San Francisco vs. Los Angeles vs. New York vs. Paris vs. London (repeat)

As you can tell by the lengthy title, I wanted to touch upon the idea of regionalism (again). I’ll keep this short. Promise.

I’m an optimist. I’m a believer in appreciating art, artists, and art scenes wherever I am and being respectful. I’ve got a lot of places to go and art to see but one thing I want to say, and I’m talking to the couple that were standing behind me waiting in line to get into BAN6 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts last Friday. You two were standing there judging people and remarking how poorly dressed they were and complaining how San Francisco is so far behind in fashion and art in comparison to New York.

News for you people, San Francisco has got approximately 7.4 million people to New York’s 18.9 million people. Yessir, it’s bigger. Statistically, there’s more opportunity to get your hustle on. Los Angeles has got Hollywood. Paris has got the rich tasting food and the romantic language. London is, well, old and steeped in history.

My point: STOP picking on San Francisco! Oakland!! Berkeley!!! The Bay Area!!!!

Every place, whether a city, town, or village has got something rich and profound to offer. I really wish people would focus on being in this great city and stop saying “It’s not New York (or LA, or Paris, or London)”. I’ve been to New York and LA and London (not Paris – yet!) and they are amazing cities but San Francisco is NEVER going to be these places and guess what…they’re NEVER going to be San Francisco…thanks for letting me vent. 🙂


Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos is a writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research areas and interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, networked culture, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is currently the managing editor for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and Public Art Dialogue. She has lectured and spoken at the De Young museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” has been published to The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture in 2016. She serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism, board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center, and teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Digital Art and New Media department.

2 thoughts on “San Francisco vs. Los Angeles vs. New York vs. Paris vs. London (repeat)”

  1. Completely agreed! SF has so much to offer, and comparing cities in a negative way only does a disservice to them all. Your optimistic perspective opens you up to so many more experiences and opportunities!

    1. Aww, thanks so much Alyse! Obviously, I’m pretty biased because I’m an SF native but tired of hearing that the art scene here is too small or nothing like New York! Collectively, we’ve got to work with what we’ve got! In any case, thanks again for reading my little rant. That couple just got the best of me. Hmph!

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