeh this new breed of tech/pod people is pretty stale. I am getting older they are younger, and rather bland. I see in a few years I will be moving.
Very few people here hate SF, R180. It's just that the thrill is gone. Long gone. If it's for you, enjoy.
I moved to SF this year, after almost 20 years in Manhattan. I still love NY, but I love SF, too. It's prettier. The weather is better. It has great restaurants. There's more to do and see in the area. Yeah, so money is gentrifying everything -- well, that's already happened to Manhattan, only moreso.
You can't beat Manhattan for culture. You can't beat SF for natural beauty and quirky neighborhoods. And, strange to say, SF definitely has more "grit" now than Manhattan.
Oh, and I was really surprised to find all the good independent and used bookstores. Not many chain stores in SF, thank Christ.
Again, SF is an extremely expensive, small US city. It is not, nor has it ever been, a "great" city. The only great city in the US is NY and there are only about five "great" a/k/a "world-class" cities in the world: London, NY, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin.
R184 your classification mania is Tired. I might add that Berlin is not a great city in any sense of word. It is too small, too provincial, too lacking in power and brains.
I lived in Tokyo for 7 years and I would hardly call it a world city. It is big granted but that is about it. In many ways Mexico City seems more worldly.
[quote] You can't beat Manhattan for culture. You can't beat SF for natural beauty and quirky neighborhoods. And, strange to say, SF definitely has more "grit" now than Manhattan.
Absolutely true. If Giuliani had run San Francisco, the whole Tenderloin would have been boarded up and reopened as a bunch of theaters playing stage shows of Disney movies, interspersed with TGI Fridays and The Olive Garden.
San Francisco has been greatly gentrified, but it still has a few spots for the discerning gentleman, like the fabulously named Tea Room Theater.
R184, your list would be accurate in the 1980s. Not anymore. And NYC is being matched in cultural importance even in the US (by Los Angeles of all places).
NYC isn't really culturally important anymore. The p.t.b. drove away the culture!
A close friend and their partner moved there about 15 years ago, basically for their jobs, within one year they both lost their jobs. They live outside of San Francisco because houses in the city were outrageously expensive,
They found other jobs, but they hate it there, they really regret leaving NYC.
Their shitty wood frame house cost them $600,000! The house is somewhat large, but for that amount, I'm sure thye would have found something much nicer in NY.
I'm sure they would have been better off moving upstate NY, which was their original plan. The partner is a school teacher, he could have found work anywhere in NY state. The friend works in the art field, so that's more difficult.
So far, they've endured two break-in robberies, someone killed two of their outside cats and their daily trip on the Bart transit system is absolutely disgusting, if there's not some smelly slob sitting near them, there's a gross looking man masturbating on the bus/train or in public. Oh yes, they also need to take the ferry.
They also hate the damp rainy weather. I asked them point blank if they did enough research before moving there. The response was: "We vacationed there a few times."
No one should be paying the types of high bills they do while enduring such daily bullshit. There are high taxes on everything, there are fines if the correct color garbage bags aren't used and other such nonsense. I think there's also a fine if you forget to put specific garbage out on designated days, then next weeks recyclable amount is "too large" and you will be find for that, seriously..!??
They told me they are literally counting the days until they retire back to NY. I feel really bad for them, they are decent hard working guys who don't deserve such bullshit.
Is Burning Man still a big deal up there? It seems, inevitably, to have sold out big time. When Puff Daddy hits the playa, you know a dream was deferred. Or destroyed.
That was a great post and described the misery of the Bay Area in spades. I feel for your friends, they sound like great guys, and no, they don't deserve that bullshit.
Here's what you have illustrated for us all:
1. That living in San Fran and its adjoining areas will require hard labor and inconvenience from you, always. You will never get to enjoy a retirement, or any sense of luxury, unless of course you are filthy rich, because just being rich won't be enough.
2. There is a coldness among people there, it's as if everyone is living in a bubble and share no sense of community. Ironic, because that's the image people have of San Fran and many flock there looking for friendship and a sense of belonging.
