10 Things I Hate About San Francisco

My dad and my brother just came to visit for the weekend, so naturally much of our ‪(my )‬ energy was devoted to discussing reasons why San Francisco is a way better place to live in New York.

Of course, there were challenges. For example, after ensuring that my family ate the best Chinese food in Chinatown, the best Mexican food in the mission and the most over-priced salad in the Marina, my dad still wanted to know why we hadn’t eaten any good pizza yet. Because, Dad, any city‬ that has pizza places called “New York Pizza” does not have good pizza.

In short, even though I walk around all day talking about how San Francisco is way better than New York, the parts of it that suck are not limited to the Castro. In no particular order:

10. Public transportation. It’s useless. If I decide to stay in my neighborhood and not go out with you in your neighborhood, it should be because my neighborhood is cooler, not because there’s no way to get to your house in under two hours. Also, are you seriously going to fine me for drinking coffee on Bart?

9. The Hills. Although I’m pretty sure the steep inclines have rendered me more bootylicious since my arrival, I can’t appreciate it because my quads are f*cking killing me.

8. Closing Time. Dear Pizza place/deli/Walgreens: I’m getting to be an old woman, so I love the fact that bars close at 2am. But if you close at 2am also, I can’t come visit you after the bar closes, can I?

7. The Homeless people. ‪(No humor here, but lots of heartfelt political incorrectness.) The homeless people in SF are nuts. And they are extremely angry and relentless. Today, a man was harassing me on the street and I was ignoring him. He got mad and told me that I couldn’t take a compliment. I finally said “Thank you,” and he yelled, “Yeah, I’d be married to you- if I was from your country.” No, you’d be married to me if you didn’t stand on the street harassing women all day long, but if calling me racist makes it more fun for you to hang out on the corner of 16th and Mission, go right ahead.

6. Dumb outfits. Unless you are dressed up for one of the parades or weird festivals that happen every other second, you should know that ironic outfits are so 2008.

5. Recycling and Compost. I get that you want people to separate their trash and put biodegradeable stuff in the compost bin and cans in the recycling bin, etc. But did you really think that having no garbage cans on the street would make people hold onto their trash until they could get it in the right place? Now your recycling bins are just filled with garbage–and it serves you right.

4. Incessant Ads for Medical Marijuana licenses. If they need to advertise for those things, then potheads are a lot lazier than I thought.

3. No Jaywalking. 23 years in New York have made me an expert jay-walker. I know exactly how far I can walk into the street so that when a car zooms by, it misses my foot by 18 inches. It’s an art. But the cars here don’t know about jaywalking. If they even see you taking a lead off the curb, they stop about 20 ft away and then yell at you for holding up traffic.

2. No Sense of Humor. We were at this open mic and one of the women read from her magazine that was devoted to the topic of women and other minority gender groups expressing thoughts on sexuality. I joked to my boss that if he bought me a copy of the magazine, everyone in San Francisco would get laid. This dread-locked dude next to me immediately laughs and says, “Can I have your number?” And I laugh. And he laughs more. And we all laugh! And then my boss buys me the magazine. And the dude gets out his phone and says, “ok, what’s your number?”

1. I’d like to make #1 the weather but all anybody talks about is the bad weather. I get it–there’s fog. I’m swimming in it. I wear a scarf to bed in July. I know the weather sucks–why are we still talking about it???


8 thoughts on “10 Things I Hate About San Francisco

  1. I love your “10 Things” lists!

    I never saw the appeal of living in California anyway.

    So did you end up giving your number to dreadlock dude?

  2. Love the list — and I miss the SF area badly. There are far more than 10 things to love about living there.

    I moved from WI to SF Bay Area (and after 15 years, moved back), and I had to learn to avoid sarcasm. It just doesn't work there. Even more, with so many ESL folks, it comes off as mean to play “the opposite game” during most conversations. I learned to save it for folks from “back East”.

  3. Anna- I did give my number to dreadlock dude. It was too awkward! But I did ignore his text…

    TosaJen-Yes. Suddenly I find myself enduring awkward silences either after I say something sarcastic, or when I hold my tongue and therefore have nothing to say.

    JBF-Bicycles are definitely on the LOVE list.

  4. No, exactly!

    Really dead on. After having spent my life in New York and 4 months in the Bay, this is essentially the list I came up with.

    And I never once ate the pizza.

  5. Love this RB…still miss you behind our sweat box of a desk. You know I joined that place because of you…the AC has been hit or miss for a month, but my headstand rocks. I noticed you'd been quiet online of late so I wen looking for you.

    Change is hard. In 10 days I will be in NYC 10 years. It's a part of me now, but it took a long time to feel that way, but I'm still just a southern boy from KY without pretense so all that NYC is wears on me to no end.

    Hope you're well and thriving and if not I have a spare bedroom if you want to run away.

  6. So brilliant, RB. How your blog has not yet been selected as a Blog of Note is absolutely beyond me.
    Re your #1… I had pleurisy twice in my life, once when I was 13 and again at 16. Both times were as a result of family vacations to SF. I thought I was dying of a heart attack the pain was so horrible (especially the first episode). That fog can be mean stuff so take care.


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