Oh San Francisco Bay Area. The bane of Southern California’s existence. How can such a tiny little fingertip of a city steal our thunder, our college friends and the world’s adoration from the (ok fine, a little ugly but) glorious existence of Los Angeles?
It’s a city where the quirks have been watered down by the growing population and alarming concentration of tech bros and entrepreneurial types that all dress the same and have no personality beyond their LinkedIn bios. It’s a city that once had character, the kind that could charm the world to fall in love with it, but is now just a perpetually fogging place with offensively steep hills and even steeper rents.
Am I salty? You bet. I do enjoy dragging on our northern counterpart almost as much as I do my own home of LA. But then San Francisco shows you its sunny side and suddenly I’m wondering if I should be moving there too, reuniting with all the friends that have been stolen away from me.
At the end of the day, you can’t deny that (South Bay and FiDi aside), this cluster of cities is an interesting place. When you look past the app developing transplants, you can still see hints at the artsy side of the city, the side that is quick to embrace its quirks and celebrate its identity. It’s undeniably Californian. From the missions to the palm trees to the ongoing dynamics of Spanish and Chinese and Japanese and Tagalog, it feels so familiar and yet so foreign from the landscapes of Southern California.
At the very least, San Francisco has a fascinatingly eclectic mix of architectural styles. From Victorian mansions to Mission Revival to the distinctly Chinatown façades juxtaposed among the modern and postmodern cityscape of downtown, it surely doesn’t commit to a uniform aesthetic, but at least it goes all out on everything.