3. The weather is abominable. The winds that blow in from the bay chill you to the bone. Now, of course it's like that in other places as well, but it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg to live there.
4. You mentioned being having the garbage bags taxed. Yep, the Bay Area loves to stick you with it's sanctimonious taxes and fees all in the name of 'environmentalism' and 'recycling.' It's a police state of political correctness.
5. The Bart. The clown car from hell. Dante's ninth level. And yes, you will have to take it occasionally because the outlying areas are not serviced with a decent bus or train line.
6. Housing prices. The dream of owning a home will be forever dashed in the Bay Area, although your friends were lucky to find a clap-trap abode for under a million. Oh, and it will be in a gang-infested area. And then get destroyed by an earthquake.
Nobody has to take a ferry AND BART. Obvious nonsense.
Beautiful place. I love walking around the city when I visit. When I was younger, I wanted to move there--not for the scene, but for the views and the sunlight.
Many of the residents seem to be well-educated, but lack any critical judgment. Or (and this is almost epidemic) a sense of humor.
r184, you really need to update your list of world class cities. London and Paris are cultural museums, not thriving centers of industry and creativity. Berlin is neither.
For many of us there is no greater city than San Francisco. For those who prefer NYC, I'm sure there is no greater city than NYC. It's all meaningless opinion and that's why there's no argument to be won in this thread. Few cities measure up to SF or NYC, but I can never understand why Chicago is so much overlooked. Over all, Chicago is the most beautiful looking city in the US, even from a picturesque perspective. The quality of life for the price is unmatched worldwide, Los Angeles is very close second.
I can't tell if r196 is being funny about Chicago.
r168, I hope that you are enjoying your complimentary breadsticks at the Olive Garden in Peoria.
Narrow minds from flat and boring places can't comprehend the sometimes intense and interesting things that happen elsewhere, away from their own comfort zone.
My "story" is far from "bullshit," but people like you will believe whatever you wish.
I have met so many who moved here but couldn't handle the realities of living with extreme cultural diversity and random circumstances. They go back to their mother's couches or wherever they came from and bitch about how it's so weird and/or expensive to live here in the Bay Area. Those are rather convenient excuses for your inability to deal with the real world.
I endured a very difficult circumstance on a cold beach with a dying cat and was open enough to be entertained by some kids who look different from me. Turned out that we have a lot in common. Living in San Francisco is all about acceptance. Glad that folks like you go home.
I love San Francisco so much, if I could afford it I would move there immediately. When I think of it I just ache to be there, I love the damp, soft air and the beautiful fog.
Never been to Chicago. r196 really had me going until he got to the LA part. It felt like Ricky Martin was making sweet love to me and suddenly revealed that he's a registered Republican with crabs.
[quote]You mentioned being having the garbage bags taxed. Yep, the Bay Area loves to stick you with it's sanctimonious taxes and fees all in the name of 'environmentalism' and 'recycling.' It's a police state of political correctness.
What, you are the PR shill for Waste Management? SF has always been 15 years ahead of the rest of the country on environmentalism. So they charge people for disposable bags, and outlawed the plastic bags that are killing off the ocean. You wait: in 10 years that will be the law in every major city in the US.
What a miserable douchebag you are.
r201 plastic bags no longer "kill off the ocean" dear, they now disintegrate and are green. Paying for bags penalizes the poor (as usual in SF "liberal" land) and the wealthy do not care.
They also took away the toll bridge people, so tourists, who don't have fast passes are screwed. It's ridiculous. Mind you in Europe, they still have toll takers in the booth and nets and ways of getting through bridges without the "Fastrak" system.
Wrong, missy thing. Most plastic bags are made of polyethylene, and it takes decades to disintegrate, which is why NYC is ALSO outlawing them.
And the idea for FASTRAK is to speed up traffic, which is why the bridges and tunnels in NYC, Boston, and the entire Northeast also have Easy Pass.
