As a native-born San Franciscan (who has spent his entire life in the greater Bay Area), yes a lot of these things ring pretty true.
But he forgot about the traumatic horrors of driving a car in downtown San Fran: it's filled with one-way streets, five-way confusing intersections and signs that read something like: NO LEFT TURN EXCEPT ON TUESDAYS, DURING PARTLY CLOUDY SKIES, ON ODD-NUMBERED DAYS OF THE MONTH, WHEN JUPITER AND SATURN ARE ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE SUN. Seriously, that city has bizarre, intricate traffic parameters for making left turns. And no parking whatsoever. I live an hour drive away and it takes almost as long to park in this city as it takes to drive there. I can't think of a worse city in which to own a car.
Sounds like a snobby place to me.
I'll admit, R3 (as a moderate-to-slight-liberal I hate to admit this), that San Fran does contain the some of the most elitist, fanatical, hard-core, hypocritical, bourgeouis champagne-socialist leftist, America-hating extremists in the country. Politically, I'm pretty close to the center and I could never live in a community where either political partisanship (liberal or conservative) is wound up into such a raging, self-righteous fanatic fantasy world. Not the rightist Deep South and not the Leftist SF.
R5=idiot. Anybody with a brain knows that SF has a conservative soul and is far more "American" than the dump you come fr4om.
R6, is the exact type of elitist, champagne-socialist, faux-liberal, hypocritical, arrogant, stuck-up, overspoiled, overpampered, overprivileged, overindulged piece of San Francisco ultra-elitist-homosexual-snobs on the face of this planet. That's why I live a long drive away from it and I refuse to deal with SF's snobby, spoiled-brat-elitist gay community. It's the most flamingly stuck-up, pretentious fragment of gay culture any of you DLers could possibly imagine. Thank you for proving what haughty, pompous, pretentious HORSE'S ASSES you San Fran gays are. I am very, very sorry that I was born in this nasty, arrogant city of stuck-up, cold-blooded, spoiled-brat elitists. Enjoy your homeless epidemic, you overpaid snobs.
I think most of what he said is true. Good observations!
Nice article. He's not ripping on the city, and he's not blindly building it up. He mentions good things and bad and what that means for people living there. He mentions that its not for everyone, and that's okay.
Wow, r7 is unhinged. Did someone snub you at the opera, poodle? Was your mother a scullery maid and you feel inferior? Screw those pretentious fags!
2 hours from Palo Alto to SF? No. It's more like 35 to 40 minutes by car. By train it's 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on which train you take. So I don't know what they're talking about.
It's all true, though Silicon Valley is a little closer to SF than the article indicates. Nonetheless his basic point is true: Mountain View is a schlep from SF.
San Francisco has the friendliest people in America in it. I have NEVER met so many nice straight men in my life as in SF. The heavy presence of gay men there has liberated straight men and allowed them to drop the stupid macho bullshit found in most places.
And there is no place as beautiful or as fun as SF. Too bad you have to be rich to afford to live there.
So is PBR to San Fran. what Old Style is to Chicago?
I never drink beer so I didn't pay attention to the beer-drinking habits of SF. It seems like much more of a wine-drinking kind of town anyway.
As a native-born, blue-collar San Franciscan I really hate to say this, but my birth town is saturated with the most cold-blooded, arrogant, elitist, piece of shit asshole cocksuckers on this planet. This AMERICAN IS SORRY he was born in a town of such, snobby arrogant pieces of human fecality.
R5/7; in the words of the late Dear Abby,
"You could move."
Where is the place in Cali with all the cute Blasian homothugs?
I DID move. I live over an hour drive south of that arrogant, pompous elitist, city of utter, complete, sorry cocksucker, spoiled-brat, overpampered snobs. Once again, I'm SORRY I was born in the most elitist, nastiest, bigoted city in all of American, San Francisco. Pure elitist, hypocritical, snobbiest scum in this country to this particular American
The whole reason I hate my birth town of SF is because of you spoiled-brat, arrogant, snobby scum of the gay community. I wish I were dishonest enough to lie and say I wasn't from that arrogant, elitist city of FUCKING CUNTS LIKE SAN FRANCISCO!!! I'm sorry I was born in that toilet.
"Oakland gets a bad rap" - and deservedly so. AVOID.
Please tell us where you live, you unhinged freak. We must avoid all shopping malls and movie theatres, as you're quite likely to go on a shooting spree.
Is Oakland becoming a hipster area? Can't remember where I heard it but aren't more young artistic types moving there for the cheaper rent?
