Lifestyle

An exploration of why your SF neighborhood just might suck

the mission sf
Joe Starkey

San Francisco is a gorgeous city to live in, with neighborhoods to suit just about everyone's needs (assuming you can pay the astronomical rents). But SF's quaint, unique neighborhood feel and handsome hilly vistas belie a deeper, darker secret: nowhere else in the country are people as protective and insecure about their neighborhoods. Just ask someone in the Mission about people in the Marina, or vice versa, and you'll see this well of uncontrollable vitriol bubble up. So, to help get this all out in the open, here's what everyone is saying about your 'hood behind your back:The Mission: Pick your poison, friends. Would you prefer the preening hipster element with their organically pomaded facial hair riding down Valencia, on their reclaimed wood longboards, judging you for not also authentically re-creating another time period in Americana with your attire, or the original Latin population judging you for being one of the contributors to the boom in rent prices that is forcing them out of their own hood? ORRRR… do you just want some Bi-Rite ice cream, and not live close to Divis?SOMA: Did you move to this city to "work" in the "tech" industry? Do you want your portion of the city to have identical high-rise, concierge apartment buildings with fitness centers and a Whole Foods built right in, so you won't be nervous that it doesn't feel like Dallas or Charlotte or a hundred other newly constructed downtowns? More importantly, do you like Giants games? Because you better, when 40k people are streaming by your place yelling about Buster Posey's BABIP six months out of the year. The Marina: If you can get over the fact that the place is overrun and essentially controlled by a large contingent of 20- and 30-somethings in really, really nice yoga pants who grew up in Marin or an an upper-middle class East Coast suburb, and might accidentally hit you with their German cars while talking loudly about Cal water polo and simultaneously trying to park outside of The Tipsy Pig, it might work for you. Until we have an earthquake, and the whole thing crumbles into the sea because it's built on landfill.

North Beach: Isn't it weird to live in such close proximity to places where women do uncomfortably intimate acts with strangers? And tourists do uncomfortably intimate things with The Stinking Rose's Silence of the Lamb Shank? And old Italian men do uncomfortable leering at your girlfriend just because she's under the age of 57 and they can see her ankles?

Tenderloin: This neighborhood has really cool bars and restaurants and a sort of up-an-WAIT, DID THAT HOMELESS MAN JUST INJECT HEROIN INTO HIS EYEBALL WHILE POOPING ON THE SIDEWALK FACING THE STREET AND LOOKING ME IN THE FACE WITH HIS OTHER EYE AND ASKING ME FOR $36 IN CANADIAN LOONIES? WHAT SORT OF FEVER DREAM APOCALYPSE IS THIS PLACE? IT'S 3P!

Hayes Valley: On the surface, you've got it made: a bevy of cool shops, boutiques, and restaurants all on your little adorable stretch of Hayes. Biergarten. And close proximity to most other hoods. Only problem: the hood closest to you actually is the hood.

The Castro: All these super-fit and wealthy gay guys tending to their stylishly designed homes with Nordic-wood verandas will make you feel bad about your non-cuffed, relaxed-fit khaki pants from The Gap. Also, it's hard to get into Frances, and THAT'S annoying.

Pacific Heights: Your hood sucks because it's all old, and the houses are too big and hard to clean, and it's up on a hill, so it's probably all windy, and, um, it's probably expensive to have people tend to your gardens, and… sh*t.

Presidio Heights: HOW ARE YOU SOMEHOW RICHER THAN THE PAC HEIGHTS PEOPLE?!?! GIVE ME A GIFT CERTIFICATE TO SPRUCE!

The Haight: Even if you can get over all the fauxhemians in their Baja ponchos and dreadlocks un-ironically playing the bongos outside of a Ben and Jerry's and jeering at you because your "boring mainstream lifestyle", "sheepish adherence to drug laws", and "abrasive cleanliness" harshes their mellow, you still can't afford it.

Lower Haight: You might've been able to afford it, and then this happened.

NOPA: Everyone just thinks you live inside a very good, but hard-to-get-into restaurant.

SeaCliff: Why are you so far away? And how does one even get out to you? Does everyone own seaplanes? Is there a rich-person shuttle that'll take people from Presidio Heights if they can provide at least two anecdotes that prove they personally know Robin Williams?

Fisherman's Wharf: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha. Hahahahaha. Ha... wait -- no one actually lives here, right?

Yes, yes, we know we missed Russian Hill and some others. So tell us what people are saying about any/all of those places behind their backs in the comments section below.