Monday, November 8, 2010

50 Reasons to Love San Francisco

50. It was 81 degrees last Thursday. NOVEMBER 4.

49. It’s usually 60 degrees on July 4. TAKE THAT, REST OF AMERICA.

48. The view from Bernal Hill.

47. The view from Tank Hill.

46. The view from the 20th & Church corner of Dolores Park.

45. Ritual Roasters, Blue Bottle, Caffe Trieste, Philz, or any of the other hyperspecialized coffee purveyors you depend on.

44. Making fun of tourists. Giving tourists directions. Rolling your eyes anytime someone says “Fisherman’s Wharf.”

43. 6-hour brunches.

42. The Neptune Society Columbarium. (Seriously, go if you’ve never been. It’s amazing).

41. Fresh focaccia from Liguria Barkery on Stockton.

40. Irish coffee.

39. Walking/biking through Golden Gate Park on Sunday when the streets are all blocked off.

38. Bay to Breakers. In whatever incarnation it currently has.

37. Red’s Java House.

36. Going to the Attic for the first time in 10 years and finding out that the cute bartender looks exactly the same.

35. Finally breaking down and going to Alcatraz and finding out it’s actually pretty cool.

34. When you’re out of town and someone asks you where you’re from and you say “San Francisco.”

33. The endless amusement in bitching about Muni, even though it almost always gets you there. Eventually.

32. The Ferry Building. $6 tomatoes.

31. The Heart of the City Farmer’s Market at U.N. Plaza. 6 tomatoes for $1.

30. Arguing about Critical Mass.

29. It’s-Its. Especially Mint It’s-Its, the obviously most superior It’s-It.

28. Frank Chu.

27. Sunny afternoons in Dolores Park. Cold beer, cold water.

26. The roast chicken at Nopa. The shaking beef at Slanted Door. The salt & pepper crab at R&G Lounge. The cioppino at Caesar’s. The sand dabs at Tadich Grill. A burrito from El Farolito.

25. Burritos in general.

24. Anchor Steam. Speakeasy. Toronado. 21st Amendment. The incredible beer culture and obsessive devotion to, and interest in, beer.

23. Earthquakes. Earthquake stories. Knowing with absolute certainty there is going to be a massive, devastating earthquake and not doing anything to get ready for it. Except putting a battery-operated radio and a pint of vodka in a shoebox and calling that your “earthquake kit.”

22. Taking the ferry to Tiburon and having brunch at Sam’s.

21. Herb Caen. (R.I.P, and kidz, if you don’t know, go read his stuff.)

20. Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge (BONUS: It’s 58 degrees, the wind is 40 mph, and it’s so foggy you can’t see the water).

19. Beach Blanket Babylon, The Marsh, and one-person shows with 6 people in the audience.

18. As bad as they are now, the San Francisco 49ers. Remember 1994? How about ’81, ’84, ’88, and ’89?

17. The Embarcadero Center lights at Christmas. Union Square at Christmas. The fucking puppies and kittens in the windows of Macy's at Christmas.

16. Happy hour at Zeitgeist, the 540 Club, the Royal Exchange, the Hi-Dive, the Ha-Ra, or wherever you happen to be at 5:00. Or 4:00. Or 3:00. Or, fuck it, 2:30.

15. Seeing live music in the basement of Li Po, at Stern Grove, Symphony Hall, the Fillmore, the Independent, or any of the other hundreds of places you can see live music any night.

14. Watching the fog roll in and slowly take over. Fog in general.

13. Santarchy. (I know they have it in other cities, but it started here, so there.)

12. Street food, from the bacon-wrapped hot dog guys on Mission to the Crème Brulee cart to the Korean BBQ truck and on and on and on.

11. Corner stores. Your corner store might have a better wine selection than most American cities. You could walk out with a Watermelon 4 Loko, a wedge of camembert, a Philips head screwdriver, and a jar of olive tapenade.

10. Amoeba Records (and Aquarius too, for that matter).

9. The Pride Parade. The Dyke March. Pride Weekend in general.

8. Your urban family.

7. Street art.

6. Dogs. Dogs everywhere. Fort Funston. Crissy Field. Duboce Park. Dogs in bars. Dogs on barstools next to you. Dogs in cabs. Knowing more dogs personally than children.

5. The neighborhoods. The Lower Haight is less than 2 miles from Cow Hollow, but you could live your whole life in one and never visit the other.