Can we put the landfill in your backyard?
What a ridiculous, and false, post. You clearly have spent no time in Berlin. First, it is anything but small. 3.5 million people and one of the most geographically large cities in Europe. So it's four times the size of S.F.
Secondly, "lacking in power and brains". Right, it's the center of government and culture in the most important European country. One of the most creative cities in the world. Artists are flocking there in droves.
It has a cutting edge arts scene and nightlife: provincial cities do not party all night and every night, till 8 a.m.
"Provincial" cities do not have the largest gay scene in the world, by far. And that scene offers whatever you want; S.F.'s gay scene is milquetoast and boring compared to Berlin.
You must be a big douche to make such a ridiculous post.
London is not a thriving city of industry and creativity? Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
London is the most dynamic city in the world.
1) Rivals NY as financial capital of the world.
2) Hugely dynamic arts scene. More individual style than any city in the world.
3) One of the top restaurant cities in the world.
4) One of the top museum cities in the world, if not THE top museum city.
Comparing S.F. to London is insane.
sorry sweetheart r203 but all plastic bags can be put into the BLUE BIN for recycling.
You never addressed how fucked it is for poor people to come up with the extra money and how your fucking rich friends don't mind though.
Fastrak alone is not good enough when most citizens don't go over the bridges and tourists have no idea. The entire NE might have "easypass" but what if you DON'T HAVE IT? That is what happened in SF, do you even live in SF? Sounds like your and East Coaster (probably a NY'er) who has no idea about SF just "wants to live there".
The biggest idiot in SF is the owner of Academy of Art, in her chauffeur-driven limo with the We♥Art plates.
Surprisingly, there's something seriously tacky about the wealthy in SF.
I like San Francisco a lot, for what it is. But it is absurd when natives stridently try to compare it to a New York or a London. It does not have the size or the diversity or the arts scene or the financial power that those two cities have.
Enjoy S.F. for what it is and stop trying to prove it is a "world capital". It is not. It barely has any museums, for God's sake.
[quote]I like San Francisco a lot, for what it is. But it is absurd when natives stridently try to compare it to a New York or a London. It does not have the size or the diversity or the arts scene or the financial power that those two cities have.
Agreed. It's sui generis, like New Orleans, which is the attraction of both cities -- they're the "least American" cities in America.
[quote]You people are killing me with the "SF is dangerous" stuff. I've walked around everywhere, day and night (yes even the Tenderloin), and no part of it felt any scarier than any part in LA or other big cities.
I've lived in NYC, LA, and SF. The only time I was ever mugged was in SF. It happened on 18th & Guerrero at 1 am on a Saturday night. Two cars pulled up, about ten guys got out, spread out on both sides of us and beat me and a friend in a "windmill" kind of way. I'd never been mugged and I kind of detached myself. I'd feel a thud (punch), and there'd be the sidewalk, another thud and there was the bakery window on the corner. It didn't really hurt though. A couple on a motorcycle stopped and tried to help us and they beat them too. I ran up Guerrero and they chased me, all the way to my apartment at 21st St. I was just bruised up. My friend had a broken arm. They were trying to get my leather jacket. The police said it was a "rat pack" mugging.
San Francisco does have major museums. If you lived or visited her often then you would know that. It does not have the number of museums as DC or NY, but they are great museums.
NY will be completely wiped out by a hurricane in the next 5 years. There is an exodus of high talent and innovation that has already begun (away from NY to other cities around the world, including the number one destination of people who can afford it or want to make it big: San Francisco).
Is there a famous bakery chain that everyone visits at least once in San Francisco or I am thinking of another city?
No r212, there's only one bakery I love and that is Victoria in N Beach. Seriously all the new bakeries are crappy. Victoria is old and great.
Just Desserts did do a nice carrot cake.
R167/198, you are a fuckin' NUT! I live in New York City. I didn't say anything about SF -- being there, leaving there, nothing. Where the hell did you get all that about me?
