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Photograph: Flickr/furnari

27 things San Franciscans do better than everyone else

By Drew Toal
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1. Trolling Silicon Valley. There are still enough old-timers left in Startup City to make life difficult for the young, rich and insufferable.

2. Growing avocados. Have you had avocados in New York? They’re small, sad and outrageously overpriced. In San Francisco, fresh and affordable avocados mean mountains of guac for everyone at all times.

3. Recycling is so 1990s. Composting food waste is second nature to San Franciscans—as anyone who’s been left with a floor full of coffee grounds from a biodegradable garbage bag can attest.

4. Public nudity. Bay to Breakers is clothes-optional, and in the Castro, residents have evolved to the point where they barely bother with clothes at all.


Nickelodeon/via Giphy

5. We know our wine. Even if you can’t detect subtle notes of notes of tomatoes, old barns and cigar boxes in your Pinot Noir, all San Franciscans gain a measure of expertise through mere proximity to Napa and Sonoma.

6. It’s been scientifically proven that we make America’s Best Burrito.

7. We take our coffee really seriously. Blue Bottle refuses to sell its beans ground in case it sullies the coffee’s freshness, and Four Barrel has shunned Wi-Fi in its shops. Sometimes you just have to take a break from Twitter for a flawless latte.

8. Turning bookish events into boozefests. Combine a high concentration of writers with some of the world’s best indie bookstores and a love of liquor, and you get incredible innovations in alcohol-fueled literature, like Writers with Drinks, Litquake and literary-themed bar Novella.

9. Staying out of the ocean (surfers excepted). The water is cold. The undertow is brutal. And there be sharks. Nooo thanks.


via Giphy

10. Appreciating the outdoors, whether drinking in the park or hiking through the Presidio.

11. We’re unbowed in the face of exorbitant rents. Anyone who isn’t bathing in tech money and wants to live in something larger than a one bedroom is inevitably faced with a tough choice: Berkeley or Oakland?

12. Out of necessity, we’re the best at fighting off invasive technologies. SF was the place where Google Glass was stopped in its tracks. When Skynet finally takes over, we won’t go down without a fight.

13. Finding the silver lining in a terrible, once-in-a-century drought. People like to complain about the fog and cold, but the fact is that 10 months out of the year, it’s 65 to 80 degrees and sunny. Who needs water, anyway?

14. San Francisco is awesome at supporting endangered species that also happen to be good at hitting dingers. All hail the Panda.


via MLB.com

15. Eating organically and sustainably. We invented locavore cuisine, for Alice Waters’s sake!

16. Peeing in public. There’s a notable lack of public restrooms in the city (though the PPlanter, a urinal that doubles as a waste-filtering, water-saving planter, offers hope!)

17. Self-medicating our “headaches.” If your headaches are really bothering you, try Marvina, SF’s new weed of the month club.

18. Microclimates have turned layering into a local art form. Depending on where you live and work, during the summer you might experience a 30 to 40 degree difference in temperature from morning to afternoon and back again.


Warner Bros. Television/via Tumblr

19. Selling prison merch. Never has a hellish torture fortress been so rehabilitated as Alcatraz. Today, a place where men once cursed the godforsaken misery of their continued existence is a popular tourist destination—complete with lifelike reproductions of cups once used for toilet wine.

20. Queuing up for public transit. There’s no fighting to get on the train here. We form an orderly line on the platform. Because we’re not animals, like some other cities that shall remain nameless.

21. Avoiding cable cars. That stuff is for tourists, son.

22. Developing our calf muscles. Who needs the gym? Filbert is like the Everest of city streets.

23. Elevating humble foodstuffs to new heights. First in the country to charge $4 for a piece of toast? That was us. We’d also sacrifice our firstborn for a lifetime supply of It’s-It.


Screen Gems/via Giphy

24. The Midwest has cow-tipping, we have smart car-tipping.

25. Stringing out the ’60s. Jerry is dead, but down on Haight Street you can still catch a whiff of the city’s free-love heyday.

26. Leather fetishism. The Folsom Street Fair is California’s third-largest single-day outdoor spectator event. Who’s ready for some partial suspension bondage?

27. Smug self-righteousness. San Francisco is an incredible place to live. Great food, progressive government, amazing scenery, good music. We’re not shy about letting everyone know about it, either.

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