S.F. Diversity, San Francisco
The Castro District is the heart of the gay and lesbian community in San Francisco. This vibrant and diverse district has an abundance of great shops and cafes. The commercial center is surrounded by beautiful well-kept Victorian homes. This is a fun place for gay and straight alike.
Hop on the F line and you will be transported directly to the center of the District.
Visitors comment that San Francisco feels more European than any other city in the United States. They also say that San Francisco has a distinct Asian feel, especially because of it its large Chinatown and Japantown, and its Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Thai populations. All this is true.
San Francisco has always been a magnet for people from all over the world. Immigrants have brought and kept their own traditions, rather than being completely being assimilated into the more traditional American way of life. That hanging on to the ways of the Old County is why San Francisco is so deliciously diverse today.
I love San Francisco because it is a melting pot of so many cultures. The entire city is heavily influenced by the several Asian populations that have settled the city over the past two centuries. Everyone, of course, has heard of our famous Chinatown.
Chinatown is right next to the Financial District. It is quite an interesting contrast to see traditional Chinese structures next to modern highrise office buildings.
And you would want to live here."
That's what you'll say when you visit us! I visited, said it and then I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Come explore the greatest city in the U.S.!
San Francisco is the hub of business in the Bay Area. Across the Golden Gate bridge is my home, Marin County, a very nice place to go home to in the evenings, and hang out on the weekends.
Since I don't live here, & my apologies to locals who see SF warts and all:
generally gets a lot of lip service, especially in the corporate world I am forced to deal with every day.
I hate to be a cynic, but most of the time in my opinion its a load of hypocritical crap: Lip service, political correctness, and nothing more.
SF is one of the few cities I've ever been to where it feels like it actually seems to work, at least some of the time.
Like I said: sometimes, ... sadly not always.
Everyone knows that one of the best ways to make new friends is to make 'em laugh. The folks in the Castro are very good at poking a little fun at themselves - as evidenced by some of the signage along the main drag. It's perfectly OK to giggle.
(Yes, I have two puns in this thing)
OK - we are NOT architects, but you don't have to be an architect to appreciate the beauty and the diversity of homes San Francisco. Houses come in all colors of the rainbow. Many of them have some sort of roof-top garden, and very rarely do you encounter your typical drab urban block of grey concrete. We didn't even make it to the famous Victorian's on Steiner Street - in San Francisco the houses have color and style, so don't forget to stop every once in a while and just look up.
If you are interested in learning more, I-NeTours offers an educational tour of Victorian Mansions around town.
Anyone who's perused this page can glean I have, perhaps, less love than most for the City by the Bay.
However, I will give mad props to San Francisco and it's non-stop embrace of all that is new and eclectic. This runs to race, as well. There are few cities in the world so adamant that diversity and multiculturism play a large role in day to day life.
ALL are loved in San Francisco! Well, unless you're fat, white and rich. That might be a deal breaker.
San Francisco is probably one of the most liberal cities in the world. As such, the city encourages all sort of diversity - everything from racial diversity to diversity of sexual orientation and political beliefs. Thus, as tourists of San Francisco, it's important that you are knowledgeable of that fact! Basically, most anything goes in San Francisco. And, that's one of the best parts about this city!
People come here expecting it to be some sort of gay mecca where everyone is gay and wearing a rainbow t shirt or something.
Yes, there are a lot of gay people here. There are also a lot of straight people, liberals, democrats, fishermen, single mothers and diabetics. Amongst a million other types. And you can't pick them out of a crowd.
Just come expecting diversity and put away your accusatory finger.
A bit of Spanish can go a long way. Service is best in hispanic restaurants if you speak enough Spanish to greet and order a meal. Just another excuse to learn another language! The same could be said for Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Greek, Italian restaurants in their ethnics areas in SF.
The Japanese Garden at Golden Gate Park. It has beautiful Asian buildings, bridges and lots of exotic plants and flowers. After a walk through the Garden you should drive from there to Chinatown. After your ride from 'Japan to China' get a dinner in Chinatown and wander from shop to shop and enjoy the Asian culture.
If you're from a small conservative town like I am, the extreme liberal anything-goes type of atmosphere in San Francisco will throw you for a loop. During the 1960s, Haight-Ashbury became something of a capital of American counterculture. Even up to 1985, when I visited, old hippies still flock to it. San Francisco is known for being most tolerant of homosexuals, sometimes to the point of advocating preferential treatment and official minority status. I recently heard that San Francisco is thinking about growing its own marijuana, ostensibly for "medicinal" use.
During the Sixties, the Haight-Ashbury district was the hotbed of American counter culture and the hippie lifestyle. Some of those characteristics are still pretty evident as you can see from this picture. A lot of people come around here to check out the Grateful Dead house at 710 Ashbury Street, where the famous hippy rockers lived between 1965 and that famous summer of 1969.
Beware the black-clad mobile phone toting set with giant dogs. I caught some here making an expedition to the summit of Alamo Square. Having successfully completed their mission, they phone down to base camp to make salon appointments or dinner reservations at trendy bistrots.