Before moving to San Francisco, I had this Hollywood-fed image of the city – a Fullhouse-Mrs-Doubtfire fueled ocean of cute, colourful houses on hills. An accurate depiction to some extent…. depending on what area you’re in. Happy, relaxed, beautiful, unique. San Francisco is a city like NO other. But it’s also a city that’s full of surprises, good and bad. Here’s a few things you I think you should know before coming here.
1. The amount of homeless people here is astounding, their state deplorable and most of them have serious mental or addiction issues.
2. So many dogs. All the dogs.
3. Everything is accessible via an app. There’s almost nothing you can’t have delivered here. Should you wish to never leave your home, well you simply wouldn’t have to.
4. So many road trips at the tip of your wheels. National parks like Muir Woods or Yosemite, wine tasting in Sonoma or Napa, popping over to Santa Cruz for the weekend, going skiing in Tahoe…
5. The local wine is very tasty.
6. So is the local beer.
7. People casually shoot up heroin in the streets. Walking through the SoMa and Tenderloin areas especially, you will inevitably see people shooting up and/or come across needles left on the ground.
8. There are needle bins around expressly for addicts, notably around Civic Center and in some public restrooms.
9. The city is home to numerous R rated festivals such as the Weird festival or Folsom Street Fair – expect nudity.
10. Also expect nudity on a Saturday night in the Castro or a Sunday stroll on Market street (I shit you not).
11. Burning man has a tangible influence in this city. Expect to see burners dressing up for just about any occasion throughout the year.
12. Weed is legal.
13. The Mexican food is incredible.
14. A lot of people can’t afford to live in the city. Some people live in walk-in closets to keep rent affordable ($800).
15. Craigslist is your friend for just about anything.
16. It almost always gets cold at some point during the day. On any given sunny day, the likelihood that you won’t be needing a serious jacket by the time evening comes is almost non-existent.
17. This is silicon valley. If you go to a cafe, it’s more than probable that you will hear people exchanging about their startups, coding, venture capitalism and the likes.
18. Tech salaries are mind-blowing.
19. So is the cost of living.
20. Much like anywhere, networking is key.
21. Uber/Lyft are one of the main forms of transportation.
22. Most of the city is said to be a giant sinkhole in case of a big earthquake. There’s little you can do about that though.
23. Unsurprisingly, the ocean is freezing, and there is always a risk of sharks when taking a dip in this area although sightings are rare. Nevertheless, it’s a great place for water sports.
24. You will meet some of the smartest people you’ve ever worked with here.
25. If you have a bicycle, it probably will get stolen. Especially in SoMa or the Tenderloin.
26. Dolores Park is one of the best places to chill on a sunny day. Ever.
27. It’s actually now owned by Dropbox.
28. Companies providing lunch and snacks is normal.
29. There’s such a thing as a ‘Marina bro’.
30. Most of the people you will meet simply aren’t from San Francisco.
31. Athleisure has taken over. Women no longer wear trainers and leggings to work out, they dress like that just because.
33. There’s a big emphasis on healthy and organic eating.
34. People are slimmer here than throughout the rest of the country.
35. Paying $1500 for a room is normal – in some areas it’s even considered as cheap.
36. People will wait 2 hours for brunch at trendy spots…
37. It’s a great place to be a gamer.
38. It smells like pee a lot. Kind of like Paris.
39. It’s a great place to be outdoorsy and do hikes or bicycle rides.
40. You’ll definitely want to try the likes of the Exploratorium and Academy of Science on a Thursday night.
41. 420. Nuff said.