1. Eating cheap dim sum from Clement Street.
There was no better place than Clement Street to grab a plastic container full of steamed pork buns, shrimp dumplings, and custard tarts before heading into Golden Gate Park. You miss the bare bones interiors, the stacked metal trays filled with steaming hot dim sum, and even the impersonal but efficient service from the staff. You preferred to go to Wing Lee’s but always kept Good Luck as a backup.
2. Complaining about the cold foggy weather, but secretly enjoying watching Karl as he rolls in from the Pacific.
The lack of a proper summer sometimes got to you, especially when you forgot your jacket for an outdoor event and nearly froze. Though all those times now pale in comparison when you look back and remember those special days when you could literally see the fog come in off of Ocean Beach, and slowly blanket the Avenues. Also, you have major nostalgia for walking through the Richmond or Sunset neighborhoods, and feeling like you were on the set of a horror movie with all the dense fog swirling around.
3. People showing off their true colors.
San Francisco has its fair share of eccentric individuals from the naked man in the Castro to the Bushman down in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s hard not to miss the feeling of acceptance throughout the city where people can be who they want to be and not have to worry about being judged for it. Leaving San Francisco makes you realize just how normal different is and why this city is so special for embracing this mindset.
4. Having a casual citywide dress code.
You can count the number of times you dressed up on one hand. Instead, you could be found in your trusty fleece, a down coat, jeans and sneakers to ward off that fickle foggy weather. In San Francisco, it was always about staying warm, not being stylish.
5. Not caring about sports.
You were a fair-weather fan who got on the bandwagon when The Giants went to (and won) the World Series, but you and your friends have only seen a handful of games. To be honest, you mostly went for the atmosphere and food. You miss how locals showed their support for the Giants or the Warriors but didn’t consider them a religion.
6. Easily spotting visitors by their lack of warm clothes in the summer.
Watching tourists sorely underdressed during a chilly San Francisco summer never got old. You shouldn’t laugh, but it was hard to feel sorry for them since everyone knows San Francisco is famous for its June Gloom. Wearing your trusty down jacket, hat, and gloves while walking pass them on Crissy Field, it was always hard not to smile to yourself.
7. The insanity that is Outside Lands.
Having a major music festival in one of your favorite parks was a dream come true. Never mind that there was a shortage of porta-potties, the tickets were 1/3 of your rent and the sun refused to make an appearance the entire weekend. Seeing Third Eye Blind made up for all of it, along with all the indulgent food trucks and craft beer booths that kept you sustained for three days straight.
8. Catching the sunset over the Sutro Baths.
It was hard to believe that you were still in the city limits at the century-old bathhouse ruins in Lands End. There was nothing better than watching the sun dip into the horizon in all its fiery glory as it reflected off the ruin’s seawater pools. For those evenings, when it got too cold to brave the fierce coastal winds, you knew to stay inside your car and watch an equally gorgeous sunset from the nearby parking lot.
9. Getting in shape on the 16th Avenue Steps.
There was nothing like getting your heart racing like running up a beautifully tiled stairway that seemed to go on forever. For those days where you felt unmotivated, a view of the Pacific Ocean and the Sunset neighborhood were great incentives, along with a scone from nearby Arizmendi Bakery on 9th and Irving.
10. Having the diversity of the Bay Area at your doorstep.
Every weekend your calendar was filled with activities and events around the city and around the greater Bay Area. One weekend you were hiking to the top of Mount Tam in Marin, and the next you were geeking out over Google’s headquarters in Mountain View. You had constant FOMO and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
11. Late night donuts at Bob’s Donuts on Polk Street.
After the bars closed down, it was a ritual to head over with your crew and wait in line for a sugary treat. You always went for their giant apple fritter, even though you knew you would get a headache from the sugar rush afterward.