It seems to have changed from back about 1980 or so where someone I know visiting from out of town was threatened by an armed neighbor for starting to0 close to his property.
I've traveled the world, and the 2 weeks I spent in SF in 1980...well I'd never go back.
Attitude, pretension, cold (both personal and atmospheric), constant social jockeying, topped with the possibility of a massive earthquake (ok, I own the last one).
I kissed the ground when I got back home, and I almost bought a one-way ticket there.
I've enjoyed pretty much everywhere else I've been.
He got it right except the part about watching sports. The whole city becomes obsessed during any playoffs and have a blind devotion to the home teams that would rival any East Coast teams.
I am too materialistic to enjoy SF when I have to spend so much money on so little comfort. But it is a nice destination for a quick holiday trip.
I can't recall -- were any of the Tales of The City main characters native to the town? DeDe, maybe? D'or was from Oakland...
The article was very true. Though I will likely never live there again, the sheer physical presence of the city is difficult to shake. One of my favorite memories is swimming in the lagoon at the Dolphin Club one evening and pausing as I came to the 1/2 mile marker. The water's surface was smooth and made a level frame for the raging sunset behind. The Golden Gate. I had to just tread water while the light dimmed because I was too enthralled to move much more than that. The city affords so many of those little epiphanies and I'll always be grateful for mine.
In the past, it was sort of SF:Oakland :: Manhattan:Newark.
Now it's more SF:Oakland :: Manhattan:Brooklyn (or maybe the Bronx.)
Oakland has always had some VERY nice, very expensive areas (the Oakland hills.)
Piedmont, Montclair, Rockridge--nice areas in Oakland.
Exactly. Then through the tunnel to upscale yuppie-land: Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, Walnut Creek.
SF is a beautiful, fun city, but I always thought of its natives as being the most (while good, liberally-intentioned): pretentious, elitist, snotty, and ill-humored.
That is until I visited Portland, and worse yet, SEATTLE!
Seattle takes the cake for pretentiousness and humorlessness.
I lived in SF for a very long time. I came from Seattle. I loved living there in really cool times, although there were many heartbreaks. When I left I didn't know how much I had missed by living in a city that was so expensive and short on space. I owned two 800 square ft Victorian flats with a postage stamp-sized garden out back.
I sold them and bought a giant 2700 sq ft historic house here in Austin for the same price as my two Glen Park flats.
I miss SF tremendously but I know my life here is better, I couldn't go back to an 8 x 6 ft bathroom, no garden and sky high prices.
Things we so bad that I could not buy another book because there was no where to put anymore. There were no closets and there was no room to walk around a queen sized bed in my bedroom. I am 6'5" so you can imagine.
SF is a wonderful place to live if you have money and space. I never felt it was pretentious or anything like that.
Why do I care what some doof from Boston says? Transplants have ruined this city.
Is Burning Man and its ridiculous, hypocritical, tribe-based class culture still dominant in SF?
It is a beautiful city, but there is something...wrong...with so many people I met there. They hate LA so much, but in comparison, LA people are unpretentious, kick back, easy to talk to, mostly. The snobbery and elitism is what disgusted me about this unimportant lil' town.
Plenty of dark juju too. You can feel it.
Best city in America to wander around in...the views are magnificent, and the weird quality of the light there is the stuff of poetry.
Sound perfectly lovely!
The PBR thing is not true.
R7 has obviously never been to Los Angeles, home of the worst gay community on the planet.
R7 , if you are still reading this, r33 proves your point. Lived here all my live R7 and you are spot, and I mean totally right on.
I lived in SF for several years and I agree completely with almost everything in the article. I wasn't aware of the PBR thing...and it still sounds strange.
Like some of you have said, many people in SF (especially the transplants) are the most pretentious I've ever met. It's as if "if you don't live in SF, you ain't shit." It gets very tiring.
Yes, it's a gorgeous city. Yes, it's very expensive. No, I could never live there again.
R31, Seattle is the worst place I ever lived, home to some of the worst people I have ever known.
R38, I never found anywhere as welcoming, accepting, and lovely as gay LA. Time of my life.
Love visiting SF for vacation. My sister lives in San Jose, so I'll go visit her, and then up to SF for a couple of days. Really lovely, interesting city.
I'm not sure I could live there, but I love visiting regularly.
I'm partial to Hayward, myself. It makes me feel like California circa 1965.
Why is that r43? No Mexicans?
SF is beautiful mid-range, but at street level the architecture is muddled to make way for garages and garbage cans and there are human piss stains everywhere.
