10 Hilarious Things Millennials In SF Tell You About SF
Ahh, San Francisco. Iconic San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge, Twin Peaks, Dolores Park, social progress, bohemian culture, fog and more fog, and a sea of impossibly intelligent millennials making 4 times as much money as their peers nation wide.
In the spring of 2016, on Easter weekend, I booked it south from Vancouver to San Francisco as a part of my decade-long hunt for a new city/country to call home. San Francisco is a nice place to be, I figured. It’s warmer than Canada, located by the ocean, full of young people, hurting for talent, and has been successfully enticing my friends into joining the Vancouver Exodus for years.
The upside of having lost a bunch of friends to the foggy city is that I had a free place to stay and a lots people to harangue for information. What’s the housing marketing like? How are job opportunities? What do you think about the local lifestyle? What are some weird quirks about the city?
This piece is about the weird quirks.
1. You should never call the city “San Fran”, only “San Francisco” or “SF”
A lot of people like shortening “San Francisco” to “San Fran,” myself included. It makes sense. The 4-syllable “San Francisco” is a whole 3.5 syllables too long for average lazy North Americans to say.
I mean, we’re talking about a culture too lazy to even utter to word “babe,” hence developed “bae” in its wake.
But when I arrived in San Francisco and began calling it “San Fran,” my host for the weekend—a liberal artsy guy who shocked me to the core several years prior by telling me he was giving up his nomadic ways to become a software developer—quickly shushed me.
“Don’t call it ‘San Fran,'” he said.
“Why?” I asked.
“I dunno,” he said, “That’s what they told me when I first got here. You can call it ‘San Francisco’ or ‘SF’ but don’t call it ‘San Fran.'”
“But why?” I asked.
“I dunno, man,” he said, “Just don’t do it.”
2. Every millennial working at a startup wants to do their own startup
I met up with a friend for brunch on my second full day in SF (millennials in progressive cities love brunch).
As we chatted, she told me tell me that every millennial working at a startup wants their own startup. They hope either to become the next Google or Facebook, or be bought out by the old Google or Facebook for more than the price of a colony on Mars, the NBA, or the country of Iceland.
3. When people get together, startup ideas discussions are inevitable
Everyone is always coming up with new ideas, discussing them, debating them, and trying to see if they can become the next Whatsapp, Uber, or Instagram.
“It gets annoying,” my friend said. “Sometimes, I just want to be a normal person.”
She then started telling me about her (rather brilliant) startup idea.
After brunch, we were joined by one of her other friends as well as one of mine. We all spent the next 4 hours together, getting liquid nitrogen ice cream, checking out coffee shops and boutiques, cruising across the Golden Gate Bridge, and getting dinner in Sausalito.
During that entire time, the only thing these SF-dwellers talked about were…!
Their startup ideas.
4. “San Francisco Welfare” is a thing
What is “San Francisco Welfare,” you ask? Let me tell you that has nothing to do with living off the state.
SF is all about startups, right? As a result, there is an endless stream of new startups hoping to gain a customer base. Many do so by offering free stuff. Download their app, get free stuff—free food, free drinks, free rides, free movies, etc.
Due to the unstable nature of startups, many go out of business quickly. As soon as one goes out of business, 10 more appear to occupy that space, therefore, an endless supply of free stuff is available to the thrifty.
This is welfare a la San Francisco.
5. “Sushirritos” are also a thing
A Sushirrito is exactly what it sounds like—a sushi burrito.
Some genius thought it would be…well…genius to combine the sushi and the burrito (the two most popular local foods) together to create the “Sushirrito.”
I went far out of my way to track down this delightful invention and it was as delightful as I hoped.
(Disclaimer: I was too excited to eat my sushirrito and forgot to take a photo, so this one was snagged of the Internet. Not sure where it came from.)
6. As are “Founder Hounders”
Having as rampant of a startup culture as SF does, there are therefore a lot of startup founders whose companies are backed by investors.
I mean to say that they have a lot of money.
Furthermore, there seems to be a shortage of women in the city due to the fact that more men work in tech. As a result, a breed of women called “Founder Hounders” has developed.
What these women (read: gold-diggers) do is date (read: hound) startup founders in attempts to be privy to their investor money.
7. There are Google employees who live in trailers in the parking lot at Google HQ
You may have seen videos around the Internet of the ridiculous facilities at Google HQ. They have everything, from healthy meals to laundry service to shower facilities to massage therapists and bowling alleys.
You may also know a thing or two about the price of real estate in the area. A room in a house shared with some 12 people (yes, this is a thing) can run you upwards of $1400 USD a month per person. Despite high incomes, there are still those who, I suppose, don’t want to shell out for rent every month.
And so, instead paying rent, some Google employees simply park a trailer it in the Google parking lot and live out of it.
8. Everyone hates the tech buses that transport techies from San Francisco to Silicon Valley
You may have seen them—giant, sleek, black monsters complete with neon lights struggling make it up the hills of San Francisco. They’re an eyesore against the bohemian character of the city and a sign of drastically changing times.
Understandably, long time residents of San Francisco hate them the most. They symbolize modernization, gentrification, and the pricing out of people who have lived in the city for decades.
9. Every several blocks is a new neighborhood
And many of these neighborhoods have questionable (and sometimes disgusting) names such as Dog Patch, Cow Hollow, and Tenderloin.
And if you thought that a neighborhood named “Tenderloin” is gross-sounding enough, consider that the junction of Tenderloin and its neighbor Nob Hill is a small district effectively called…Tendernob.
10. On sunny days, Dolores Park becomes a beach
I don’t even think I need to caption this.
And there you have it: 10 amusing things my millennial friends living in San Francisco have told me about San Francisco, which quickly joined my list of favorite cities in the world.
Go! Visit! You won’t be disappointed.