Venturing Out of the Mission Bubble

Cade had this to say on today's post about the Richmond:

I know that via blog comment isn't really a good way to start a discussion that will have any actual insight, but seriously, why dont people that live in the mission leave more? It is not the end all and be all of San Francisco. People that live in the Mission will be the first one to bitch about not wanting to to go “all the way out” to the Richmond, but in reality, the furthest away you are going to have to travel to any part of town is 7 miles, so its really NOT that far away at all. Hell, its hard enough to get people to venture out to SOMA from the Mission, which is even closer, not to mention that if you have a bike like a good lil Mission resident, your bike ride is only going to be 25 minutes if you make the “hella long” trek out to the Richmond , still faster then a damn bus or car ride, and its not that epic of a ride either, the panhandle is pretty flat.

I just get really tired of hearing about how great the city is from people who live in the Mission and rarely leave. They aren't really experiencing the whole city as much as those who have to actually put an effort into making it down to hang out with those who feel like there is no reason to leave. I implore you, go to Crissy Field sometime, take a look around and tell me that the view from there, encapsulating the entire city sans bay bridge, isn't worth the 35 minutes it took riding down there to get to see. Hot damn, ride with that special someone, bring a sandwich and tall boy, and holy shit you have the recipe for a great date situation and you have spent the grand total of leftovers in the fridge. (See not only are you doing something “exotic” and seeing great “foreign” views, but its the economical date and who is more attractive in these tough times then a thrifty spender? Ladies????)

I realize that there is some bit of sarcasm in your post, and I'm not trying to direct my bit of animosity at you KevMo, I just seriously have been wondering why people think the Mission is the only good part of the city and why places like the Richmond or Presidio get little love. I figure I may as well go to the source of news for much of the Mission, and really, most of S.F residents to try and help explain it to me. Don't get me wrong I like the mission, I do, but I also realize there is SO MUCH MORE to this great city then just 2 or 3 square miles of it.

Now if anyone can let me in on why they be hatin on venturing out of the mission bubble, please do so, I'm all ears…

I would make my typical snide remark of “It's the fog, stupid,” but yesterday was evidence that fog is a shitty excuse.  Lack of street art?  No Victorians?  Bars that fill up with college kids at 9:30?  Honestly, I'm too lazy to figure out the answer.

(photo by zzz_zzz)

Comments (13)

“Now if anyone can let me in on why they be hatin on venturing out of the mission bubble, please do so, I’m all ears…”

Honestly, as a Mission resident, I would say it is mostly just laziness. When you have so much within a few block radius it’s difficult to be motivated to travel (however short the distance) to do something similar. I love the Richmond but only get out there once every couple of months for this exact reason.

Part laziness, part choice. The density of big cities is what draws a lot of people to them, and the Mission might as well be a city within a city, in terms of how much is going on there. It’s got a blend of retail, nightlife, entertainment, and residential elements that make it exceptionally well suited for being the kind of place that you never have to leave, and for a lot of people that’s a major part of the attraction. There aren’t many other parts of the city that have the same kind of balance.

There’s a ton of awesome stuff all over the city, I agree, and it’s a shame that people miss out on it on account of rarely leaving the Mission, but it’s their choice. That being said, there are plenty of lazy jackasses who are going to use the Mission as an excuse to make their friends do all of the legwork, but sometimes that’s where all of the interesting stuff is going on.

But yeah, a lot of people move to big cities because they don’t want everything to be far away. When you’ve got a neighborhood that does it all, particularly with regard to youth culture or whatever, the result isn’t surprising.

I a\go on vacation out of the Mission once a week, because WHAT DO PEOPLE DO OUT THERE!??! My favorite vacation so far would be getting trashed on Irving in the Sunset or getting trashed on Haight (lower/upper, doesn’t matter). But the time I went on vacation on Polk, a girl literally yelled at me “DO YOU KNOW WHO MY FAMILY IS?” when I told her she couldn’t sit in my girlfriend’s seat. That’s why I won’t go back to Russian Hill. Do yourself a favor and get out of the Mission for a minute. You’ll realize why you like the Mission so much.

