Concord is NOT San Francisco

On a recent trip trip to SoCal, I met some bay area residents at a graduate school orientation. We were asked to introduce ourselves, give our little speech about why we wanted to go to that institution and identify which city we hailed from. When the two guys to my left both announced they were from San Francisco, I beemed with delight thinking I was on my way to making great local career connnections. We met up after the orientation and I was excited to learn which neighborhood they lived in and talk about this wonderful metropolis. Needless to say, when they said they were from the suburbs, my smile quickly faded. “Suburbs? Where specifically?” One of the guys responded, “oh from uh…from Concord.” I was half shocked and half angry because, Concord is NOT San Francisco.

Hey Mister, I pay a significant premium, perhaps foolishly to live in “the city” and call it my home. You do not get to say you live in San Francisco or even hail from San Francisco, when you’re more than 60 miles away and in a different county all together. Granted we were in SoCal and Concord isn’t exactly a place that most folks are familar with. In which case, saying you’re from the Bay Area would be acceptable. But I repeat, Concord is NOT San Francisco.

Have I become a SF snob or is there any merit to what I’m saying?

23 Comments so far

  1. Pete (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

    You should be happy they said they’re from here. If people still think of it as the San Francisco Bay Area (now that the Census Bureau considers it the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Consolidated Statistical Area), it means that SF still remains the cultural capital of the region.

  2. sw (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 12:42 am

    get over yourself, snob.

  3. S. Freud (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 2:26 am

    “SF snob” is the wrong diagnosis.
    That would be the case if your main reaction
    was “Hey, SF > Concord!” And then made fun of

    But you think you should get some Cool Points for
    free not because of any natural attibutes of yours
    but merely because you pay SF rents? Of all the
    things to get angry about, you’re shocked at angry
    over some kind of municipal upjumping? Should we
    ask ugly, unhip, unclever people to just say they
    are from the Bay Area, so they don’t “drag down”
    the image of SF? Should we decide people living
    in the Outer Sunset or Parkside or south of
    Cortland, or on top of Twin Peaks arent really
    participating in the SF Experience but are sort
    of Second Class San Franciscans … compared to
    us Marina/Pac Heights/Mission/Tenderloin/…

    They may deserve some good spirited mocking —
    “Hey, what MUNI line are you on? The Z Outer,
    Outer, Outer Bayview?” — but your misplaced
    outrage says a lot more about you than Concord
    says about them.

  4. TheRobin (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 9:33 am

    I totally agree that if you live in Concord, you should be informing people of that fact. When I lived in Colorado, I would tell people that “I live in a suburb of Denver”… If they wanted to know the actual city, they would ask (but this really never happened). They just wanted to know generally where I lived. But I did NOT live in Denver, so I would not tell them that.

    I did the same thing when I lived in Oakland some years back. If you are ashamed that you live in the burbs, then move or get over it and start telling the truth.

  5. Eric (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 11:37 am

    Concord is not 60 miles away from San Francisco. In fact, it’s roughly half that.

  6. rachel (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

    Yeah, you’re a snob. Worse, you’re a snob about stupid banal things. Who the hell knows where Concord is outside of the Bay Area?

    People just want to know generally where you’re from, and “San Francisco” is both a region and a city. Really, get the stick out of your butt.

  7. rocco (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

    you’re right. it is a pet peeve of mine also. not sure where you are going down here, but Concord is closer to these places than to SF, figuratively.

  8. Ignore the Lame (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

    A few years before I moved here in the 80’s I got great enjoyment out of hearing an album by Negativland that was all about touring through Concord and Contra Costa county. Seeing a particular donut shop, and scoring a Grape NEHI soda was the highpoint. It was recorded in Berkeley at KPFA, and they certainly would let you know Concord is no Berkeley, much less SF.

    People that call you elitest or confused are really the ones that are elitest or confused or both.

    If people from Concord believe they live in San Francisco, good for them. I’m sure their pride parade is beyond stellar, and their indie film, avant rock & poetry scene is rich as well.

    However, San Francisco is definitely NOT Concord, or Redwood City or even Berkeley.

    Even if Concord is less than 60 miles away, it is light years from the city…

    Hell… just crossing through the Twin Peaks tunnel is essentially leaving “San Francisco”.

    Believe it or don’t…

    but try it in drag sometime and you tell me what happens…

  9. Jesse (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

    I live in Concord, but worked in San Francisco for two years. I love San Francisco, and when traveling, usually tell people I am from there, because honestly, once you leave the west coast, saying you are from the “Bay Area” can get you blank stares.

