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View Poll Results: Which one is the most important?
Bay Area 291 57.97%
Boston 92 18.33%
Philadelphia 98 19.52%
Confused 21 4.18%
Voters: 502. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-15-2015, 12:01 PM
 
Location: The mountain of Airy
5,229 posts, read 5,165,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonelitist View Post
SF performs better across all ends of the retail spectrum. It is a vastly superior retail city even more well known for its independents (likewise its notable independent and distinct neighborhoods) than its big city DT shopping.
So what you're saying is that SF has the best high-end and low-end shopping, and everything in the middle. It has the richest and some of the poorest residents. It's fully gentrified, but down-to-earth with plenty of working class and lower class residents. Rent is out of control expensive, but completely stable and reachable by the middle/lower class. It's compact, but amazingly large. It's nice and cool in the summers, but has a great beach scene. It's like the best color green, but also amazingly red at the same time.

Extraordinary!
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
31,750 posts, read 54,094,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
So what you're saying is that SF has the best high-end and low-end shopping, and everything in the middle. It has the richest and some of the poorest residents. It's fully gentrified, but down-to-earth with plenty of working class and lower class residents. Rent is out of control expensive, but completely stable and reachable by the middle/lower class. It's compact, but amazingly large. It's nice and cool in the summers, but has a great beach scene. It's like the best color green, but also amazingly red at the same time.

Extraordinary!
Blah Blah Blah.

Like I said:

As far as DOWNTOWN shopping in
the US is concerned, SF is only surpassed
by NYC and only rivaled by Chicago.

Unless you can prove otherwise.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,337 posts, read 7,356,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonelitist View Post
SF performs better across all ends of the retail spectrum. It is a vastly superior retail city even more well known for its independents (likewise its notable independent and distinct neighborhoods) than its big city DT shopping.
I think all three of these cities actually perform well on the small-business/independent front. San Francisco admittedly tops both Boston and Philly, but, according to this 2011 AmEx study of the strength of independent retail and food/drink establishments, they're all in the Top 5 among large American cities:

"Hotbeds of vibrant independent businesses are New York, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia -- these five cities consistently ranked high in both retail and eating and drinking categories"

New Study Shows Thriving Small Businesses Lift Real Estate Values
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Boston
1,851 posts, read 1,864,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
Like I said:

[b]As far as DOWNTOWN shopping in
the US is concerned, SF is only surpassed
by NYC and only rivaled by Chicago.
Bill Gates also has more money than Michael Bloomberg. Does this mean that Bloomberg isn't fabulously wealthy?

I don't care if San Fransisco has x boutiques and y department stores more than Boston. That doesn't change the fact that Boston is a great city for shopping, and only getting better.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:52 PM
rah
 
Location: Oakland
3,315 posts, read 8,010,477 times
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Does it really matter? They're all good shopping cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonelitist View Post
Also, Philly's in a state where if a Gap or Starbucks wanted to open up somewhere, it would be encouraged as the city tries to gentrify and remove blight. SF is in a position to literally ban them (and does) in most of the city because there is a chance that a boutique clothing and boutique coffee shop could go there instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonelitist View Post
And I think having literally a law against chains and a very noticeable lack of chains throughout the city yet still fielding one of the highest concentrations/square footages of retail is a telling sign that SF dominates these two cities in this regard. There's so much retail you'll find a grandfathered Diesel or G-Star or Jack Spade somewhere next to 5 equivalent competing boutiques, in various random neighborhoods throughout most of the entire city.

Also, there were protests when Jack Spade and Steven Alan opened "boutiques" in Hayes Valley and the Mission. They had just under 14 locations at that point and so bypassed the formula retail ban, however, the people of SF literally protested against their openings because they felt "chains" were invading the neighborhoods (and formula retail was then revised to say anything with >11 locations internationally is considered a chain).
You're exaggerating how anti-chain store SF is. SF is filled to the brim with chain stores, just like any other city. The main commercial strip near me (Taraval street) has the following chain stores on it: a 7-11, two Walgreens, an O'Reilly Auto Parts, a Safeway, Quickly, various bank branches, a KFC/Taco Bell, a 76 gas station, and a Shell gas station.