I'm from Boston, and have been to SFO several times. It reminds me of Boston in many ways, but I've never felt comfortable there. I always senses a little bit of nihilism just under the surface, just a little too much metaphorical grime on top of the city's beauty. There was just something a little perverse about it, and how in your face everyone was about embracing an alternative life-style. I'm not in a hurry to go back.
Another native San Franciscan here, lived in and around the City my whole like, up in Sonoma County now. Much of the article is true. I am 63, so my experience is long and varied, but I do love that town. Things that happened shortly before I moved from my lovely old Victorian: people constantly parking in my driveway, hard parking anywhere, picking up a bag of trash a week from my tiny front yard, a flowering potted plant stolen from my front porch, a stabbing across the street, a street brawl behind the house, three murders in the neighborhood (Glen Park was my last neighborhood), hot prowler in the neighborhood (breaking in while people were home), sleeping with a baseball bat under the bed.
I don't miss those things and I get down fairly often for museums, shopping, etc, but not an easy place to live anymore. Very expensive, and yes, filled with pretentious people. But lots of wonderful ones too. I always loved the diversity of people and neighborhoods. So much to love about it, and to despise as well.
Ma old home
I lived in Glen Park as well.
What street? I was on Chenery.
California has always had Mexicans R44, does your Mommy know you go on this site?
Don't Bee and Bear live in San Francisco?
R47: Oh, that wouldn't bother me. I'd get friendly with a person who drove a wrecker and just tow them.
In my younger days if you parked in my spot you may find your car re-wired.
It'll run like shit until you get it wired correctly.
It's not any different than in New York,Paris or London when it comed to elitist attitude and yes usually from transplants.
Over 50 responses and no one picks out the most glaring flaw in the article?
Contrary to what the author says in his description, Boston is NOT a major US City.
R22 Oakland is overrun with poor food stamp hipster and trustafarians masquariding as such. I think the downtown area enjoyed a bit of a spur thanks to Oaksterdam (pot college) and all of the cannabis clinics as well as Occupy but after they got shut down it's back to dead as usual. Oh, and the crime. Dear god, the crime. I can't believe I used to walk to Whole Foods without incident - they recently had a shooting right outside of the store! I used to think Lake Merrit, Glen Park and the Hills were ok and considered moving but thank god for the inside scoop from my PD friends of what's REALLY going on in that town . . . .
As has been mentioned, Oakland has lovely areas and anyone with two brain cells knows how to traverse beyond them safely.
San Francisco is lovely--there is nowhere like it. I'm a native, but have lived the last 11 years on the East Coast. I recently traveled back and was struck by the unique beauty--I so wish I could afford to live well there. I love the proximity to other California gems.
I did find the SF downtown a little seedier than I expected. By BF said it was always like that and that I had forgotten. He had spent more time in actual downtown than I had, having lived mostly in the suburbs. But I would take the seed (along with the 6 figure salary) to live there.
[quote]But he forgot about the traumatic horrors of driving a car in downtown San Fran
You forgot the horror of driving a car with a clutch on those hills.
I found myself there when I was 16 and the memory driving an old VW Beetle, and the memory of sitting halfway up those fucking hills trying not to roll back or stall the engine still makes me nervous.
...and the fact that it is one dull town.
[quote] Is this shit true?
Yes, pretty much so. The author's observations are personal but even-handed, with no agenda to shock or persuade. I'm curious as to what OP seems to find so questionable.
I really hated SF my first time there. Mostly it was the weather.
After a awhile I grew to like it. It's pretty, walkable etc. but even after that I realized, it's actually kinda boring and bland and oh so pretentious. It reminds me a lot of Montreal. A place where the natives are so self satisfied and insular they are either unable or unwilling to see beyond their own borders and frankly revel in their own provincialism.
L.A. is a horrible tourist destination but it beats SF for living.
The people in SF hate LA so much, and the people in LA think about SF so little.
Just as long as they stay in LA, it's all good.
I feel a lot of this hate of SF is driven by anger - people would love to live in SF but the expense makes it impossible. They are jealous of the people who 'got in'. I also think people are angry because they dream about SF - like the city of OZ - and once they get there they discover it is less than they imagined it to be.
It doesn't get any more provincial than San Francisco.
Funny, but many Europeans find San Francisco to be one of the most European cities in the USA; by that I think they mean in sophistication, educational level of its people, ambiance...
