San Francisco: “Comfortable and cozy” or “Sleazy and scary”?

This week I wrote to my aunt who lives in San Jose, to say hi and reassure her I’m not and haven’t been a miserable divorcee.  She likes that I’m somewhat nearby, told me that I’d love San Francisco, and that I’d surely find it much more “comfortable and cozy” than New York.

I’d say so far that it’s more “sleazy and scary.”

Of course I’ve been here for just a week, and there’s a lot more to the city than homeless people, but between crackheads muttering weird things at me, a homeless guy vomiting in the street at 11 o’clock in the morning, another guy basically following me in the Mission District till I acted suspicious, and MB being propositioned by prostitutes the other night (they said they wanted his donuts – RIGHT), I feel somewhat skeeved by the City by the Bay.

Then there’s this video which I’m sure you’ve all seen by now (first made known to me by Sitcomgirl):

Holy shit!  I’m not sure who’s at fault here, the overly aggressive seat-taking Chinese lady or the touchy African-American woman.  Either way, kudos to the young Chinese American woman who breaks up the fight, and boo-hiss to everyone else who basically did nothing, especially the driver and other MUNI employee standing outside.

Then to top it all off, on my very first visit to the San Francisco Public Library yesterday, I spotted a guy watching porn on his laptop.  I’ve heard of such a thing happening from my library school classmates, but on all my visits to the New York Public Library, I never once witnessed it.  Plus he was rubbing himself.  Great!  You’d think if you could afford a laptop, you could afford internet at home.  Then again, maybe the appeal was doing it in public.  Luckily there was a security guard (yes, a library complete with roaming security), and the perv stopped when he walked by.

Two lessons learned: do not ride the MUNI bus, at least around Chinatown, and don’t sit with my back to any suspicious people at the library.


  1. I’m with you on sleazy and scary. When I moved to NY after a year in SF, the one thing I immediately noticed was that it wasn’t urine-smelly (ok except for Port Authority), homeless filled, full of crack-heads chasing me down the street with a stick, and sleazy. Of course, then I had to bitch about all the fucking tourists that thought congregating right in front of my apartment on the corner of Mulberry and Canal was really the ideal place for them to spend their days. Also that in the Bay Area, people seem to understand the concept of making a line to get on BART(and waiting for people to get off befor you try and board!)and the whole stand on the right, walk on the left concept of escalators, those little manner-filled things made riding public transportation way less aggravating than the subway in NY. I think there’s no ideal city – well except Boston :)
    Avoid the #1 California at all costs from the financial district through Chinatown (not sure if this was that bus), but it’s just SUPER crowded, stops every 2 seconds and basically walking through Chinatown would be faster than taking that bus.

  2. Yeah, SF is kind of really dirty. It’s shocking when you compare it to New York or Chicago and really too bad when you can see how beautiful the city could be.