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“I left my heart…” …in America’s Best!

San Francisco is my favorite big city. According to the folks who “wrote the book” on Myers-Briggs personality types – if cities had personalities, San Francisco would have MINE! :-) At the time of my life when I could have afforded to LIVE there, the commute down the peninsula, even with public transit, would have been excruciating. :-)

I was nevertheless delighted to learn that San Francisco was ranked as “America’s Best City” in 2012, in’s best cities ranking.

For those of us who CAN’T afford to live there, it helps to live about an hour away! San Francisco has just about everything! In general, I tell people that that Bay Area has more than enough to keep me entertained for the rest of my life, and San Francisco is a BIG part of that. The first article states:

As long as chilly weather, walking uphill, and really expensive real estate don’t turn you off, San Francisco has no shortage of positive qualities. Though numbering fewer than a million people, this coastal city packs in so much—from world-class restaurants and museums to community fairs and music festivals, a large educated class, and an improving economy—that many proud San Franciscans will tell you that its finish at the top of’s 2012 best cities ranking is well-earned.

I recently blogged, with just a little surprise, that the STRONGEST job market in the United States right now is the Marin-San Francisco-San Mateo corridor!

For the ranking, once again teamed up with Bloomberg Rankings to evaluate data on 100 of the country’s largest cities. We looked at leisure attributes (the number of restaurants, bars, libraries, museums, professional sports teams, and park acres by population), educational attributes (public school performance, the number of colleges, and rate of graduate-degree holders), economic factors (income and unemployment), crime, and air quality. Major professional league and minor league teams, as well as U.S.-based teams belonging to international leagues in each city were included. This year we placed greater emphasis on leisure amenities than we did last year. The figures come from data company Onboard Informatics and the nonprofit Trust for Public Land. As the methodology was altered, changes in a city’s ranking from 2011 do not suggest that it has gotten “better” or “worse.”

San Francisco had the highest score for education and was ranked 6th for leisure and was in the top 20 cities for economic factors and air quality. (It HELPS to have no cities immediately WEST of you! 😉 ) The cosmopolitan nature of San Francisco, which is truly a “world-class” city,” attracts 129,000 tourists EVERY DAY, according to the San Francisco Travel Association. The breathtaking views combine with a seemingly endless stream of events, including an annual jazz festival, a literary festival, and a number of fairs in the month of October alone.

Add a lively arts scene. While cultural institutions such as the de Young Museum may house famous works, the city also tries to bring art to all its residents. Urban Solutions’ 2 Blocks of Art, a free art walk in the Central Market neighborhood, for instance, is one of a few projects bringing art to the city’s challenged areas. “I’ve worked here for three administrations and the local government leadership has always been supportive of the arts in the city. That’s really created a lot of the pride we have here,” says Robynn Takayama, community arts and education program manager at the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Did I mention that it is very expensive to live in San Francisco? 😉 says:

Not everything is golden in San Francisco, of course. An influx of young techies has driven up living costs. (Average rent for a studio apartment is $2,075, according to research firm RealFacts.) As the city has grown wealthier, it has lost some of its legendary grit. Yet it has one of the largest U.S. populations of homeless people.

No, San Francisco is not perfect.

But for someone like me, who is no fan of cities, it is pretty wonderful!

-Bill at

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