Today my newsfeed was covered by articles and reactions to what Peter Shih wrote about living in San Francisco. I don’t have anything to say about Peter’s piece, and after the reaction from the blogosphere I’m sure he learned his lesson. However, all the talk about San Francisco did remind me why I love living in this incredible city.
1. The community
San Francisco is a community of creators. The city is filled with musicians, artists, writers, designers, and engineers. Regardless of status or official job title, I’m convinced San Franciscans deposit more into the world than they take out.
2. The location
Marin, Tahoe, Yosemite, and Big Sur are some of the most beautiful places on earth. Luckily for San Franciscans, we can get to all of them in three hours or less.
3. The events
From street festivals to art shows, there is always something going on in the city. In the last two weeks I went to America’s Cup, Outside Lands, a tech meet-up, a free yoga class, watched Sublime perform live, and volunteered at a soup kitchen. Its never a question of whether something cool is going on, its a question of making time for it.
4. The entrepreneurial spirit
San Franciscans pave their own way. While startup founders get the lion’s share of the limelight, I meet people everyday who hustle hard to create the life they want. From yoga teachers who quit their day job to art students making a few extra bucks selling gluten-free cupcakes, SF residents possess a “Can Do” attitude and a fierce sense of independence.
5. The transportation
Anyone complaining about Muni and BART must have never traveled outside of North America or Europe. Compared to the transit I experienced in South America, San Francisco’s is top notch. Furthermore, living in the hotbed of tech innovation gives San Franciscans premiere access to alternate modes of transportation. It still blows my mind that with the tap of a finger I can summon a safe and affordable ride to take me wherever I need to go.
6. The culture
San Francisco’s soul rests somewhere in the intersection between businessman and Burning Man. SF has always been a mesh of different peoples and cultures, but the prevalent commonality is that people move here to make a better life for themselves. Its no coincidence that the most liberal city in the western hemisphere is also spearheading innovations that are transforming the entire world.
7. The neighborhoods
Aside from inspiring lengthy tirades and blog posts about the superiorities of Mission hipsters to Marina bros and vice versa, the unique character and vibe of San Francisco’s different neighborhoods is really cool. Without a doubt this city has something for everyone.
8. The coffee
9. The locals
After living in the same part of town long enough you get to intimately know the people that make up your hood, and eventually you too will achieve a degree of local status. When this happens its as if the world opens up to you. Bus drivers become more patient, drinks are magically half off, and your burrito is rolled so fat you almost feel compelled to name it. My proudest moment so far has been getting a drink at my local dive bar named after my company. If you’re ever at the Tempest try ordering a LuckyBird, I promise you’ll like it.
10. The values
In the words of Ashton Kutcher, “ The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous.” I see San Franciscans live these values on a daily basis and it makes me proud to call this city home.
Living in San Francisco isn’t perfect, but its pretty damn close. The next time someone has something crappy to say about SF, lets brush that dirt off our shoulders and remember how sexy we truly are.