It seems that we can’t get through a single week without seeing another article or infographic about how expensive San Francisco is becoming. And if people aren’t complaining about the housing prices, they’re complaining about the influx of technology workers who are making the prices so high to begin with.
Okay, so we get it. San Francisco is expensive. But shouldn’t it be? I mean after all, San Francisco is the happiest city in America, and the only U.S. city to crack the top ten happiest cities in the world. San Francisco AND Oakland (it’s nicer than you think) both made this top 5 most exciting cities to live in list (albeit by some strange criteria). Oh, and San Francisco was named the most romantic city in North America.
In case it wasn’t obvious enough yet, we pay a lot of money to live in San Francisco, because living in San Francisco is worth a lot of money. Simply, the quality of life here is better.
So why do people still complain?
James Temple from SF Gate recently hypothesized:
The truth is that a lot of this debate isn’t actually about rent, gentrification or economics, or anything rooted in a real class struggle. Some of it is just hipster-on-hipster hatred. Middle-class humanities majors grumbling about middle-class computer science majors.
He might be onto something there. But I have another theory. I think that many of the people complaining simply don’t quite know what they’re missing out on.
I’ve heard a number of friends living in the Nob Hill, Russian Hill, North Beach quadrant of the city complain that they’re “kind of bored with San Francisco.” Guess what? These same people rarely ever leave that northeast quadrant of the city. They couldn’t find Mount Davidson on a map. They couldn’t tell you where either of the waterfalls are in Golden Gate Park. They probably have no idea that there are hidden rope swings and slides in the hills of Glen Park and Bernal Heights. Quite simply they’ve passed up opportunities over the years to discover how jawdroppingly stunning this city is.
A call to action
I’d like to remind people who live here (and visitors too) that there’s more to San Francisco than what you’ve seen in Ms. Doubtfire and Full House. Much more. San Francisco is small, but it’s densely packed with surprises and delights at every turn. If you never take the time to fully get to know the city just because “The Sunset is too cold” or because “I don’t know how to get to Fort Funston” then you’re never going to know why you pay so much to live here in the first place.
And a final, friendly reminder: Don’t call it Frisco.