My primary reason for going to the Bay Area in the first place was because it was home to two more Major League ballparks that needed to be visited on my long-standing quest to visit all the MLB cities. After a day of too much driving after too much flying, it was adventures in San Francisco via foot and rail.
As a whole, I don’t know how to really feel about San Francisco. I think at its core, it’s one of those places I chalk up as “nice place to visit, but wouldn’t really want to live there.” It’s funny, considering just how far north the Bay Area is, from like the borders into Latin America, but when the day is over, I’m convinced there’s significantly larger Hispanic numbers in San Francisco than I witnessed in Los Angeles and San Diego.
It really kind of does feel like a different country at times. And I think it’s predominantly due to the supposed lack of well, white people you see, in comparison to everyone else. Lots of Hispanic people, lots of Asian people, and I can’t quite grasp it, but it’s like there’s a large number of cross-pollenation between the Latinos and Asians; there were lots of people that appeared to have characteristics of both, and I can only see so much before I have to say “shit, not everyone can be Filipino.” But there’s a lot of black hair and brown eyes, and not nearly as much as blond, brown, red hairs and green, blue and hazel eyes that I’m used to having a larger variety of on a fairly consistent basis.
To some degree, San Francisco kind of reminds me of Atlanta, but on a much larger scale. Interestingly, one of the biggest claims about SF is the fact that it’s some sort of gay mecca, but I hardly noticed much of a community at all. A few neighborhoods flying rainbows, but not nearly the obvious sub-neighborhoods like one would find in Atlanta.
I think what felt the most like Atlanta to me was the BART rail system. I was told that one could get pretty much anywhere in the city via BART, and that I didn’t really need a rental car, due to their supposed holy grail of mass transit, but when my trip ended, I couldn’t help but think about how inefficient BART was. What nobody told me about was that there was BART, and then there was CALTRAIN and a supposed third public transit authority that, when all combined, equaled a fairly passable system of getting from point A to point B. But BART on its own is just like MARTA – it only goes in a line. If I really wanted to go anywhere, it’s take BART to Point B, and then use CALTRAIN to Point C, and then transfer over to whatever-system’s bus to get to Point D. When I got to Point D, I was about $10 poorer, and about an hour was gone. Way overrated.
But I guess the rail system is the primary option, considering how there’s pretty much nowhere to park inside of the city. All the sidewalks are filled with people hoarding their parking spots, and what looks like parking spaces are always in front of a microscopic driveway made for Mini Coopers, Fiats and/or Peugeots or something.
But anyway, despite the criticism about the city’s flawed transportation issues, it’s still an interesting place. The architecture and city scape is unlike any other city I’ve visited in my travels, further leading towards the idea that it almost feels like a different country. The hills are like nothing I’ve traversed on foot outside of a mountainous hike, and the visuals definitely feel like one of a kind to the country. I did enjoy the weather that rarely touched beyond 70F, too.
But I don’t think I’d want to live out there, for a second. Pictures below. Read more »