Your story is bullshit because no straight Asian dude is going to come up to you and quote a line from What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? to you.
R206, you are a suck-hole of negativity.
Have a miserable day, since you seem quite intent on that.
Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, the Haight, Cole Valley, the Bay, bridges, Coit Tower, beauty, food fun and frolick. Endless.
What's not to like?
r217 - the weather, the high taxes, the politics....
The rain, the worry, the regret.
Dear Babycheecks @r215, I never said those dudes were straight. They might have been. Gay culture in general and camp in particular have become part of SF Bay Area culture. That's among the reasons why I love living here and it's what attracts many to our region.
Your rigid view of what "Asians" might say or do further demonstrates your narrow mind. Not sure if most Philipinos would consider themselves to be exactly Asian, but that's beside the point. The eagerness to put people and cultures into simplistic categories is an unwelcomed attitude here.
In San Francisco, you never know who is going to change your day, for better or worse. But if you are biased, the chances are that you will have closed yourself off to many possibilities.
So sorry that you were potty trained by severe force at such an early age.
The people from the Philippines are not Asian? What are they? Africans?
With a large Filipino community in SF I would think you would know that. Are you sure you live there?
Oh yes, r221. Anyone who doesn't look like you has to be from Africa, Asia, or Mexico, because in your small mind, nowhere else exists. Those are the only three choices.
Hope you enjoy living in Merikuh.
What's it like living in Sausalito ?
Small town vibe or still big cityy ? cheaper than SF or the same ? Who lives there ?
R204 Berlin is smaller than Barcelona. Berlin has less economic clout than the Ruhr. Berlin has less cultural clout than Hamburg and Munich. Berlin is pint-sized compared to Moscow (10 million) and Istanbul (12 million), both of which are in places of more current change and cultural transformation. Berlin has a smaller metro than Atlanta and Houston. True, Berlin has some cache in gay culture. True, Berlin has some influence on Germany, although the money is still in Frankfurt. True, Berlin is slowly drawing money and power to itself, just as Washington is in the USA. But in both cases, there is a long way to go. Meanwhile, there are epochal megacities all over the globe: Mexico City, Sao Paulo, the Pearl River Delta, Shanghai, Djakarta, Mumbai, Delhi, etc., etc., etc.
Can we trash SF a little more?
It's worth trashing now. It's become a theme park version of NY, with all the douchey east coast grads accumulating here. Adding the network of luxury wifi buses that use city bus stops to take twenty-somethings to Google, to Facebook, to Genentech, to the diaspora of VC-funded Carnegie Mellon grads and their startups in Palo Alto. It is slowly choking this city of all non-street creatives, and the only character left is protected by rent control. Evictions are through the roof.
The homeless problem is much, much worse than it was even 5 years ago. I have to go through Powell Station to get to the office, and I have to maneuver a minefield of piss, shit, people asking for things and smells. I've seen needles on the ground in union square, people doing crack on the streets, and people just pissing anywhere and everywhere. And because it doesn't rain much here, it stinks up everything. Escalators on BART and MUNI stations downtown are oftentimes closed because people are shitting on them. No joke. Most of these folks are mentally ill, and the city spends $20-40K each on them, at least (one ambulance call to General for an OD costs the city 10-20K alone). The dirty little secret is the free, insufficient, inefficient healthcare they get here. They get put on meds, and then they go off them, and it makes things worse. And don't even get me started on the suburban white kids who come here to live their little gutter punk dream and end up hooked on meth.
And then there's the Castro. It's like gay Colonial Williamsburg, full of relief-seeking queens who do nothing for the neighborhood but provide living examples of what an excessive life does. The Starbucks on 18th is like an old folks' home for pornstar Daddies on disability, and the Peet's on Market is the old folks home for the ones who aren't. The streets are dirty, there's a crime wave that the city's trying to hush (muggings) and the longer you're here, you see what low standards these people have for themselves and each other. So many of these guys just party party party and fuck fuck fuck for decades, then turn around and realize they're 45 and working in retail...or worse.
