Just a little over 12 months have passed since I came to San Francisco. It will be years before I find myself on the latter side of the learning curve since I continue to find myself discovering new things about the city every day, but I have scrounged up an amateur’s amount of knowledge that I will impose upon you.
Actually, to start with, before it was renamed to San Francisco, this small city by the bay was called Yerba Buena. Yerba Buena means, “Good herb” in Spanish. It was founded in 1776 but renamed in 1846. Portsmouth Square in Chinatown was the location of the public square in Yerba Buena.
During this exceptional chapter of my life, I’ve been working in the Financial District: The heart of the city, also the main central business district. It is home to the city’s largest concentration of corporate headquarters, law firms, insurance companies, real estate firms, banks, savings and loans, and other financial institutions.
And I have been living in the Fillmore center: A residence in the famous and historic Fillmore Street: one of San Francisco’s great treasures. It’s the main shopping and dining district in one of the city’s finest neighborhoods.
Bounded on the east by the ethnic vitality of Japan town, on the south by the nightlife of the Fillmore Jazz District, and on the north by Pacific Heights, with its grand mansions and views of the bay, this is a neighborhood of great diversity. Thrift shops and the trendiest boutiques range from cheap to chic.
In this blog, I am sharing facts, positive personal feedback so far about different aspects related to this city.
San Francisco is an amazing place to live, though it’s definitely so expensive: it has the highest rents in the country by almost every metric, it might be the only nightmare of living here. But it ends up by settling in.
SF has the second largest Chinatown outside of Asia. It’s also the oldest in North America. It is around one mile long by one and a half miles wide. More than 100,000 people live in Chinatown. It’s the most densely populated neighborhood in the city.
SF also has the largest and oldest Japantown in the United States. It’s also one of only three Japantown’s still that remain in the US.
The city is built on more than 50 hills. Many believe it only has 7 or 9 hills, but there are a total of more than 50 named hills. Some of the most well known are Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, and Twin Peaks. A few of the lesser known ones are Golden Mine Hill, Excelsior Heights, and Tank Hill.
Many believe the waters of the SF Bay are filled with dangerous sharks but there aren’t actually any man-eating sharks in the bay. While there are sharks that live in the bay, most are small and not very dangerous. There are numerous great white sharks that live close by in the Pacific Ocean, but they rarely make their way into the bay
SF is not the foggiest place in the US, that honor goes to our friends to the north, Point Reyes. They are the not only the foggiest place in the US but also in North America. We do get our fair share of fog here though. We are covered in it more than 100 days a year with July and August being the foggiest months.
Keep fit: You will be socially shamed into becoming a hiker/biker/runner/triathlete, whether you’re athletic or not. One of the best habits I’ve had here is keeping a regular healthy lifestyle by going to the gym almost daily if I don’t have tennis or soccer game (At least once a week). In addition to that, for a double reason including highly expensive food, I started cooking and eating healthy.
Transport: You will experiment with commuting by bus, Muni Metro, and BART before realizing it’s faster in almost all circumstances to bike or car.
Weather: You will wear a winter coat, hat, and scarf to the beach in July and t-shirt in January; Actually, California weather, in general, is not directly related to seasons, Summer is cold, Winter is warm, Spring and Autumn are inversed.
Tourists: You will scoff at tourists taking photos of the Transamerica Pyramid, Full House, painted ladies and Ferry Building but you’ll still take endless pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Special diets: You will struggle to remember which of your friends are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, Paleo, dairy-free or pescatarian.
Uber: You will befriend, date or find an apartment through a Lyft or Uber driver: Deep conversation and good friendships happen with both drivers and other riders, which is something so common here. People are generally nice and friendly
You will cease to be shocked when encountering full-frontal nudity or human feces before breakfast.
You will meet and maybe date 30-year-old bloggers with five roommates and 20-year-old Googlers with three-bedroom bachelor pads.
You will freeze up in front of a row of black, blue, and green bins, unsure where to throw a piece of trash. Recycle, compost.
You will insist that San Francisco is the most beautiful, innovative city on Earth.