Review of San Francisco, California

Love San Francisco! Maybe it's not for everybody..
Star Rating - 2/26/2020
I've lived in San Francisco for over 30 years. People exaggerate the problems that exist. It is true there is a homeless problem, as there is in all major cities across the nation. Since San Francisco is wonderfully generous to the downtrodden and has moderate weather, people prefer to be homeless here rather than places like Minneapolis. I wouldn't trade the weather and life style here for the midwest. I can golf all year long and people here have an independent and care free attitude. It is true that silicon valley high earning workers are helping to drive up prices of real estate and its expensive to live here for a variety of reasons. It's also true that not everybody wants to live here, because all cities have problems. But I believe there are many wonderful things to do here and the good outweighs the bad. Of course, it's too expensive. There are many things we need to make better. I don't know why people make their bitter claims about The City (by the bay). I know for instance the poop problem is not as crazy as it is claimed by many. I've never encountered it myself and I go to most neighborhoods. The mayor and others are addressing these problems, as they should. Maybe people make all the exaggerated claims because they're jealous or maybe it's our current politics. No matter all our faults, I still love San Francisco!
Warren | San Francisco, CA
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2 Replies

No idea how this resident hasn’t “encountered” the “poop problem”— not possible that this person “gets around” then as human poop is commonly encountered. I disagree with this persons’s generalized statement that SF problems are exaggerated and possibly based in political motives— listen: we’ve only lived here 10 years but in those ten years we have found the opposite to be true with respect to characterization of our problems, specifically that they are routinely understated. The pervasive accepted crime, filth, litter, open drug dealing, unhelped homeless population is horrific- there’s no other way to describe our problems here. All despite the atrocious taxes imposed on the working residents.
Elizabeth | San Francisco, CA | Report Abuse

