Some things that surprised me about San Francisco

There were some things that surprised me about San Francisco.

  • There is a really high tolerance for bad behavior by street/homeless people. Here in New York we certainly have our share of homeless and crazy people. But if your behavior is inappropriate, people in New York will call you on it and expect you to not infringe on the rights and space of others. I think that New Yorkers are more willing to yell at even a homeless crazy person who is behaving badly.And the crazy homeless here will back off of crazy behavior if called on it. 
  • Haight Asbury is a weird Times Square like homage to the Grateful Dead. I love The Dead, but I hated the fake frozen in amber quality of the place. In answer to my son, it isn't like a giant version of the East Village...it's a t-shirt and Tibetan clothing mall.
For some reason I had assumed that Golden Gate Park was a scruffy kind of a place.


I could not have been more wrong. It was like a far more spacious and well maintained version of the best of Central Park. 
  • LOTS of people have signed up to get medical marijuana. You smell it EVERYWHERE. 
  • San Franciscans are incredibly helpful to people who aren't sure where they are going. You don't have to approach a native to ask for directions, If you look puzzled  some will ask if they can help you get where you are going.
  • San Francisco drivers always yield to pedestrians. If you behave like a New Yorker and step into the street all traffic will screech to a halt. We mostly broke our habit of stepping off the curb anticipating being able to at some point crossing the street.


  • San Francisco looks disconcertingly like Boston, but hillier and with palm trees. This looks oddly like Beacon street, with palm trees
  • Every bodega sells wine and booze. Gas stations on the highway also sell a pretty full selection of booze. This seems not all that wise to me. But what do I know?

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