Then, you have the precious baby boomer legacy-gay homeowners who get extremely precious the moment anything changes in the neighborhood along with GREEDY landlords, so we're left with Byzantine zoning laws that leave us with cheap, nasty food, about 8 little pharmacies tucked here and there and a tourist scene that is just embarrassing. 10 years and The Castro as a gay residential neighborhood will no longer exist. It'll be a tourist trap drunk tank, and they've got the latter down already. The Castro is a bunch of whining old bitches and sex/substance/self-pitying excessives, and I've never seen so many people just plain stuck. And there is no creativity left in the Castro. All the gay creatives have left town or have gone to the Mission. And don't tell me two street artists (who are really more SOMA than Castro, anyway) make for a creative scene in the Castro.
The food is wonderful. The history is fantastic. The houses are gorgeous. It never freezes. The museums are very good (DeYoung, Legion, Moma, Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium). Great kinds of people want to visit here and do! The ban on formula retail is great and there are many thriving local businesses, despite the byzantine regulation.
At most, I recommend 5 good years here and get out. The days of being able to move up the property ladder are over. The glory days of the Castro are over and anything you'd want from the city you can get as a tourist. Save yourself the eventual headache.
R226, thanks for the honest report. I believe you 100%, even if perhaps you got a little carried away. I am witness to a similar kind of gentrification here in New York.
Are we being nostalgic?
[quote]What's it like living in Sausalito ?
I have a good friend there, on a houseboat. It's really more like a large duplex apartment than a boat. The view of SF at night is spectacular. The village is small and homey with great restaurants on the water. Everyone on the dock knows and looks out for each other. My friend says the boat settles on the bottom at low tide and comes off the bottom with a big sucking sound when the tide rises.
I have only been to San Francisco once, but I loved the crepe placed called Honey Honey. I also thought everything was lush and green. The Castro area seemed fun, too. I would love to live there, but I hear it seems very expensive (from what I read on here and in the news).
"And then there's the Castro. It's like gay Colonial Williamsburg, full of relief-seeking queens who do nothing for the neighborhood but provide living examples of what an excessive life does. The Starbucks on 18th is like an old folks' home for pornstar Daddies on disability, and the Peet's on Market is the old folks home for the ones who aren't. The streets are dirty, there's a crime wave that the city's trying to hush (muggings) and the longer you're here, you see what low standards these people have for themselves and each other. So many of these guys just party party party and fuck fuck fuck for decades, then turn around and realize they're 45 and working in retail...or worse."
FABULOUS!!! This nearly made me laugh so hard I nearly choked while drinking my tea.
R226 is right (and hilarious). There are a flood of trustafarian widwesterners and east coasters who driving up real estate prices along with the tech crowd who reverse commute to SV. They were confined to the Marina but now they've spread into low key neighborhoods like the Sunset and Richmond. Pretty soon they'll take over the East Bay.
Also, I have to agree that 5 years ago the piss smell was confined to the TL/Civic Center but now it is everywhere. Gross.
r226 speaks the truth -- both about the Castro and the good things in the city (food, museums, etc.).
Tell me, r226: I've never been able to figure out why there's not a decent restaurant in the entire Castro. There is good food around the city, but the food in the Castro is as bad as the bars are. And those are tragic.
Is the SF of today anything like the movie Milk?
I've always wanted to live there ever since I saw Goldie Hawn driving along the coast in Foul Play while Barry Manilow played on the radio. I want to live in that SF.
[quote]Pretty soon they'll take over the East Bay.
From your lips to God's ears.
[quote]Is the SF of today anything like the movie Milk?
I was there in '78 and it was basically the same. it hasn't changed much in all these years. The guys were cuter then.
When I moved back in '84, everyone looked zombified. The Clone Look. San Francisco has always been a magnet for oddballs. The mild weather attracts the nation's homeless. (The California Curse.)
