Monday, May 25, 2009

San Francisco Snob

I think I've officially become one. I am a San Francisco snob. A person that just thinks San Francisco is the greatest city ever. That we do things better here. And that life doesn't get better than this. When I'm in other cities, I compare everything to San Francisco. I find myself saying things like "Wow, I can't believe they do that here!" Or "In San Francisco, it's better."

I was recently in Sacramento for a weekend. A city that I have lived in. A city that I actually even enjoyed living in. But that was before. Before I lived in SF and before I became a snob.

I found myself wondering, could I live there again now? And the answer is clearly no. And actually, I don't even think there are many places I could live in (at least not in the United States!)

I found myself thinking about it. The food scene in San Francisco is better than most (maybe only rivaled by New York City.) I was talking with a friend from Sacramento and some how the topic of octopus came up. Apparently it's hard to find on a menu in Sacramento. Not the case in SF! And while I wouldn't say octopus is a favorite food, or even an ingredient I crave, I like seeing it on our menus. And I like ordering it. And more importantly, I like having it as an option, and having people being open to seeing it on the menu. And ahem. Octopus? That's just the minor leagues. If Sacramento can't even handle octopus, where would I get my Head to Tail dinners and such?

The people in SF are relaxed, without being too relaxed. We've got our hippie history, but have also grown a little beyond that. (Those reasons are probably why I wouldn't be able to live in Portland, a city that each time I visit, part of me wants to stay in.) We're not too intense, and fast paced (which is often my complaint of NYC.) We've got access to great farmers, vineyards...which means the freshest and best fruits, vegetables, and wines a gal could ever ask for all year around (which is more than I can say for even New York City!)

We've also got culture. From theater to music to museums. I'm fulfilled in SF.
But there's also culture in other ways. I can get really good and authentic ethnic food in SF. Peruvian? Check. Good Indian? Southern or Northern Style? Cause we've got both! Great Mexican? Yup. And just about anything else! I also have access to my Chinese grocery stores, and restaurants. I love the little enclaves of Chinese immigrant neighborhoods where I can feel at home. These are the places I can find my Chinese vegetables or ingredients when I'm looking to cook some traditional foods. I love it.

My latest 'thing' has been to travel to other cities that I've looked down upon (in terms of food, culture, and my ability to live there and love the city) and try really hard to like the cities. I'm trying really hard to give them a chance, and am in fact asking friends, to 'win me over'. Show me why your city is so great. But so far, no matter how hard I try, they just don't compare.

I was sitting in a restaurant in Miami recently having dinner with two friends. One friend was trying his hardest to tell me all the great things Miami had to offer. But as soon as we started talking about the great things SF had to offer, he took out his iPhone to show me photos from a recent trip he had made out there. Just the photo of the fog over the Golden Gate Bridge was enough to bring a tear to my eye. As I flipped through the photos, I found myself more and more homesick for my city by the bay. It's a sign, don't you think?


  1. Agreed Jamie, it's hard to really love somewhere else. California will always be home!

  2. I'm obviously not an expert when it comes to meat, but I'm told you can get octopus pretty easily in Sac if you know where to go. On a related note, though, I think it's somewhat unfair to criticize a city you don't know much about anymore. Sacramento is a very different place than it was when you lived here just like I'm sure SF is much different than it was when I lived there. There are many amazing places you have not been to yet that I would recommend. Before judging it, you should explore them.