    If I am in California, I say “I am from the Bay Area, about 40 minutes from San Francisco.”

    I don’t think this is an uncommon practice; I have met people from Washington who do the same thing, but with Seattle.

    Lastly, Concord is a pretty awesome city. Unless you have spent more than at least two weeks here, don’t judge. As for dressing in drag, a friend of mine just did a photo shoot of her male friend in drag in the downtown park (Todos Santos) and people reacted very well overall (mostly just smiles). Two “thug” teens did abrasively ask us what we were doing, but after we explained we were doing a photo shoot exploring gender norms/stereotypes, they said “oh, that’s cool” and went on their way.

  10. stef (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

    yes u have become a SF snob!!! They may be from concord but, the city is a part of all of us…no matter where we are in the “San Francisco Bay Area”. Nobody cares what you pay to live there. I live in Danville and i have lived in Concord…and pittsburg and pleasanton, all over. Trust me it costs the same if not more to live in Danville than the city so money has nothing to do with it.

  11. TinMan (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2007 @ 6:29 pm

    Relax, sonny.

  12. Gurpal (unregistered) on June 24th, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

    Perhaps angry was a strong word, but disappointed nevertheless. And I did have fun with the guys with light humor. But you all did bring up some good points so i’ll ditch the snob-itude. However, when I do move out of SF, I will be saying the city I hail from, whether that’s Concord or another place.

  13. DJ Cheese Zombie (unregistered) on June 24th, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

    The Spirit Poles used to ROCK.

  14. debbie (unregistered) on June 25th, 2007 @ 9:22 am

    I think you are right – part of it is if they were really from SF there’d be bonding over that, but Concord, well, what is there to say, not the same place.

  15. Sean (unregistered) on June 25th, 2007 @ 3:45 pm

    I don’t know if you’re a snob, but you certainly appear to be shallow and vain. No matter how high the premium, simply living in SF doesn’t grant you the right to dictate who can claim San Francisco as their home. I’ve lived in the East Bay for most of my life, yet I know The City as well as, if not better than, most of the “hipper than thou” SF residents so desperately seeking exlusivity. and I have frequently claimed SF as my home. Rather than dismissing these people, why not embrace the opportunity to learn more about this wonderful area that we all share – this Bay Area metropolis? (BTW – “metropolis” is defined as a highly populated area. It’s not limied to cities.) The answer is “No”, there is not merit to what you’re saying.

  16. Anna (unregistered) on June 25th, 2007 @ 5:51 pm

    I’m from the city and go to school in Boston and I get so disappointed when people introduce themselves as from SF and they’re really from Walnut Creek. So I feel your pain because I wanted to talk about the superiority of MUNI/BART to the T, the lack of real Mexican food, etc. I don’t think you’re a snob, just a person looking for a good SF connection when far away!

  17. Donald (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 10:59 am

    Yeah… you’re probably going to want to get over that. If the event WAS in San Francisco.. I could see your point, but otherwise you’re not exactly doing a great job representing SF resident.

  18. dissent (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:44 pm

    Fifteen years ago if you told someone outside SF that you lived in SF they’d think AIDS and shirtless dudes gyrating on flat bed trucks at the Gay Pride March. There would be this moment of tension and then a change of topic. I think the fact that SF is so cool that peeps who don’t live here tell people they do live here is a sign of the decline of homophobia in society at large.

  19. Jesse Endahl (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

    Anna: Almost everyone I know in the East Bay has taken BART, and I for one have years of experience with N Judah.

  20. Jesse (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

    Oh, and I have a deep deep love for Mexican food. El Farolito at 24th and Mission can not be beat.

  21. anna (unregistered) on June 28th, 2007 @ 11:11 am

    Concord, where one’s soul is … conquered (credit to my friend Thai for that)

  22. DK (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 10:28 am

    Yes you are a snob. Damn, San Franciscans are petty.

  23. NaomiStrange (unregistered) on July 6th, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

    I get annoyed when people say they’re from whatever large city and then it turns out they’re really not. But it’s easy to say that when you’re not in the area… for instance, visiting LA or another state or something. Ya know? It’s just easier. But I do see your point. You can’t be like “Yeah I’m from NYC” but you really live in New Jersey. Sure, it may be right across the water, but it’s still not NYC. I think I’m a NYC snob. I hate SF, but I ain’t gonna front, I am a NYC snob. LOL. i love me some east coast!

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