I moved to San Francisco in the summer of 1978. The Castro was already full of clones then. Flannel shirts, 501 levi's and bomber jackets were all the rage. Everyone had a mustache.
In many ways Milk's vision for the city was already passe. All anyone wanted to do was fuck and smoke weed.
7 Years later the Castro was like a scene out of the Walking Dead. It was just so grim. I don't think the Castro ever really recovered from the plague. The last time I was there 3 years ago it just seemed like another San Francisco street. Not really gay at all for the most part.
Hey 236, maybe we knew each other. I lived there only three months in '78, from Sept. to Nov. I was on a trial separation from my BF in LA. I was always at the Stud. I had a one-bedroom on Nob Hill for $385. I remember Jonestown and then, of course, Harvey and George. It all happened in those 3 months.
I used to dance at the Stud most night after finishing my shift as a temp at the IBM Message center.
I shared an apartment in Noe Valley and paid 150 bucks a month. Those were the days for cheap rents.
Yes, the City did turn evil that Autumn.
Yeah, '78. Did you see yourself in Milk R238, marching down Market? I remember that night so well. I didn't do the White Night riots but I marched with the BF and a candle down Market, everyone so quiet. Very moving. When I came back to stay in '84, I lived in Noe Valley on Sanchez just north of 24th. You could always count on the sun coming out in Noe Valley, even if it was gray over "the edge" in the Castro. Nice neighborhood.
226 is so right on in every detail. Makes me sad to see how the Castro is dirty, filled with violent beggars and the smell of piss.
I was working the night of both the march and the riots.
It was a great time to be in SF and fun in regards to be doing a few shifts a week via Kelly Girl and still being able to do the Stud every night.
I suspect any newcomer to SF must be working two jobs to pay the rent now.
Do you feel lucky to have survived those years? So many of us who were out and about then didn't.
You were a Kelly Girl R241? So was I! I was working the day shift at an architectural firm as a clerk when the secretary next to me put the phone down, burst into tears, and said "the mayor's been shot."
It was a time of exploration for me. I remember being at a bar on Polk Street when "I Will Survive" came on and this huge drag queen pushed her way to the dance floor. I became more aggressive, actually talking to people I found interesting. I had been very shy in the past. My best friend today still lives in the Castro. I was there a few months back. Nice time. Cocktails on a houseboat in Sausalito and then dinner along the water. But I live on Long Island now.
Yes, 1978 was the year the gay guys took over Kelly Girl. They even changed their name to Kelly Services.
I left SF several times over the years but seemed to leave for good about 10 years ago.
I spend most of my days in SE Asia now but come back to the Southwest USA to rest up.
I suspect I could never ever move back to SF now due to the high rents.
It's Saturday and time to trash SF a little more.
We can do it.
Kelly Services was based in Troy, Michigan and highly homophobic at the time.
R226 nailed it. The Castro is becoming a gay-friendly version of a strip mall. The only real iconography left to distinguish it as a gay area is the giant rainbow flag at the entrance to the MUNI plaza. Bridge and tunnel "Woo!" girls have taken over our gay bars, even 440.
There is a recently-completed condo tower and two more going up between Castro and Church on Market. Luxury condos. Would you like to spend 500k for a 450 square foot studio just to say you live in San Francisco?
Or better yet, maybe you want to pay 3000 dollars a month for a 1 bedroom, which is the going rate for new tenants in my neighborhood, where just the other day, a woman took a giant shit on the sidewalk outside the house. A block away, people openly shoot heroin and smoke crack on the street, and prostitutes openly solicit clientele and take them to the rooms they keep in the SROs on Mission.
On the way to work on BART the other day, I saw a very well-dressed man in an expensive, tailored suit pick his nose and eat it, and two days ago, I saw a woman take her shoe off and start clipping her toenails onto the floor.