I lived in SF for three years. I neither loved nor hated it, but I always thought it wildly overrated. A few surprises which echo some of the linked writer's thoughts: I thought the weather was just plain awful, and I'm from Maine! In New England we have this idea that California is warm and sunny all the time. I found SF cold and damp and overcast all the time, or at least almost all of the time. I also agree with the writer's assessment that the day/night swings are far greater than what we are used to on the East Coast, and really surprising.
I found SF to be remarkably dirty, in stark contrast to what I expected. And I also agree that going back and forth to the Palo Alto area is a much greater hassle (either by car or train) than it looks it should be on a map.
Finally, what really hit home for me was his observation on sports in the Bay Area. It is weird getting used to the idea of football games starting at 10am... it just feels wrong. Moreover, you end up missing a lot of televised games during the week due to time zone differences. Finally, SF has to be the least sports-conscious / sports-knowledgeable town in the entire country. No one seemed to know or care anything about sports, despite having several excellent professional and college teams.
He didn't know rent and COL was high in SAN FRANCISCO?
I think he forgot to add "I'm a fucking idiot" to his list.
I've lived in NYC, LA and the Bay area and I don't see how San Francisco is any more pretentious than LA and NYC.
There's more of a hippy, new age mentality in the bay area than any other city I've lived in. It's also more expensive than NYC when you factor in the lack of an economically decent public transportation system. I agree with the unhinged guy that SF is the worse place to own a car. Insane parking prices and a very confusing city to drive in. When I decided to move to SF, a friend told me "the bay area has the most selfish drivers I've ever experienced". I thought that was an odd thing to say but after living here four years, I know precisely what he meant. The bay area is beautiful and has the best hiking trails I've ever experienced. I prefer Marin county over SF, though.
"No one seemed to know or care anything about sports, despite having several excellent professional and college teams."
I totally disagree with that statement. People are more into their sports here than anyplace else I've lived. Maybe it's the fact that the Giants have won 2 of the last 3 world series but the city has been on fire with team spirit since I moved here four years ago.
More than pretentious, they are sanctimonious about all the "superior" aspects of their lives. Not only are they quite proud of themselves for shopping at local farmer's markets but they twitch their butts in glee because other people don't.
It's a beautiful city, and I can completely see why people flock there.
But after two days there, I was begging to leave. It has little to do with any perception of elitism, or the hipsters (they are everywhere).
It just has all of my dislikes about a big city all in one spot. Too many people, insane traffic, impossibly long waits everywhere.
And the hills at a 30 degree grade made me vomit. There isn't enough warm weather in the world to make me live there.
On that same visit, I also went to Carmel/Monterey, which was beautiful but is unfortunately a conservative clusterfuck.
[quote]25 Things I wish I knew before moving to San Francisco
Things I wish I HAD KNOWN before moving to San Francisco. I guess Americans don't "do" the past perfect tense.
I hear you, r58. SF is no place to drive if you have a manual transmission. Scaaaaaaryyyyy!
Good for you, R75.
Never understood why people would think SF is warm. If you have a map or globe (you know, that round thing with the countries on it? I know it's sooooooooooo 19th century, but whatever), would show you where it falls in relation to the East Coast. It's too far north to be warm all year round.
We sell more sweaters at our San Francisco store than at any other in the chain.
San Fran has the meanest gay people on the planet. Arrogant, rude, and back-stabbing.
Many of them are addicted to hard drugs like heroin. And, to top it all off, they are some of the least attractive gays in the world.
LA may have a terrible gay scene but gays are wisening up to the fact that we don't have to go for other gays.
Most straights are game in LA. They all act like they are waiting for a cute gay person to hit on them. They are easier to pick up than other gays.
LA is paradise compared to San Fran.
San Francisco gets newcomers in waves, and each time a new group of usually young people move here, the people who have been here longer either dislike them or laugh at them. Much of the arrogance and elitism that is mentioned actually comes from recent arrivals, each new group acts as though those of us who have been here longer are idiots--because we are not like the people back East, because we are too laid back, because we are provincial, because they have discovered all these cool things about SF that we don't appreciate. The blog that OP posted is a prime example!!! Oh, look at all these cool things I (emphasis on I) have discovered about SF.
This attitude is also directed to their friends and family who don't understand how cool they are for living in SF. Most of it is a function of being young and thinking that everything they do is unique. After a while, if they stay in SF, they too are subjected to the ridicule of the next wave. It's a cycle.
Sorry, LA wins when it comes to bitchiest, most condescending and rude gay population....and painfully pretentious.
