Earlier this summer I relocated from Chicago to the West Coast in pursuit of comedy and a change in both climate and careers. Here are a few things any entrepreneurial Bro considering the same should deposit in their knowledge bank before making the leap.
1. Nobody calls it “San Fran” or “’frisco”
Just like nobody calls New York “The Big Apple” or Chicago “Chi-town” or Philly “Suckadelphia.”
2. San Francisco isn’t located in Southern California
“Hey, heard you moved to Cali. Run into any movie stars yet?” That’d be awfully tough considering I’d have to drive through about 400 miles of desert to be anywhere near Hollywood. Doesn’t your grandpa have a decorative globe you can look at before asking me these things?
3. Rent is higher than Manhattan
They say SF is in the middle of a second tech boom. The first was in the late 90’s with the dot-com bubble. This one is happening because now any idiot with a Mac can invent the next SnapChat. Needless to say, with soon to be moguls flocking to the Bay area, apartment owners are jacking rent up to roughly 3k/mo for a decent one bedroom. I’m considering finding a nice tall red bridge featured in the Full House opening credits to jump off of instead.
4. Anybody could be a millionaire
The Fanta logo T-shirt wearing dude in Vans sitting next to you on the bus? Yeah he probably helped invent Tinder. Or he’s working on a mobile app that tells you you have to go to the bathroom before you do AND uses GPS to notify you of the nearest public restroom. He’s just looking for backers, if you’re interested.
5. The Marina is where Bro’s go
No matter your age you can always head to Bar None or Kells in The Marina and enter the flip cup tourney. Or check out any of the spots in the Marina Triangle. Like every major metropolis, us Bro’s always find the best Bro-cation to get together and have Bro-deos. That sounded bad.
6. Summer sucks, and fall is awesome
Jack London said “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” And he played for the Giants. The summer months are cold and schizophrenic, with microclimates causing the temp to be in the 50’s near Golden Gate Park and near the 80’s downtown. Consistent warm weather doesn’t hit until Oct-Nov. It’s so cold and overcast this past weekend I saw a guy at Outsidelands wearing an ushanka. You know what it is.
7. Hipster or homeless? I dunno
The guy lying outside Peets Coffee could be a convicted felon in Florida or a trust-fund baby who’s mad his asshole parents didn’t treat him like the unique snowflake he thinks he is. The difference between the homeless in SF and in the Midwest is that the homeless here can live outside year-round in a big public park that takes up 40% of the city. In Chicago they’re all dead come February. Which isn’t a bad thing (shrugs).
8. You can ski and surf on the same day
Unlike New York or Chicago where the nearest things to drive to are New Jersey or Gary, Indiana, here you can start your day skiing in Tahoe and then drive down to Ocean Beach to shred some killer (albeit cold) waves.
9. Everything here is really fucking important
The majority of the people you meet have some cause they’re campaigning for or some new idea that they think is going to change the world. Everybody is smarter than you and they have the data and degrees to prove it. The key is to find some down-to-Earth, salt-of the Earth people who don’t take it too seriously. Preferably from another city so they’re outside of the bubble with you looking in. Go Bears.
10. Bros – be careful who you sleep with
Locals looove to tell you, “This city is so small, it’s only 7×7.” Remember that park I mentioned in #5? It’s 3×3 which means this city is even smaller. Chalk up the fact that the majority of the working force is in the same industry and you’ve got yourself a bonafide cesspool. The girl you took home Saturday night? She’s probably been with a few of your buddies already AND was in the same sorority of your companies CEO. Her day job’s in marketing but she’s working on a promising mobile startup on the side. She’s just looking for backers, if you’re interested.