Dark Side of Silicon Valley


SF has more things to do than SV is not in dispute, is a fact that a city has more things to do than a suburban. It doesn’t matter which one word you want to describe the difference. What bloggers are saying is SF is not that great when compare to other global city such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Manhattan. You are harping on the word “cool”. You think is the right word then it is the right word for you, if those guys you know say is the right word, then is the right word for them, however, other bloggers here don’t think so because it is not their idea of cool.


I cast my vote:

SF > SJ/SD/HK/NYC/Singapore :slight_smile:


Your choice is always the right choice for you. Btw, I have visited all those places so I have my own preference.


Uh, let’s not expand the scope of the responses ok? First of all, my response was to the remark that the city was overrated. I gave a concise example, just one, that provides an opposing view that is not just conjecture or heresay but reality and would counter that the city is overrated: the fact that people are willing to live so far away from their work in a city that is more expensive even, and the reason these folks have cited as to why they would do so is because the city is cooler than obviously anywhere around here. So, yes, I am taking that to mean, well, then the city is not exactly overrated then right? I don’t think that is a reach, quite frankly. A place can’t be overrated if a lot of people want to live there WHEN THEY DON’T HAVE TO. I mean, let’s let people who actually do it (live in SF and do the commuting) speak for themselves, @hanera. I have spoken to ACTUAL people who are doing it. I am not making it up. Where have I EVER made up any story??? I have always based it on at least my own personal experience or people have told me so. I like to take people’s responses at face value. Why can’t you???


I love SF(a few places I visited in SF) but honestly don’t know much about the city.
Do you have any recommendations on “cool stuff to do in SF” for person like me (South Bay resident who doesn’t visit SF often.)?
I am curious what is the real definition of cool activities in SF by SF residents.

I grew up in Seoul, which is a big city. Hence, I guess I understand urban life style as well as suburban. :slight_smile:


Exactly. You think is not over-rated. Bloggers think is over-rated. Both are opinions :slight_smile: So there is really no debate necessary. For me, if cool and things to do are the reasons why stay in SF, I prefer Singapore. If I’ve to work in SFBA, and Single/DINK, would prefer to stay in SF rather than SV. But I wasn’t thinking SF is cool and better than Singapore… no choice, and if people ask me why, I would say SF is cooler than SV :slight_smile: I have to justify my choice unconsciously.


Sfdragonboy, do you understand absolute be relative measurements, or are you just doing your best Donald trump impression (“I like San Diego but I have never heard that San Diego has more entertainment than SF. Never heard that or read that ever. Please cite one story/survey ever indicating that.”)

Let’s do a thought experiment. You move to an island with two restaurants. Restaurant A Is terrible. There are cockroaches, the food tastes like garbage, etc. Restaurant B is only slightly better. It’s clean, but the food is still undercooked and over salted.

All the young people go to restaurant B For dinner and say it’s the coolest diner on the island. Five star Yelp review.

Obviously, restaurant b is overrated, because it’s worse than any mainland restaurant. But because it’s the best you can get on the island, people go there.


There is usually some event happening every weekend in the city. For example, every neighborhood typically will have their street fair on a weekend so you could be going to many different street fairs that touch on that neighborhood’s vibe or cultural background (like the North Beach one obviously associates with the Italian community). For something def more wilder if that is your bag, you could go to the Folsom Street Fair in your S/M garb and you won’t feel out of place. Want to go buck naked? Go for it. Go check out our Gay Pride parade, which is one of the bigger ones I believe, if that is your thing. How about attending the Chinese New Years Parade that is arguably the largest one outside Asia?

You obviously are aware that SF is a major food town, probably #1 or #2 in the US, depending on who you believe. I believe, Bon Appetit ranked us first fairly recently. It is always New York or us. So, there are many cutting edge restaurants to check out here, from the uber expensive to the San Tungs of the world. I am too old for it, but I am sure a lot of the millennials will mention the bar scene like in the Mission and perhaps the dance clubs here. I have been to Ruby Skye in my day and it is a pretty good place for dancing if that is your thing.

How about the many music concerts that we have from Outside Lands to the free concerts at Stern Grove on some Sundays? How about the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass concerts that are FREE in Golden Gate Park?

Let’s not forget the museum and art scene here. You have SF MOMA, which is a highly regarded museum, one of many. You have the De Young Museum, the Asian Art Museum, the wonderful interactive Exploratorium and Academy of Science that are wonderful educational places for adults and kids alike.

Let’s not forget some of the more touristy things like visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, riding the cable car, visiting one of the largest Chinatowns outside of Asia, and checking out say Alcatraz. You could come up here for the Blue Angels during Fleet Week and check out the naval vessels while catching the air show. The Beach Blanket Babylon show in North Beach has been running for years. Wonderful satire that plays on the current events.

If you are a big into exercise, you probably would want to come up for our many marathons happening on typically early Sunday mornings. Who doesn’t love the Bay To Breakers race that cuts across the city and you have the zany costumes? You could do the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon if you are really an exercise freak.

