10 Things I Love/Hate about San Francisco

My first thought of the day is the image I get when I hear the word “blog.” To me, it conjures images of taking a dump on a page. Eat your fiber and blog all you want! Yes, I know it means Web Log but I would like to petition to change the name to something more appealing. My suggestion is “escrivette.” Combine the Spanish word “Escribir” which means “to write” with a French suffix that usually means a smaller size of something.

10 Things I love about San Francisco

1. The scenery
– mountains, ocean and the bay. It’s beautiful here.

2. The Diverse Neighborhoods
– Just a few blocks from any point and you will arrive in a different neighborhood. North Beach, Fisherman’s Warf, Soma, The Haight. They all have such different characteristics and there is always something to do

3. History
– San Francisco is steeped in history. From the Spanish explorers up to the technology age San Francisco has history on every single block. One interesting fact is that East of Van Ness Avenue is relatively new buildings due to a large fire burning everything down. Yet West of Van Ness the old Victorian houses still remain.

4. Proximity to other unique areas
– Napa, Lake Tahoe, Silicon Valley, The Ocean, Santa Cruz. – You can go skiing in the morning and be surfing by noon. Best not to mix wine tasting between the two however.

5. Compact City
– One can walk from one side to the other but it is best to go around the hills. You do not need a car to live here.

6. Public Transportation
– This city has the best public transportation in all of the USA. The Muni, and Bart can get you anywhere in under an hour.

7. Entertainment
– The level of talent here is unsurpassed. Not everyone becomes a superstar but this does not mean they do not possess extraordinary talent. Those folks end up in up in superb attractions such as Beach Blanket Babylon, Teatro Zinzanni and an unlimited amount of small intimate theaters. Superstars they may not be but many are famous in their own right and end up on Broadway. (Broadway is not only in New York but the casts do travel here)

8. Restaurants
– World Class restaurants seem almost unlimited. My favorite are the small places with only about ten tables. Due to the economy reservations only really need to be made about three days in advance and using yelp.com really helps with thousands of reviews

9. Politics
– Sometimes the city goes a little far but I mostly appreciate the mentality of progress and testing the limits of society here. Conservatism to me is akin to not wanting to advance. If conservatives ruled the world we would still be stuck in the Dark Ages. Society will continually progress with periods of stagnation or even recede but San Francisco is always testing those limits. Without liberal thinking and trying new ideas we would not have Google, Apple, the Green movement or equal rights of every citizen. San Francisco always pushes the envelope.

10. Weather
– The mild climate is perfect and no air conditioning needed. Most San Franciscans wear pants year around and one can always spot the tourists in shorts, short sleeve shorts who may be comfortable around noon but in the evening are covered in goose bumps

10 Things I hate about San Francisco

1. Beggars
– Due to the liberal nature of the city there is one neighborhood “The Tenderloin” which it is better not to go. This has severely degraded most of Market St and although it is a minor hassle one tires of the constant pleas for money. As the mayor Gavin Newsom pointed out, San Francisco is not pushing these people to the outskirts like New York but trying to integrate them as best as possible. Integrating these people however is a very difficult task due to lack of education, broken family structure, drugs and violence. This is unfortunate.

2. Drivers and traffic
– When people get in their cars they turn irrational and extremely selfish. If one causes another a minor inconvenience while driving then one should expect a very large horn blast. The inconvenienced drivers rage will also hit boiling immediately and often they will step on the gas and speed around as though you called their mother a lethargic donkey.
Drivers need to chill out!

3. Driving in general
– Watch out for the Cable Cars, crazy homeless people and the fact that San Franciscans only take the “do not walk” sign as a suggestion. They will not wait for the light to walk if there is no traffic and 10% will proceed out into traffic anyway. This has become such a problem that they sometimes have police watching for jaywalkers.

4. The Weather
– As I mentioned, I do like the weather but during the Winter months it is usually gray and chilly. This is not what I had in mind when I thought of California. The temperature is usually not warm enough for shorts but I wear them anyway because I love my cargo shorts with all the pockets.

5. No Parking
– I love walking but hate having to pay $260 a month for parking when I do not even use my car that much. I keep it at a nearby hotel which requires that I have to walk 6 blocks to go get my car. When delivering groceries back to the house I must stop my car in front of the fire hydrant. I have not received a ticket yet but this is the only way to take my groceries upstairs.

6. Expensive
– If you step out the door then money will also come out of your wallet as well. If one wants to do anything in this city then it usually involves spending some cash. As for housing, forget it. A modest house is around 1 million dollars and many condos as well. One could acquire a condo for around $600,000 but you have to be quick.

7. Apartment Living
– I love that my apartment is in the center of the city. However, it is very small and spending too much time here is not so relaxing. When I travel back to Ohio my favorite thing to do is sit on the porch swing for hours just taking in the peace and quiet.

8. Noise
– Ambulances and cop cars never cease. Crazy people also like to yell ( I live in the “Tendernob” which is between the worst area “The Tenderloin” and “Nob Hill which is the best area. My neighbors are generally respectful except for the kid upstairs who likes his music. I hate to hear the Chinese neighbors arguing but love hearing my Japanese neighbor play his Hawaiian-like music.

9. The Muni (Public Transportation)
Great to get around but never on time and full of crazy people.

10. Concrete Jungle
– There are beautiful vistas but very little green. I live in a concrete paradise full of pigeons.
I do enjoy living here and the experience but will not be here forever. It will be good to read this post again in the future when I curse myself for ever leaving San Francisco.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/


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