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This Column Is Ironic: New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing SF Down


Spring quarter has sprung at Stanford — or so I’m told. I’m still at home in beautiful Scranton, Pennsylvania. There’s snow on the ground. I don’t leave for Oxford for another two and a half weeks. Being at home for such a long period of time can definitely get boring, but there’re ways to pass the time. On Tuesday, I spent the day in New York City. Being in Manhattan again reminded me of an argument that I often have with friends on campus. I’ll warn you, if your home state borders the Pacific Ocean, you’re probably not going to like what I have to say.

First things first: I love Stanford. I love the weather, I love the people and I love the Bay Area. Though the West Coast has brought me nothing but pure greatness during my three years there, I’m still an East-Coaster at heart. Think of it as an “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. No matter how fantastic the West Coast could possibly be — even if Arrested Development inexplicably came back on the air only in California — it still could never trump the East Coast in my mind. I’m a homer, what can I say? And to that extent, I’m going to make a point that might be a little controversial back on campus: New York City is exponentially better than San Francisco, no matter how much you West Coasters refuse to admit it.

There are the important things — like transportation. First and foremost on that topic, New York has the Cash Cab. It already wins. But if you insist on going deeper, New York’s subway system is the most useful thing ever. Yes, it’s grimy, old and rat-infested, but if you need to get yourself between two places anywhere in the five boroughs on the cheap, it’s definitely the way to go. BART can’t even compare. There’s what, like six stops in San Francisco? I guess I could use the MUNI or the bus, but that might mean getting accosted by hordes of homeless people. I mean, seriously, Gavin Newsom can get Happy Meal toys banned in San Francisco, but he can’t get rid of homeless people? Rudy Giuliani pulled that off almost a decade ago in New York City.

(Speaking of Gavin Newsom, I like the guy a lot, but did San Francisco seriously reelect him in 2007 after he admitted to cheating on his wife? That’s political suicide, but somehow San Francisco rewards it with a landslide victory. I’m a political science major! I study elections! This stuff is common sense. Adultery loses elections…except in San Francisco. Newsom kind of owned that town, yet he still bailed for Sacramento. Ouch.)

Should we talk sports, too? How about baseball? Okay, so the Giants won the World Series last year — their first in San Francisco. Big deal. They’ve been playing there since 1958. Did it really take you guys that long? I know the Giants fans out there will be quick to say, “Hey Shane, you know the Giants organization has six World Series titles in its history. Not just one.” Really? Well, where did your beloved Giants get five of their World Series wins? Oh yeah — in New York. Even the Giants were five times more successful in New York than in San Francisco. When the Giants somehow manage to equal the 27 World Series victories of my Yankees, then we can talk, okay?

Here’s the thing, San Francisco: New York is the social, cultural and financial capital of the United States. There’s really no way around it. You guys just can’t top that. You don’t see the characters in Gossip Girl stomping around Russian Hill. They’re on the Upper East Side for a reason. Even the hipsters in Williamsburg manage to be more relevant than the hipsters in The Mission. There’s at least a music scene in Brooklyn. However, San Francisco, you do have the Golden Gate Bridge, and I’ll admit that it’s pretty awesome. I might even let you say that The Presidio is almost as good as Central Park, but those are my only concessions. Let’s face it: no matter which way you look at it, you’re still New York’s little brother.

Do any Californians think that Shane is a complete Nob (Hill) for his blasphemy? E-mail him at [email protected] to let him know.

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