I've lived in the middle-class northwestern side of the city (the Richmond district, which, when you are also speaking of the Sunset district across the park, is part of "the Avenues") -- between Golden Gate Park, the Pacific, and the Golden Gate Bridge. I live 3 doors from Golden Gate Park -- and have lived near it since I moved here (right after I graduated in 1979f rom a university about an hour south. I grew up on the Peninsula) and am 63 and was married for the first time 5 years ago. In other words, I was a single woman in this city most of my life and I always felt safe in this neighborhood. And yes, I did go to clubs, concerts, bars, etc. by myself all my life and never had any trouble -- but I dind't wear high-heels and short skirts or carry a purse that might attract and attacker. I dressed simply, put credit card, lipstick, and license in my pocket and wore shoes I could run in or kick off, if necessary. I have never owned a gun (not even in my 3 years living as a single woman in L.A.) and I would never own one -- neither would my husband. I run in the Park (still do) almost every's 2 miles to the ocean, and I can run or walk to it thru the Park. While I know there are many homeless people living in the Park, I have NEVER (and I'm talking since 1979) EVER had any problems -- and I was alone 99% of the time. I live in an area that gets San Francisco's famous summer fog in spades. Our "summer" is NOW - -in Feb, March, April when it goes up to a very pleasant 65 or so. Sometimes, in late Sept and Oct, we'll get well into the 70s. But about 3/4 of the summer here the grey, cold, wet fog is in and it's 57-59 degrees. I bitch and moan about it -- but it's VERY localized -- so I can drive across the bridge or south or east, across the Bay and the weather will be 10 degrees warmer. I can drive to some of the finest skiing in the world in 4 hours...and I can walk to the beach. NO snow, ever. 22 inches of rain a year (IF we're lucky, I've lived through 3 multi-year drought and the rapidliy growing population of our 7-square mile city is terrifying because we CANNOT handle that many people -- old sewer system, streets that can't be widened, etc.) We keep trying to figure out where we can retire -- our 1924 condo is 3 doors from GG Park but it's a money pit. I look online at places that have houses for $300,00 or less -- we just spent $90k to tear out (took out the original lathe-and-plaster walls and knob-and-tube electric but just for the kitchen) -- all "midrange" appliances, luxury vinyl flooring -- not marble or hardwood, etc. -- and I can't believe that it's half the price of an entire house in some parts of the country. You can't get a shoebox for less and $900k here (and there are some on the market!). For all of that -- I can't imagine living in heat and humidity in the summer or snow -- have no experience with it. I use my fireplace more in July than any other month! Plus -- I know that the 3 mile-long gorgeous GGPark and Botanical Gardens keep us healthy -- we walk 3 miles in it 4-5 times a week. OUr flat is on the 3rd floor -- so we HAVE to do stairs, which we don't even think about. And trying to find parking is a joke -- and by the time we get the car out of the garage, drive half mile to the store and circle the block 3x and end up parking 2 blocks away, we can walk down the (steep hill) to the little produce shop. The walk uphill back is also great exercise that's kind of "required." We have 2 cars but because parking is so bad, generally take Uber. Major museums and prestigious Calif. Academy of Sciences 10 blocks way (nice stroll) the other direction of the Legion of HOnor, which houses our European art collections. SFMOMA is great, all the travelings companies of major Broadway shows, lectures, etc. We don't eat out -- my husband's a great cook and honestly, we go out and I think "it's better or just as good at home and doesn't cost $100 a person with bad service, too loud to talk, in a place that uncomfortable by design." Remember when you look at the outrageous prices on the menus that you'll actually pay THIRTY PERCENT more once the SF city tax is added and you pay a 20% "gratuity." That means your $16 hamburger (yes, that's actually common now) is actually more like $21! I can buy a bottle of vodka for $ paying $12 for a vodka-tonic just ruffles my feathers a bit too much! SAn Francisco's politicians are USELESS, utterly useless, all "owned" by developers and terrified of radical crazies like the Bicycle Coalition (seriously!) whose aim in life is to get everyone out of cars -- they dont' care if you're a mom trying to shop with a 5- and 3-year old and a baby in arms -- you're supposed to be on a bicycle or the bus. If you have a broken leg or arthritis -- doesn't matter -- no cars! they cry - so fewer and fewer parking spaces and lots. STreets are absolutely gridlocked at rush hour. Buses are at capacity. 45 minutes for me to get 5 miles to work (I'm 63, but I'm a "walker" -- if it were 2 miles, I'd walk it! But 5 miles -- well, we have some famous steep hills, as you may know. Anyway -- I love my city. I would NOT live anywhere but here in "suburban" San Francisco's western side. I hate the hipster vibe and the crowded condo-ville nightmare that is Mission Bay and what's been done to South of Market. It's all food trucks and men in their 30's dressing like they're 12 and dogs (adults don't have babies anymore, it seems). No style, no clothes but jeans and a t-shirt and a backpack and the ubiquitous earbuds. It just is NOT San Francisco -- it's like they plunked some other pre-fab city down in the south side of mine. I work down there and walk nearly a mile to work after I get off the bus in the morning -- but I hate it. The Richmond district has never been "hip" but it has these gorgeous 1920 buildings with hardwood floors, 10-ceilings, garages, backyards, fireplace...and people are starting to appreciate them and spend TONS of money renovating them (our $90k is a drop in the bucket compared to the total interior remodeling that some are undergoing). I DO agree with people who say the cit is not friendly. I talk to everyone -- meet people waiting for the bus, on the bus, etc. But the "hipsters" move to this city with amazing architecture (esp. the old buildings) and never look up -- eyes glued to their cellphones, ears blocked by headphones. Not alive, not "in the moment, " not aware of anything or anyone around them. I guess many grew up this way and others are from cultures where you dont speak to strangers (esp. women don't) -- but it's sad. They're SO mechanized and stiff -- they honestly do not know what to do if you make eye contact or speak to them. Maybe all raised in some lab somewhere? I don't care...I say hello I visit -- I meet amazing people from all over the word who are here for conferences, live here, are visiting on holiday.
Susan | San Francisco, CA | Report Abuse
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