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14 Signs You Were Born and Raised in the Bay Area

by Karin Swanson May 21, 2014
1. “San Fran” makes you cringe.

Saying it in a non-mocking tone would be a crime. Ditto for “Cali.” And don’t get me started on “Frisco.”

2. You’ve been to a show at the Greek or the Fillmore.

Your parents may remember when music legends such as Bob Dylan or The Who rocked these iconic establishments, but their reputations continue to stand strong. Famous artists like Jimmy Cliff and Jack Johnson play there now, attracting multi-generational fans.

3. You know what “hyphy music” is.

And how to “go dumb.” A high-school dance wasn’t complete without a little E-40 or Mistah F.A.B. Similarly, you rep all Bay Area music to an obnoxious degree — be it Tupac, Mac Dre, and Andre Nickatina, or the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

4. You’ve said “hella” before.

Don’t lie. We’ve all done it.

5. Southern California might as well be Vietnam, it’s so foreign to you.

Rancho Cuca-what? Calabasas? You have no idea what people are talking about when they mention a hometown south of Fresno. It’s like asking a SoCal native to point out Mendocino on a map.

6. When your car radio picks up 104.5, 94.9, or 97.3, you know you’re home at last.

This emotional experience is only amplified when you burst into tears upon hearing a Shane Co. commercial.

7. Likewise, Sarah and Vinnie are household names.

Though you’ll never forget the first time you saw what they actually look like. That was weird.

8. “The city” will always mean San Francisco to you.

Although you may temporarily plant roots in another city at some point, San Francisco will always be your home base, referred to simply as “the city.”

9. But you haven’t been to Fisherman’s Wharf since your fourth-grade field trip.

Pier 39, cable cars, and Lombard Street are all to be avoided like the plague.

10. When an out-of-towner asks if you’ve ever been skiing, you go on a passionate rant about Tahoe.

You have such fond memories of doing “the pizza” as a kid at Squaw or Alpine. Of course there’s snow in California, people. What did you think it was, one big beach? You did, didn’t you?

11. The term “fair-weather fan” would never describe you.

Whether you belong to Raider Nation or rep the Giants like it’s your job, you stick by your team. Loyalty runs deep in the Bay Area.

12. But you could be called a food snob.

You’re used to really good food. Like the rest of California, you’re elitist when it comes to produce (chiefly concerning avocados, of course) and organic options. At least one of your friends has gone through a vegetarian or vegan phase. Most importantly, you know that Sol Food is not the same as soul food.

13. Chances are someone in your family went to Cal.

This is bear territory, after all. You tell the story…

14. Your flight has been delayed due to fog.

Nothing’s more frustrating than being grounded on the tarmac or unable to land due to dense mist. Dense mist.

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