This is Never Never Land for well-heeled techies, who are turning San Francisco into a bedroom community for the Silicon Valley. They pick up their guilded double-decker limo buses with dark tinted windows to take them to Google, Apple, Facebook, et al from one of 200 stops, carouse and drink at bars all night, restructure entire neighborhoods to build around their whims and budgets (see Valencia) and generally remain oblivious to everything else happening around them since they are constantly staring into their phones. Their shuttle buses also stop directly in front of MUNI stops illegally, and unlike the general public, these companies aren't being fined for it.
If you ever want to see how large the divide between the haves and have nots is growing, come to San Francisco. You've never seen someplace so technologically-advanced yet on the precipice of being a third-world city in your life.
If you do not make at least 100k and you didn't get here years ago to secure a rent-controlled place, count on the sobering reality of being a grown, educated person who will have to live with multiple roommates, and make sacrifices to be here. It's a great place to visit, but only a great place to live if you have money.
I went to Europe this summer, and felt like Barcelona and San Francisco were very similar. The difference is that Barcelona is everything San Francisco wants to be and can't (Barcelona definitely has better weather). There are families (SF has fewer families than any major city in the US - people can't afford to have kids here so they overcompensate with dogs), there are people from all walks of life and income levels, and the energy is palpable. Barcelona has a pulse. San Francisco is a few years away from flatlining if the tech industry does not slow its hasty takeover of the city.
those who keep on brag about the beatirs of s.f., for god sake travel outside of the u.s for once, Vancouver, Sydney, Hong Kong and rio are about 10 times more beautiful. as far as what a city can offer, London and New York are unmatched in the world. even Toronto is offers more than San Fran.
My impressions of the place are it's incredible filth. The streets are disgusting, feeble half dead trees amid crumbling sidewalks and garbage.
The two tier society? There is real and right up in your face. New York is clean and maybe that subdues the same thing, but SF feels you are in some dystopian future city and expect the fucker from Clockwork Orange with an iPhone to come around the corner.
Downtown is like Baltimore at night. Hilly, cool buildings and devoid of nightlife. Went on the Bart. Jesus Christ! I felt like it was 1977.
Weather? Passable if you like to be cold and hot in phases that last in 30 minute increments. Everything smells. BAD.
Los Angeles has everything over this nasty gritty shit hole with cool buildings. Would never live there.
SF was wonderful in the late 80s and early 90s. But in the past 10 years or so, the guys I've met there have been so bitter and jaded. SF didn't turn out to be the city of their dreams. Most can't afford to live in the style they would really like, so there is that inevitable disappointment. It's so over.
San Francisco died with Jerry Garcia.
San Francisco died with Janis Joplin.
I think there is a fair amount of hysteria on this thread. I like San Francisco but don't buy into a lot of the hype. It's a nicer place from a distance for sure, and the men are rather unattractive. I expected much more.
R246. Excellent description. Also, you can replace San Francisco with New York & still pretty much use the same description, esp regarding cost of living & the quality of life & residents.
Great city for a few days' visit, but would never be interested in living there.
Too expensive (and yes, I can afford it), nowhere to park, awful traffic, earthquake zone, extremely high taxes (all CA), boring nightlife (some great restaurants tho) & the men were unexpectedly unattractive,overall.
If you are not an extreme progressive uber liberal, you will be hated & vilified if you express any of your political opinions. SF is political correctness run amok. Even worse if you're white & from the East Coast or South, originally.
Everyone I know in SF now complains about the extremely high # of homeless & all the issues that has brought along in terms of quality of life.
Seems like the Kumbaya utopia isn't working out so well once you have to step in human feces several times a day.
R254. Ditto your post, but add to it: waaaaay too many homeless, who have ruined the quality of life, and waaaaaay too many illegal immigrants.
Sounds like the homeless, illegal immigrants and tech nerds have ruined that town for good
Vancouver is fucking ugly and the weather totally sucks. Sydney is better (the harbor is pretty, but the architecture is boring with the exception of the Opera). No way it's prettier than SF. And Harbor Bridge is an eyesore. Hong Kong is a sauna for billionaires.