Yes, LA's "gay community" sucks donkey balls, but the younger generation of gays is staying out of the gay community and dating straights and bi's. There is simply no need to have a gay community in LA.
There is no better place to live than San Francisco. I happen to love London and speak of it more often, but I've had a home in San Francisco since 1963 and it remains the most wonderful of the great cities of the world. There are many great world class cities, but San Francisco is a singularity among the rest.
Go ahead and giggle as I live mostly in LA, but that's due to my advanced age and love of the beach.
What's the reputation of San Jose within the Bay Area? My sister moved there and lives downtown While no means any sort of super cool city, it was nice. The weather is better than SF and the location is good. She can get down to Santa Cruz or Monterrey quickly, and up to SF via car or train without much hassle. And, she actually does go up to SF a lot, rather than just saying she will. I think she chose San Jose because it was slightly cheaper, she's lived in Minneapolis her whole life and SF may have been too much, and she's only 20 minutes from work.
[quote] Most straights are game in LA. They all act like they are waiting for a cute gay person to hit on them.
No, honey. Not how the world works.
Oh please, R86,
all the chicanos in LA are on the down-low.
My family has been in SF since before the 1906 quake. I never lived in the city myself, but grew up in the near suburbs, and my father always worked in the city. (By the way, everyone in the Bay Area calls it "the city," just like people in Washington call it "the district," or "DC.")
I lived on the east coast for a while, but could never get used to the weather. Rain in the summer? Who knew? Humidity? Blech. I hated the summer more than the cold, snowy winters. Now I'm in southern California (yes, I know, a traitor to my upbringing!) and I like the weather. However, I would consider relocating to the north, but probably somewhere farther out, like Napa, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, etc. (I'm retired, so commuting is not an issue.)
[quote]Don't Bee and Bear live in San Francisco?
They did. I wonder what happened to them after the divorce. I can't find her post-separation blog anymore. She certainly couldn't afford to live in S.F. From what we gathered, she had a junior college education and was/is an admin at a tech company (she squealed on and on about running into the Twitter founder in the elevator in one post). She was one of those overly-affected people who labored at being a hipster, so not being able to live in her mecca is probably cramping her style. Either that or she found some tech geek to help with the rent. I'm trying to picture her competing with all of the Asian women for their affections.
Bear was a tech person, so he's likely still there.
I found her twitter. Her new tumblr address is listed in it. She appears to fancy herself some kind of model now.
That's a spam blog for Jason Evanish or whatever that spam guy is. Probably the OP.
Don't waste your time with his garbage. In the first place BOSTON IS the most expensive large city in the nation, and if Jason comes from there, he SHOULD know that.
He's just spamming for his site.
Who is Bee and Bear?
I find SF kind of magical but I think a lot of that has to do with movies and such. It is stunningly beautiful in places but the hills and the weather. Ugh. Summer comes in September and October and it's a lame summer at that. I like seasonal weather. Still, I could live there as long as I made $150K at minimum.
Here's the original Bear and Bee thread. "The vegan marrieds HATED Paris." It was actually the pretentious Bee who hated Paris and seemed to have no historical understanding or perspective on the city. She was just negative, negative, negative. The Paris blog is long gone. I think she caught wind of DL ridicule while she still had it up, and password protected it. She had also included a lot of material about their homey, folksy, DIY wedding. The marriage lasted about 10 months.
Bear = Gayface for days. To see pics of him go to her Tumblr linked on her Twitter page and go back to July 2011 in the archive.
At least San Francisco has less Mexicans than other parts of the Bay Area, which are completely overrun with them. It's really a shame, wherever there's a lot of Mexicans, there's high crime and gang problems.
Sn Fran has Salvadoreans, who are much more vicious than the Mexican gangs.
Oh, and not all Mexicans are gang members, good grief.
The Asian gangs are the most ruthless. Remember the five people in one family butchered in the spring over a gambling debt (the son's)? Chinese gang, apparently, and a Vietnamese hit man. Except it really wasn't a hit. The people were bludgeoned, and repeatedly stabbed. The crime scene was so bloody and the condition of the corpses so bad that it took the coroner's office nearly four days to identify all of the victims and the CODs. (early Friday a.m. discovery to Monday ID).
Yes, we see that R96 prefers his wetbacks picking tomatoes outside of Bakersfield in the 110 degree heat. But at least he'll be happy to know that we can and do deport Latino criminals back to their countries which accept them. No such luck with Vietnam and China taking deportations. They rarely, if ever, accept them from the U.S. and certainly not criminals.