As anyone who grew up in San Francisco will tell you, it’s an extremely unique place to live. Whether you’re from the city itself or one of the many other towns in the Bay Area, you probably were raised surrounded by countless different kinds of cultures, people and ideas. You were spoiled with the beauty of the city right outside your doorstep. Chances are, no matter where you live now, there will always be a part of you that misses the City by the Bay. Here are 18 signs you grew up in San Francisco:
1. You became a picky eater
Living in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, you were constantly surrounded by the best food you could ask for. You don’t consider Chipotle Mexican food, and you’re probably an expert at using chopsticks. Events like Off the Grid keep you up to date with the latest food trends. When you leave San Francisco, the lack of culinary diversity can be somewhat of a culture shock.
2. “Oh, you’re from San Francisco? I went to LA once!”
People don’t seem to realize that, not only are San Francisco and Los Angeles an 8-hour drive apart, they are also completely different cities. Pro tip: don’t compare the two to a native North Californian. It won’t end well for you.
3. You find the lack of diversity in places you visit to be shocking.
Even though I moved away from San Francisco years ago, I’m still adjusting to the fact that most places don’t have the rich racial diversity of my hometown. I was raised surrounded by people from different nationalities and backgrounds, and grew up with that as my norm. Where I live now, I can sometimes go all day without seeing someone that isn’t white. It’s shocking, to say the least, but I’m so grateful I grew up around diversity.
4. You love being outside.
One of the greatest parts of San Francisco is that it is completely surrounded by stunning nature. You can go to the beach one day, and then the snowy mountains of Tahoe are only a few hours away. The hills of Marin are perfect for hiking, and even walking through the city presents gorgeous views and vistas of the bay and bridges. San Francisco is perfect for anyone who wants the best of both worlds: the city and the solitude of nature.
5. You know the MUNI system like the back of your hand.
San Francisco has one of the best public transportation systems in the country. The bus is a safe, easy way to get around the city, and most people start taking it home from school at young age. You’ve also probably heard the instructions to “please reserve the front seats for seniors and people with disabilities” in English, Spanish, and Mandarin in your dreams.
6. You don’t need a gym membership because walking around San Francisco is the best workout you’ll get.
The hills of San Francisco are no joke. Many of them have small staircases built in to make it easier to climb the small mountains. Needless to say, I get shin splints every time I visit and have to re-adjust to the hills.
7. You know that no one actually takes the cable cars except for tourists.
I think I’ve actually ridden the cable cars twice in my life, despite the fact they go straight past my house. In the summer, the line to ride them can easily be hours long. If you’re visiting, don’t be fooled by the fake cable cars that ride around the city on wheels, any native knows those aren’t the real thing.
8. You laugh when people think San Francisco is warm and sunny.
A typical day in San Francisco is in the mid-60’s. While it never gets too cold, it isn’t warm year-round like LA. It’s mostly gray and foggy, with the exception being a couple of beautiful months in the fall. However, you know that if you wait a couple of hours, the weather will probably drastically change.
9. You’re a huge sports fan.
Whether you love the Warriors, Giants, 49’ers or all three, the Bay Area has some of the best sports teams. The A’s, however, will always be irrelevant.
10. The idea of going to Fisherman’s Wharf makes you shudder.
The endless crowds of people flocking to the tourists shops on the waterfront are enough to make you steer clear of any area past the Embarcadero. Whoever decided that the only In-n-Out in the city should be on Fisherman’s Wharf is cruel.
11. You live for small, family-owned restaurants.
Any SF native will tell you that the best food you’ll find is at that questionable looking place on the corner. Despite the dirty awnings and the storefront that needs a fresh coat of paint, I promise you’ll find the best Chinese, Mexican, or whatever cuisine you’re looking for at these places.
12. You’re used to a very, well, “open-minded” community.
Being in San Francisco and seeing someone walk down the street naked is a common occurrence. Also, your college friends probably think you’re really cool when they find out people smoke a lot more than cigarettes out in public in San Francisco.
13. You grew up going to the Exploratorium, Zeum, the Zoo and Crissy Field.
I lived for the days when my parents would take me to the Exploratorium, even though going there now with kids is a nightmare. It’s the easiest place to lose a child among the crazy and numerous exhibits and dark corners, and I honestly salute the adults who take their children there on a regular basis. The San Francisco Zoo is also probably the coldest place known to man, and you couldn’t go there wearing anything less than a winter coat.
14. As a young teenager, you struggled with what to do on the weekends.
Despite the fact that San Francisco is brimming with activities to do, there in actuality isn’t much for the young teenage group. You probably spent nights at Alta Plaza or other parks, or riding around on the bus and thinking you were really cool.
15. Seeing people in weird costumes is normal for you.
There are several occasions to dress up in San Francisco, such as the Bay to Breakers race and various parades. In fact, you probably went to college with an arsenal of outfits for themed parties.
16. You’ve experienced bike road rage.
People love their bikes in San Francisco, and many bikers enjoy using the middle of the road as their place to ride. There’s nothing worse than being stuck behind a biker going uphill in San Francisco, or, worse yet, Critical Mass.
17. Earthquakes are no big deal.
You’re used to being woken up in the middle of the night by the jolt of an earthquake, but the idea of living somewhere with tornadoes and hurricanes is less than inviting.