Sydney is beautiful, great beaches & has much better weather than SF. Great gay nightlife too. However, it's just as expensive as SF now.
The Harbor bridge is an eyesore? Really?
I like Vancouver...
Anyway, I lived in SF for five years in the 90s. It is indeed a gem of a city.
But...as it turns out, I'm not a city dweller. I had to choose between giving up my 1989 Mustang convertible, or leaving The City. I just couldn't give up that car so easily. Also, I was young...but completely on my own. Fortunately, I had funds to allow me to get a nice studio apt on Nob Hill. Great neighborhood! I was across the street and one block away from Grace Cathedral. But to get there from, say SOMA, you had to go through the Tenderloin...the pits of hell.
(I had a friend refuse to visit me when I was renting a house in Bernal Heights with a bunch of people because he had to go through the Mission to get there.)
I made the right decision. I wish I could have my exact same life now...but in SF. That would be nice.
But...I have a solid retirement package, and my house will be paid off in a few years. That would never have been the case had I chosen to stay in SF. I'm 44 now, and feel more free & empowered than I ever did when I struggled to make it in The City.
I like an easy life. Cities are great, but somewhat uncomfortable. Now I live in a small city in Florida...and I actually quite like it. The weather is great, especially this time of year.
R261...that's the prob..SF WAS a gem, 20+ yrs ago. It has changed & not for the better, in that span of time.
Sydney is at least a global "Alpha" city. SF and Vancouver seem to be a couple of tiers below it. What Sydney needs to do is build "up" instead of outwards spwawl and improve its public transit coverage, which lags behind both the Bay area and Vancouver.
A lot of you seem to be jealous of the tech people. So what if they are making once-ghetto neighborhoods nice again. Isn't that a good thing? SOMA has infused energy. The scary area at Market and 6th is now home to Twitter and tech jobs. You want everyone to stay poor and everything to remain dingy? Get over yourself.
It's the cultural diversity that makes SF attractive, 264.
Uninteresting tech types are great for suburbs, but no, not for the beautiful city of San Fransisco.
And, as your post exudes, the newly rich techies are obnoxious, tacky & self-centered. The opposite of our lovely city.
It's Sunday morning and time to say mean things about San Francisco.
r264 - Twitter is on 10th and Market and the area from 6th and Market to 10th and Market is still scary. There are still lots of homeless people and shit on the streets.
I've worked near Twitter for 15 years and even though there have been some positive changes recently, that whole stretch of Market is still nasty.
The Twitter folks spend most of their time inside Twitter, not spending their money on cafes and restaurants on a regular basis in the immediate area, which would contribute to the local economy. They have a sweet deal in their workplace where they get all kinds of fantastic free food, which doesn't encourage them to get out and spend money in local businesses. I know I'm not an expert on this, but I have spoken to cafe owners who said their business hasn't improved dramatically since Twitter moved in.
The problem with the techies is they're bringing the "gated community" style of life to the city: they ride in private buses, work in private compounds, and almost seem to want to avoid all their non-tech neighbors. They're not engaged or engaging citizens.
R265: I've met quite a few techies who don't fit your idiotic stereotypical description.
And even if they did, I'd prefer well-off techies who will gentrify poorer areas of a city, as opposed to welfare recipients who inevitably increase crime & blight, or the homeless, who shit in the streets.
It's Sunday. Shouldn't we be saying more bad things about SF?
FOAD, R270. Just FOAD.
I just got back from SF for a wedding. I was on Castro Street early this morning and there were two different piles of shit on the sidewalk. Human shit I think. One bedroom apartments are now up to 3 grand a month. Ouch!
If techies shat on the streets of SF it would make them seem more integrated
OP, I feel your pain!!!
This pretty much sums it up. I know of at least 12 of my friends in the creative fields who packed up and left SF because it was too expensive. They all left either to Midwest or Pacific Northwest. The city is being completely gentrified and you have wealthy yuppies and techies and the very poor and homeless. The people in between are less and less. A very sad reality.