I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, where most people looked alike and many thought alike and there wasn’t a Starbucks until the Target opened in the late aughts. My mind was blown when I moved to San Francisco, to NYC, and then back to SF over the past nine years. I currently live in the Haight in SF, which is a great area – Golden Gate park is a 2 minute walk away from my front door; I can order any kind of food, from Thai to Korean to surf ‘n turf, and have it delivered within an hour; I can write and work in one of what seems to be a million indie coffee shops; there are endless dogs to pet, interesting people to meet, and pretentious bookshops to browse around every corner.
And yet, sometimes I miss the hell out of small-town life and HATE this fucking place. Cities can be as isolating as they are exciting, and as unwelcoming as they are diverse. So while I’m sure I’ll feel better about San Francisco tomorrow, today I’m sharing the 10 reasons I sometimes hate this city:
10. Cost of Living: SF is always listed as one of the most expensive cities to live in not only in the US but in the world. The tech boom is a double-edged sword; it provides many well-paying jobs, but it creates so many true million- and billionaires that even people making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year have trouble keeping up with climbing rents and impossible price tags on houses. And if you’re a teacher or a fireman or a server or an otherwise normal person? HA! Forget about it! And rent control is great until your landlord sells your building to a tech CEO who turns it into his third home for his purebred dogs, and then you can’t afford anything else and have to go live in a van down by the river…or Walnut Creek.
9. Public Transportation: If you live in SF and you’re reading this, you’re laughing because HAHAHAH WHAT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? To be fair, MUNI was not built to handle the population boom we have going on, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to wait for a bus that never comes, or have to stand under the fragrant armpit of a man who’s never heard of deodorant on Caltrain for the 90 minute commute from San Jose.
8. Weed Smell: I have no issue with weed in general; I think it should be legal. But, my God, can people please just go to edibles and pills already? I do NOT want to smell cigarette smoke, and I sure as HELL do not want to smell your skunky weed every night at 10 pm, DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBORS! Also, you have a TWO YEAR OLD KID MAYBE LAY OFF THE SECONDHAND WEED SMOKE UNTIL SHE’S AT LEAST SIX?
7. Walking on the street as a woman: I have nothing but sympathy for the many homeless men in San Francisco – until and unless they harass me when I’m walking alone, especially in the evenings. I’m not talking about panhandling (“Do you have a dollar? Have a good night!”); I’m talking about following me while ranting vaguely sexual shit, or pinching or poking me as I walk by, or even staring menacingly from a doorway and licking their lips (ew, and yes that has happened). Homeless men are not the only offenders when it comes to street harassment, but because of pure numbers they make up the majority of street harassers I deal with on a daily basis–and mental illness is not an excuse for a large number of them; they are sound enough of mind to know what they’re doing. Attention all men, homeless or otherwise: DO NOT HARASS PEOPLE ON THE STREET, PARTICULARLY WOMEN! It is actually frightening for us! For real!
6. Lines: Okay, this is not just a SF thing but a West Coast thing: WHY DO YOU PEOPLE FROM THE WEST COAST ENJOY LINES SO MUCH? Lines for brunch, lines for the food cart, lines for the McDonald’s, lines for standing in lines, and never any urgency on the part of the line-standers to move things along. LIKE, YOU JUST STOOD IN LINE FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES AND YOU STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT SANDWICH YOU WANT? How are you alive? This would not fly back East.
5. People Everywhere: As an anxious, introverted person, I get very overwhelmed by crowds, and sometimes it seems like every block in SF is Bourbon Street on Mardi Gras. So then I stay in my apartment more than is good for me and become lonely and isolated in a city of 800,000, all of whom seem to be standing on the sidewalk with me at any given time. It kind of blows.
4. Parking: Sometimes, you just want to park like a normal person in a parking lot, go into a store, buy your shit, load it up into your car, and then drive back to your place. In SF this is nearly impossible because a.) like me, many people don’t have garages or parking spaces and therefore don’t have cars, and b.) there is no parking anywhere. I KNOW CARS ARE BAD AND EMISSIONS ARE BAD BUT MY GOD CAN’T WE JUST DRIVE TO TARGET TODAY FOR TOILET PAPER INSTEAD OF TAKING TWO BUSES AND AN UBER?
3. People yelling “wooooo!!!”: In the dead of night, people stand in the streets, drunk or high or just really excited to be awake when everyone else is sleeping, and yell “WOOOOOOO!” at the top of their lungs for several minutes, waking you and everyone else in your building up. It sucks, and does not happen in my parents’ cul-de-sac in New Hampshire.
2. Thin layer of poop on everything: All cities have this issue, but San Francisco is one of the worst I’ve seen – there is basically a thin layer of dog and/or human feces on EVERYTHING, everywhere you go. Walking down the sidewalk is an endless game of hopscotch to avoid the poop, but even if you avoid the obvious piles of excrement you know that the entire surface of the road and sidewalk and probably the floor of your apartment is coated in invisible fecal matter. Really lovely.
1. All my friends are here: This is the best and worst part of San Francisco – ALL MY EFFING FRIENDS ARE HERE! Most days, this is a blessing, but whenever I hate SF and its people and weed and shitty buses and want to move to a cheap small town where I could own a Prius and drive to Target, I’m stopped by the fact that I LOVE YOU GUYS AND YOU ARE MOSTLY HERE! Talk about inconvenient. Any of you interested in establishing a small farming commune with me in New Hampshire? Eh?
Okay, I’m off to buy some organic kale at the local farmers’ market before taking in a yoga class because my SF life is SO HARD! 😉 #whining #millennialproblems
Please leave your thoughts in the comments and like and share if you enjoyed this 🙂