The San Francisco Scene
The San Francisco Scene
Dominant Occupations: It varies, but there are four main buckets:
1) Guys: Tech/engineers or finance/accounting
2) Girls: PR, tech, finance/accounting, and nannies
3) “Back to the Books” Crew: Dental school is quite popular around here
4) Creative people: Advertising/marketing/designers
Average Age Range: 23-28.
SF State of Mind: Work hard, play (outside) harder. SF is a formidable metropolis, but if you live here, you want to go to bed early on Friday so you can get up with the sun and go hiking/biking. You like the city, but you love the outdoors.
Girl/Guy Ratio: Roughly 1:1. The rest of the city has more guys than girls.
Hobbies: Trying new restaurants, hanging out at the beach (but fully clothed in jeans and a sweat shirt), hiking, surfing, biking, golfing, skiing Tahoe in the winter, hitting up SF festival season in the fall. People love doing stuff, preferably outdoors. And we might not be America’s fittest city, but second place ain’t half bad!
Local Hangouts and Hotspots: Golden Gate Park, Marina Green, Union Street shops, Bob’s Donuts, Nick’s Crispy Tacos / Underdogs (best tacos in the world), any apartments that can fit more than 6 people in them.
Typical Night on the Weekends: 1) A relaxed dinner and then dancing (Mayes on Polk is always a great Top 40 option with no cover before ~11pm) or 2) A quick dinner before / after / during an activity (Giants/Warriors game, indie concert, karaoke, comedy show, outdoor movie, games night, movie at the theater) or 3) Pushing plans from late night to the next morning so you can wake up early to do something incredibly outdoorsy and/or physical.
Sports Scene: This city has killer sports teams and everybody gets into it, including you whether you like it or not. From the Giants (the 2010 & 2012 World Series champs) to the 49ers (NEARLY the Super Bowl XLVII champs) to the Warriors (getting better by the year). Honorable mention: other bay area teams (Oakland A’s, Raiders). Still cool, just not AS cool.
Cultural Scene: The SF MOMA, the De Young Museum, the Exploratorium, Cal Academy of Sciences, SF Zoo, SF Symphony, Opera and Ballet, the indie music scene, art galleries, etc.… SF has some pretty great cultural activities.
Diet: If you don’t get three gourmet meals a day at your start up/tech employer, or if you can’t expense dinner for working late every night, then you usually cook, and probably something healthy. Not tofu, but it will probably have kale, spinach, or at least chai seeds in it. Maybe you’re taking a stab at crafting your own dietary restrictions along with the rest of the city: paleo-two-meals-a-day, vegan-but-I-love-cheese, gluten-free, kosher, pescatarian-on-weekends — all the crazy fads are welcome here.
Myth Bust: San Francisco might be the one city that lives up to each and every stereotype. Yes, there is a large and flourishing LGBT community, yes, most of your neighbors will be liberal hippies obsessed with good drip coffee and the environment, yes, some of those neighbors will probably include a few too many homeless people, and yes, we are probably the most dog and/or bike-obsessed city in the universe.
What It’s Missing: Cheap housing (rent has gotten flat-out insane), good mass transit (I’d kill for a legit subway / metro throughout the city – the Muni bus system doesn’t cut it), good parking (if you drive, get used to spending hours looking for parking, or pay up via parking garages or good ol’ fashioned $68 parking tickets), convenient 24-hour establishments (even Walgreens closes at 9pm).
THE CHURCH SCENE
Ward Breakdown: One choice. That’s all, folks. Get cozy: The SF YSA Ward, which covers the whole city. The building is in Sunset, near a lot of Mormons, but on the opposite side of the city as “downtown”. Meets at 12:30pm and has sacrament last (doesn’t rotate times with the family wards). Pretty spread out — takes a while to get to some people’s apartments.
Temple Proximity: The Oakland temple is on a ridge overlooking the bay and is about 30-45 minutes by car from SF. It’s not that easy to get to (especially by public transit) but is always worth it. Breath-taking roof gardens overlooking the entire Bay.
Dating SF Guys: SF guys run the gamut in terms of professions, ranging from code-through-the-night engineers to button-down financiers to penny pinching grad school students and everything in between. They work hard, but they’re always planning their next weekend or day off. And if you’re not up for it, girls, you’ll get left at home during their day of surfing at Pacifica or their 75-mile bike trip to Sausalito.
Dating SF Girls: SF girls are here for the same reason — the magic of the city. Sure, they may have come for something like a job, but they stay for the city. Accordingly, they want a Mr. Right who will explore the Bay with them day and night (but mostly during the day, because we’re day people). They’re looking for someone who is just as comfortable yucking it up with the hipsters in the Mission as they are picking up the tab at a white table cloth Italian dinner for two in North Beach.
Classic Ward FHE/Activities: Playing games at the church (from Scripture Spelling Bees to church ball), picnics in Golden Gate park, activities at the Bishop’s House, the “Frat House” or the “Doll House”.
Resident Mormon Celeb: We are low on famous peeps. If you are working on the next “WhatsApp”, please move to San Francisco. Pay tithing when you sell it. And help all the other Mormons navigate the world that is Bay Area tech. Thanks.
Common Vice: Sunday tacos. Underdogs is just TOO close to church. And how can you say no to the world’s best tacos when church gets out at 3:30pm?
ODDS AND ENDS
Transportation: Is TERRIBLE. Some things you will never hear an SF resident say: “I’m so glad I own a car,” “Muni/public transportation is so convenient,” or “San Francisco really has its cab situation figured out.” Stick to Uber and Lyft – there is a reason they started right here in SF. You’ll thank me later.
Summer: It’s a word that we are conditioned to think means warm weather, shorts and t-shirts, laying out poolside, and eating popsicles. Well, forget that. Mark Twain is often (mis)quoted with saying, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” He might have not really said it, but it is true nonetheless. If you want summer, you gotta get out of the city and head to Palo Alto. Or wait for the glorious three weeks in late October.
Sound Like A Local: Don’t ever call it “San Fran” or “Frisco”. Ugh. No. Just don’t. It’s SF or San Francisco. That’s all.
Name Dropping: It happens here. It’s casual, and always on a first/nickname basis, so you might not realize it immediately. “Had lunch with Cheryl [Sandberg]”. “Heard Zuck [Mark Zuckerberg] speak last night”. It’s only annoying when certain people say it.
Hottest Ticket In Town: Forget bottle service at the hottest club. For the Mormons and Non-Mormons alike, the hottest ticket is an invite to eat at one of the tech companies. Lunch at Google, Twitter, Facebook? FB-post worthy. Insta that gourmet food. Better yet? Score an invite to a holiday party… then you know you’ve made it.
Tech: Even if you had zero interest in technology before you got here, you are now an early adopter of anything and everything tech. It isn’t geeky here, it is just status quo.
Public Nudity: Lucky for you, SF banned public nudity about a year ago. But the exception is the big festivals (e.g., SF Pride, Bay to Breakers, Folsom Street Fair), and there are oh so many festivals. So get used to seeing folks in tennis shoes…only tennis shoes. They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? Your call.
SF Might Be For You If: You want the perks of city life along with easy access to the outdoors, you want time to pursue a project/startup, and you prefer to wear a hoodie & jeans instead of dressier business attire.