Please stay out of the Richmond!!!! Hipster douchebags have already ruined enough neighborhoods. There is nothing out there, stay away, it really isn’t cool at all!

The Mission has pretty good public transit, it’s not too hilly so you can walk/bike, everything is relatively close together, cars don’t usually drive at freeway speeds, and there’s a lot of great places to eat, drink, and get coffee.

So while I agree there’s plenty of great things all over the city, it’s easy to see why people love the Mission.

I always want to do stuff in random parts of the city (eating awesome Uyghur food at Old Mandarin, looking at the cool altary things in the Columbarium, perusing the super rad antique map store in North Beach, hanging out with the talking parrot at that pet store on way out on Judah, etc.) but I never do because I can never talk any of my friends into going with me. I think the majority of people do stay confined to certain areas and don’t feel compelled to leave, but there are exceptions to this! We adventurous folks should find each other and organize little field trips to places like the Richmond and whatnot. I just never am motivated to make the far treks to places all by myself.

I blame Muni for making the Richmond such a trip….

I love living in the Richmond. If anything, it makes me experience MORE of the city. Since I live “so far out there”, I spend more time heading out of our bubble, checking out new neighborhoods and exploring different parts of the city. Because I don’t think the Richmond has everything (no district does, not even the Mission), I have to head out to different districts to get to the good vintage shops or head to my favorite bar or restaurant. The Richmond gives me everything I need and I love the small-town neighborhood feel out here, but I always have the option of heading out if I want out. Nothing is THAT far. I like to think that every neighborhood in the city offers something that no other can. It’s always worth it to head out of your hood. A true San Franciscan consistently will. If you’re too lazy, then you don’t deserve to experience what the city has to offer!

Going to the suburbs on a bike is excellent. Great museum, GGP, Park Chalet for expensive beer on the lawn, good fish markets, easy to get back to mission, cleaner air, a surly pub people can smoke in, Baker Beach, fewer Brooks thieves and some etc.

However, I’m intrigued by this ‘date’ on a bike concept. How many quasi-Liz Hatch cyclists in the Mission are there (male or female) able to get up there? I’m just saying there are a few hills. I met one girl (not from the mission) who would ride up there but only because she had to. Let alone that romantic, around the block, ride into the Presideo at the Arguello gate. I just can’t see that aspect of the argument. It’s a lovely thought.

Maybe I’m doing it all wrong.

It’s silly to say “there’s so much within a few blocks of my place in the Mission, why go anywhere else?” It’s not like the Mission is some magical case of urban density exceptionalism. For example, you never hear people in NYC saying crap like that - and most of NYC is far denser than here. If there’s that much great stuff within just a few blocks, imagine how much MORE great stuff, that’s new & different, there is in the other 95% of the city.

The thing about NYC versus San Francisco is that the layout of the city is very, very different, so the transit from point to point is (usually) much easier. 49 miles at 7x7 versus 23 miles at 2.3 miles across at the widest point means all of your transit goes up and down the island, with a couple of crosstown options at key points. This means you’re not taking three buses to get anywhere.

Also? You CONSTANTLY hear people in NYC saying crap like that. Ask your New York friends how long it’s been since they went up to the Cloisters at 200th Street. Ask them the last time they went to the Bronx for a reason other than visiting the Target. Are Williamsburg residents heading up to 145th Street to get really great Mexican food and hang out at Riverside Park? No? And when’s the last time people on the Upper West Side walked the mile across the park to see the Upper East?

If you love your neighborhood and it’s enough to satisfy you, then that means something. If someone lives in the Mission, refuses to ever head somewhere else, and bitches about how there’s nothing to do… well, that’s a problem. I live in the Mission and rarely venture much past SOMA (work) or Lower Haight (Toronado), but it’s mostly because I love my neighborhood and all the things to do there so much that I never get bored or feel like I’m wanting for more. If I do, I’ll head out for a bike ride to Sausalito or go out to ride along the Great Highway, but I’m really lucky to live in a neighborhood that gives me so many things to be excited about every day.

Douchesters won’t like the rest of the city because they are pretentious and fake, while the rest of the city (except for maybe Pac Heights) is basically real. The Mission and Pac Heights are really two sides of the same coin.