San Francisco Post-Mortem
Now that I am officially moved away from San Francisco, I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on my time there in pseudo-post-mortem style.
What went well?
I was privileged enough to have met some great friends in the house/electronic music scene. Being a huge house fan myself, this turned out to be a blessing for my night and social lives. San Francisco attracts a lot of great electronic music artists on a wide spectrum: Pictureplane, Gatekeeper, Avicii, Todd Terry, Tiesto, blah, blah, blah. There is enormous opportunity to dance with your favorite DJs and expand your mind with sounds with which you may yet be comfortable. I would recommend checking out Derek Opperman’s *Top Five Parties in San Francisco This Weekend, *which is published every week with SF Weekly. Derek makes it easy to find a solid party to kick up your weekend.
Good lawrd DAT FOOD. The San Francisco Bay Area offers a ton of great stuff to eat. At the top there are places like three-michelin-star-rated The French Laundry and recent James-Beard-award-winner State Bird Provisions among other top quality establishments. Personally, I’ve had the best fried rice at Tu Lan, the best corned beef hash at Citizen’s Band, the best dumplings at Shanghai Dumpling King, the best “party brunch” at Café Biere, the best afghan food at Kabul, and the best ramen at Halu. There are just so, so many good things to eat in the bay area, it’s easy and even convenient to be adventurous about your choices.\
People and Atmosphere
San Francisco has got to have some of the friendliest, most open-minded people. Couple this with the sense of closeness and community that the city seems to foster and you have a great situation in which to meet new people and discover new things. Dolores Park is a wonderful place to stumble upon existing friends and make new ones. It’s a mecca of personable, chilled-out, down-to-earth, young adults. One of my favorite weekend activities was to grab some wine and hang out with friends at the top of the park. The views of the city and across the bay are gorgeous.
San Francisco is immediately (less than one hour driving) surrounded but stunning natural beauty, which provides plenty of opportunity to engage in almost any outdoor activity: kayaking, hiking, biking, swimming, surfing, sailing, running, camping, fishing, birding, sky diving, etc. Farther out, there are opportunities to engage in winter activities like skiing and snowboarding.
I loved going into Marin to hike or chill on the beach. Some of my favorites places are Kirby Cove, Black Sand Beach (optionally nude!), and Tennessee Valley. Tennessee Valley has some pretty spectacular ocean view trails that start from within it.
What went poorly?
Poop, leashes, jumping, claws, barking — seriously, fuck dogs in SF. NPR had an interesting segment about dogs in SF about a month ago. The point of the whole thing was if you wouldn’t let your 2 year-old do it, why are you letting your dog do it?
SF has ordinances to deal with dog shit, but people are not always as mindful as they should be. What a wonder it is to stumble upon a fresh pile of crap as you walk home in a stupor from the da klub? Countless times I’ve almost broken my ankle trying to make a last minute maneuver to avoid some neglectful owner’s fuck-up.
Many times dogs came up to me on the street, jumping and clawing and licking at my legs, while their owners just stand there, doe-eyed, and tell me something to the effect of "oh, he’s friendly". Bitch, get your dog off me! Dafuq?
Also, why is your tiny dog on that extendo-leash taking up the entire fucking sidewalk? Ugh.
Rent and Housing
…is high. Like rul high. And it’s getting higher fast. Rent increased 7.8% in one quarter. I’m not sure when it’s going to stop, but I’m sure the continuous influx of twenty somethings making 100k+ is not helping the situation. As I write this, I am sitting in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath *house *in downtown Charleston, South Carolina that goes for $1600 a month. I was renting a room in a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath SOMA apartment *2 blocks *from San Francisco’s most criminal intersection for $1300 a month. My bedroom could fit in this house six times.
You can definitely find deals out there…but expect it to be MOBBED by others looking for the same. Put on your classiest act and get out your wallet, you’ll need to do some sucking up.
I’ve met a lot of wonderful, smart, fun nerds. These are my people and I usually jive with them. There are others though that are so convinced of their self-worth and so consumed by “the hustle of the valley” that they forget how to be nice. These people talk about money, entrepreneurship, and big names ad infinitum. They love to dismiss the technologies that you use as deprecated, worthless, or old. This article does a pretty good job of explaining the things that I have experienced. This autofellatious hustler attitude really got to me and negatively affected my perception of the industry as a whole.
San Francisco needs to get its act together in this regard. Traveling to the north or north west of the city is impractical on slow muni busses. The inability to catch a train back home, whether in south bay, east bay, or even San Francisco proper, is a major inconvenience late at night and it’s also probably a hindrance to San Francisco’s nightlife economy. Having to leave your party before 12am really sucks and makes the whole idea of coming to San Francisco from other parts of the bay area sort of pointless. Major U.S. cities of the same caliber have public transportation that works late into the night, well past 2am. I’ve yet to read an acceptable excuse for the absence of this in the bay area, especially for CalTrain and BART. It’s truly pathetic.
I adored my time in San Francisco. I have never felt so comfortable being myself and exploring my identity. It’s unique, special, wonderful, gorgeous, smart, innovative, hip, fun, delicious, enlightening — a world class city. I’m excited to see how it will grow and improve.
See something you want to change? Submit a proposal via Github.