3. SF MOMA, the DeYoung, the observation tower in the DeYoung, the Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Cartoon Art Museum, and Specs 12 Adler. All important cultural institutions.

2. Never having to grow up if you don’t want to. (Don’t I know it.)

1. You know what? Be as weird as you want. Work on your rock opera about the Boxer Rebellion. Be a barista/dominatrix. Talk almost exclusively about your conspiracy theory linking albinos and aliens. That’s cool. Let’s grab a drink and you can tell me all about it.

(In response to "50 Reasons to Be Pretty Damn Euphoric You Live in New York City," which appeared on the Village Voice's blog last week.)


toddx said...

Perfect. And inspiring to know there are still a few things I have left to do.

Holden said...

We have the battery operated radio but alas, the batteries have gone to use in our light-up moon on the wall. We do, however, have a large container of protein powder shake that is too disgusting to eat in any other situation besides an earthquake. Maybe. Nah, we'll probably just loot.

turbbine said...

I love telling people I am from San Francisco and I love my urban family too...thank you for this. Its a reminder of the things I take for granted and some things I yet have to surprise myself with!

amy.leblanc said...


Tamagosan said...

Excellent, excellent. I will show my true SF pride in specifically not reading the NYC post this was based on. Not smug, just better.

2. is my personal fave, followed closely by 34. (Although I'd add that it's almost more satisfying to say it IN town...) And 5.

I'd love to add:
26. Hangtown fry from Sam's Grill.
23. Pretend that this cake is going to last until an earthquake.

Re: 29: Mint was my preference as a kid, but cappuccino wins now. The bf swears by vanilla. Somehow we can all still get along.

Stoney said...

Wiping away a tear.

Rocco said...

el farolito burritos are for white people. pancho villa is where it's at.

Rachel said...

This is really beautiful, TK!

mac said...

#23 made me laugh out loud. I reread it and laughed again with an added snort. Thanks for the reminders of why this city rocks.

Rachel Gill said...

I have two things to say, "Hunky Jesus" contest on Easter, and "San Francisco Chihuahua's 2nd Annual Small Dog Holiday Extravaganza" ONLY IN SF !

Unknown said...

With regard to #14, you might enjoy watching this:

carolyn said...

this is awesome - i just teared up reading it! i have lived yere 11 years and love calling SF home, and hope to for the rest of my life!

Anonymous said...

I'd add Sutro (though I suppose that could be bundled into #14).

What we four say said...

May I add the Dia de los muertos parade, my fave event of the year. No mention of the tamale lady or steward street slides? I'm surprised Alexis didn't mention any of these. haha! Nice list though!

Tamagosan said...

Seward's a winner for sure, and I kept my true fave a secret because I just don't want anyone to ever go there. We'll have a field trip sometime... :-) I've never had a tamale lady tamale!

Anonymous said...

Goodness, I love this post--and this city--so much.

Earthquake kits, though... I always assume that I will either be trapped under rubble and therefore unable to get to the kit or, if not trapped under rubble, then fleeing the gas leak in my apartment building that will quickly ignite and engulf everything in flames, including the earthquake kit.

Anyway, loved your list, TK. I would add that I love that you can get around on foot so easily here; running is better in a city with lots of hills to summit; and many, many, many times a year the sky is lavender-pink just before the sun sets. So much love.

JP said...

@Rocco BURRITOS are for white people. Eat tacos.

Tamagosan said...

@J: Was assuming Rocco was joking since he made the silly Pancho Villa comment? Please don't shatter that illusion for me... :-P

freida said...

Great list. . . my mom recently gave me a case (yes, a case!) of corned beef hash. I gleefully added it to my rubbermaid bin for my fledgling earthquake preparedness kit. Heck, if the big one came, I got some crazy canned meat!

My add-ons:

- Getting to ride my bike around SF, especially along the Embarcadero and in Golden Gate Park
- Samovar Tea Lounge(s) for us non-coffee drinkers
- The abundance of different food experiences available (ethnic food, prices ranges, niches, vibes)

Greenballoon said...

I'm with mac - #23 was hilarious. I'd consider getting "Loma Prieta" tattooed across my knuckles if it wasn't too long. No I wouldn't. But I want to see someone who's done it anyways. Viva La SF!

joe22180 said...

Muni and Critical Mass really do suck, though.

Anonymous said...

do u welcome immigrants? I am in st louis and its really depressing. I so wanna move somewhere else