Zany events like that one held on a Sunday where ADULTS join in and ride Big Wheels down what is the real most crookedest street in SF is always fun. The massive pillow fight in Justin Herman Plaza every year on Valentine’s Day night (I believe) is always a kick to see. There’s a day where everyone dresses like Santa Claus and hits the bars all over town.

If you are into pro sports, we obviously have the SF Giants and soon to be Golden Gate Warriors to fill up your day that way if you like.

Is that enough for you???


So much for your San Diego… I posted this a long time ago. You’re not paying attention…

“Truthfully, people are always going to want to go to San Francisco,” he said.

Your example is exactly my point. Techies who work in SV HAVE choices to live close to work but they have chosen to live in SF because they say it is more fun there. Of course, everything is relative. Don’t be stupid like someone else on here and try to bring in Singapore. Uh, that commute would take up your whole day, sir…


Granted this is dated but it is estimated that about 2,000 riders take those shuttles from my “overrated” city to work each and every day in SV. Let’s not forget the people that chose SF over SV who can work at home too. Let’s add the gazillions of people who take CalTrain or drive themselves down South. Yeah, major “overrated” city…

Of course, everything is relative. No one ever said SF does not have some warts (I’ve said it!!!) but compared to everything else around here, SF reigns supreme!!! And these thousands of folks have essentially said as much with their pocketbooks and time. Two of the most precious indicators I can think of…


You’re so proud of your 7x7 that you can’t accept other opinions. I was merely trying to explain to you other POVs. SF rules or not is irrelevant to me since I’m not working and have kids.


I fully acknowledged to @harriet that she has a right to her opinion, but I also did want to point out the phenomena with all those thousands of people who apparently do think differently. They don’t think SF is overrated, that is why they are there in the first place, spending way more for housing perhaps and spending way more time commuting to work. You have to admit, why would rationale smart people do that??? Well, the only conclusion would be that SF provides them with whatever they feel is lacking (FUN) from anywhere else around these parts and still be able to semi-make it to work each day. It is not rocket science…


@sfdragonboy, just out of curiosity, have you lived anywhere outside of the US for more than a year?


SFDragonboy, your argument is getting tired. You can think a place is overrated and still choose to live there, if it’s the best option you’ve got. You are saying:

People choosing SF over SJ implies SF is not overrated

Now, I don’t have a personal opinion on whether SF is overrated, but your “evidence” is based on a faulty implication. The only viable implication is:

People choosing SF over SJ implies those people think SF is better than SJ

which I don’t think anyone is really disputing


So yeah, the title here is “Dark side of Silicon Valley” right?
If you agree that SV is more a state of mind than a location (and one which some say includes SF), the whole SV vs SF argument is off-track. I’d agree with @sfdragonboy, however, that SF with all of its quirkiness and shortcomings is far more interesting and accessible to most people to visit than trying to engage in the SV state of mind. It may be a mecca for tech types, but for others it is just too foreign to appreciate and understand. That’s why SF gets the tourists and is able to support the attractions it has.

Imho, the saddest thing would be devoting your entire being towards something that you don’t even believe in, and burning out in the process.

Finally, for many Valley programmers, the fast pace, long hours, stress runs the risk of burnout. One person describes it like this: “At first I thought burn out is like being extremely tired, like you’ve run a marathon, and you sleep for 3 days and recover and ready for another. No. it’s not that like that. I’m tired, sure, but after I put in 60 hour work week for 4 months and traveled to China 3 times, mostly I just don’t give a f— anymore. I can’t believe I’m feeling like this about my passion.”

…Still, it’s a choice and I’m not going to be sorry for highly paid programmers


To answer your question, nope. But when you are driving a Ferrari from birth, nothing else matters. (you may quote me on that)


God, you really don’t get it. IT IS NOT THE BEST OPTION!!! That is my point!!! It is much further from work and most likely more expensive, than anywhere practically. I just picked SJ because that is a city that may have some reasonably priced rentals that are somewhat close to work for these people. It could be Belmont. It could be East Palo Alto. It could be Fremont. Isn’t it obvious that the city is close enough that one can just come up for the occasional dinner or sporting event and leave the “overrated” city to go back to whatever true oasis they live in??? Yet these people have doubled down on my “overrated” city and rented/bought there and have stayed. I am not seeing reports that there is a decline in the commuters to SV from SF homed folks. And again, you seem to want to forget a major thing: the people themselves confirmed what I said. Random sampling over the years of simpy asking why would you live in SF when you could be closer? Same response, it is cooler and much more fun than the South Bay. Others have said the same. Obviously you went short on the fab 7x7 and unfortunately, like many people, wished they didnt…


A vast majority of my Lick Wilmerding classmates left SF…most left a longtime ago…The history of SF is immigrants come and then leave…Traditionally to the peninsula or Marin. .But my classmates ended up all over the country…My own sister left 35 years ago…It is a hard place to live, especially for families with school age kids…I have pretty much left…Tahoe is great for year-round living…especially if you travel during the swing seasons…


Come on @Elt1, you know deep inside you miss the old girl…:grin:


I need a place to stay in SF Monday night. …got room for me?