The upside is that SF is also filled to the brim with independent stores. But so are Boston and Philadelphia. Thankfully none of them are like the chain-store dominated, car-dependent cities you'll see in a lot of America (or in SF/Boston/Philly's respective suburbs), but they do have plenty of chain stores.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anonelitist View Post
Also, SF has rent control and is filled with both middle and lower class populations, and immigrants. Despite the insane costs for people moving there now.

Also, SF is fully "gentrified" in that every neighborhood has shopping, arts, nightlife, etc. Not every neighborhood is 100% exclusively rich techies/trust fund babies.
This is true about SF being filled with rent controlled units (60% of housing in SF is rent controlled), not to mention there's tons of public housing and cheap-ish SROs, all of which allow the city to still have tons of poor and middle class people (outsiders tend to look at market rate housing prices and then assume everyone here is wealthy). Hell, SF has 100,000 people living below the federal poverty line, and another 100,000 just above it...That's plenty of poor people, and there are hundreds of thousands more who are middle class (but despite this you'll see misinformed people constantly complaining that SF has no middle class). For the record though, I don't think that "gentrified" means what you think it means. SF is definitely not "fully" gentrified...it might be one of the most heavily gentrified cities in the US at this point, but not all of it is.

Last edited by rah; 01-15-2015 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:11 PM
 
Location: The mountain of Airy
5,229 posts, read 5,165,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
Blah Blah Blah.
Well said. Your eloquence is unmistakable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
Like I said:

As far as DOWNTOWN shopping in
the US is concerned, SF is only surpassed
by NYC and only rivaled by Chicago.

Unless you can prove otherwise.
The post you quoted was not a disagreement by me that SF has better downtown shopping overall than the other two cities.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:14 PM
 
Location: The mountain of Airy
5,229 posts, read 5,165,013 times
Reputation: 3484
Quote:
Originally Posted by rah View Post
Does it really matter? They're all good shopping cities.





You're exaggerating how anti-chain store SF is. SF is filled to the brim with chain stores, just like any other city. The main commercial strip near me (Taraval street) has the following chain stores on it: a 7-11, two Walgreens, an O'Reilly Auto Parts, a Safeway, Quickly, various bank branches, a KFC/Taco Bell, a 76 gas station, and a Shell gas station.

The upside is that SF is also filled to the brim with independent stores. But so are Boston and Philadelphia. Thankfully none of them are like the chain-store dominated, car-dependent cities you'll see in a lot of America (or in SF/Boston/Philly's respective suburbs), but they do have plenty of chain stores.




This is true about SF being filled with rent controlled units (60% of housing in SF is rent controlled), not to mention there's tons of public housing and cheap-ish SROs, all of which allow the city to still have tons of poor and middle class people (outsiders tend to look at market rate housing prices and then assume everyone here is wealthy). Hell, SF has 100,000 people living below the federal poverty line, and another 100,000 just above it...That's plenty of poor people, and there are hundreds of thousands more who are middle class (but despite this you'll see misinformed people constantly complaining that SF has no middle class). For the record though, I don't think that "gentrified" means what you think it means. SF is definitely not "fully" gentrified...it might be one of the most heavily gentrified cities in the US at this point, but not all of it is.
Good post. This makes a lot of sense.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
8,702 posts, read 11,641,547 times
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I think it's pretty reasonable to say that when it comes to Chain and National/International brand retail scene it goes:

SF
Boston
Philly

But when it comes to independent boutique and retail scene, I would see that three are definitely more equal and I wouldn't really put one on top of the other. There are entire strips in Philadelphia (Fabric Row, East Passyunk Ave, Main Street Manayunk, Germantown Ave, etc.) which are almost entirely independent boutiques and restaurants completely devoid of national chains.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Denver
6,628 posts, read 12,316,106 times
Reputation: 4053
Ugh, why did you guys have to joke about SF? Now this thread is going to get run into the ground for next 10+ pages.
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Old 01-15-2015, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
8,702 posts, read 11,641,547 times
Reputation: 3550
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmac9wr View Post
Ugh, why did you guys have to joke about SF? Now this thread is going to get run into the ground for next 10+ pages.
Yep. Here come a bunch of posts on the number of East Asian Millionares and percentage of exotic car drivers in San Franciso.
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