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Reasons to live in San Francisco

I've been in San Francisco for over a decade. And I regularly get family asking "why don't you move back to Minnesota?" To which I respond, "Why don't you move out here?" That's where the conversation ends.

Now, the biggest reason why I don't plan to move out of San Francisco is because this is where I've planted my flag. But there are other reasons why I stick around...

Reasons to live in San Francisco

    1. The neighborhoods are awesome

    Mission is very different from Chinatown, which is very different from the Castro, which is very different from Sunset, and so on. Every neighborhood seems to have a distinct flavor and hanging out in different areas is always a great time.

    Except the Tenderloin. That place has a bad reputation for a reason.

    2. The weather is mostly static

    Partly cloudy with a mild breeze. In the winter, you might get a couple weeks of heavy rain. In the summer you might get a brief heat wave. But in the city, you can usually expect something around the same weather every day. As I told family the first time they visited: You'll want to keep a light jacket or sweatshirt with you, just in case. Turned out that was the annual heat wave week.

    3. You can find a community

    Are you a cannabis enthusiast? You can find a group.

    Are you a Catholic. You can find a group.

    Are you really into baking pies? ...I'm pretty sure you can find a group.

    San Francisco is quirky and diverse and a good part of that means that whatever you're into or looking for, you can find it.

    Except in the Tenderloin.

    4. There are a lot of employment opportunities

    Especially if you live/commute to the greater Bay Area. The city is mostly tech workers and customer service jobs. And when you expand your range a bit, you can find a lot of blue collar jobs beyond the city borders. A lot of the tech companies are still riding the "work from home" mentality (and every time I see people complaining that a company is calling people back to the office, I laugh like the retail worker, I am), but life is creeping back into the hot spots, whether those folks are in an office or not.

    5. Food

    If you can name a type of food, you can probably get it in San Francisco. The Mexican food (especially burritos) are the best, followed closely by Chinese food (you need to find the right places, however--dim sum is always a winner). And a little pro-tip for y'all: There is some sneaky good Indian food in SF, as well.

    And if you want to eat some drugs, there's always the Tenderloin.

    6. Most people are friendly

    Working in retail, I get to see the worst of the worst. In fact, just this morning a coworker and I were threated by a man because he and my coworker had a weird misunderstanding of an exchange and it escalated quickly. That said, of the hundreds of people I see a day, nearly all of them are nice. Some of them clearly lack important social skills, but only very few feel like they're operating maliciously, and I can deal with that.

    7. The tales of poo on the sidewalk are (mostly) exaggerated

    That's not to say there's no poo on the sidewalks. There is, and most of it is dog poo. But I've seen people non-sarcastically say that they visited San Francisco and they had to constantly navigate around poo every time they left the hotel. That suggests to me that they either stayed in a sketchy hotel in a sketchy part of town...or they simply exaggerated the amount of poo. In fact, most days when I go to work, I don't see any unless a dog is actively making it.

    Except in the Tenderloin, that's where you'll find a lot of poo. And needles. Heavier on the needles, honestly.

    8. The local sports fans are dedicated, but not insane

    Okay, they were kind of insane the first year I moved out here and someone chucked a pole through a bus windshield because the Giants won the World Series. Other than that, most of the serious sports fans are cool folks. Definitely not annoying like those Philly fans. Or--worse yet--Packers fans.

    9. Public transit is actually good

    Some of the locals will complain (especially about the area-wide Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)), but I've rarely have had a bad experience. Sometimes a bus will run late/not at all. Sometimes people will behave badly on the trains. But Far more often than not, things run well, on time, and safe. I just wish these transit groups weren't constantly raising prices without improving service.

    10. Stuff isn't expensive...except rent

    Prices are higher than other similar cities, I'm sure. But if you know where to look and you're smart with money, (and have a solid job), you shouldn't have a huge issue living relatively cheap (except for rent). Eating out? Grab pizza. A huge slice is one of the cheaper meals in the city. Grocery shopping? Whole foods (not to be confused with "Whole Foods") aren't too much more expensive than they are elsewhere. Once you start buying organic or processed is when it get pricey. Looking for clothes? There are enough cheaper shops as long as you aren't designer hunting. All in all, budgeting isn't too hard. Except for rent, which is crazy all over the city.

    Except in the Tenderloin. For whatever reason, the rent isn't too bad there.

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