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Old 02-03-2013, 06:31 AM
 
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When people sometimes refer to SF as small they are referring to two things. One is geography to an extant but even more so is that people tend to associate "big city" with a cut-off of 1 million people regardless of geographic factors.

So when people find out SF has less than that, their idea of it's name recognition compared to it's actual size doesn't match-up.

Also as opposed to other main cities in a metro region, the other regional cities have their own dominant identity outside of sf. Oakland is thought of as very much it's own city as is san jose. So there's less SF= the bay area, than a boston=greater boston area or chicago=chicagoland etc. Someone from greater boston will usually refer to themselves as from boston when in other parts of the country, same for people in the chicagoland area saying they are from chicago.

I don't believe people in Oakland or SJ would ever refer to themselves as being from sf?
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhundred View Post
I don't believe people in Oakland or SJ would ever refer to themselves as being from sf?
To me Oakland and SJ are to well known so people can say where they are from and people know where that's at.

When I worked in Pasadena and lived in San Dimas and people would ask, I'd just say LA. I said "San Dimas" once and got the "where's that?" question back. And LA works to answer that question.

Being in Fresno it's fun to say that SF's not that "big" a city if San Franciscan's are getting to rambunctious about their city.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mhundred View Post
I don't believe people in Oakland or SJ would ever refer to themselves as being from sf?
The only time I've said I'm from sf is in Europe. I think it's fair to say Europeans are more likely to know San Francisco than Oakland
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:52 PM
rah
 
Location: Oakland
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Yeah I think outside the United States/North America, the Bay Area is more likely to be thought of as just "San Francisco", and the other cities like Oakland and SJ are more likely to be unknown.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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I find SF to be "small" in the sense of social circles. I always run into people I know from various stages in life whenever I am out in SF. Whether it is people from college, former co-workers, people I met at a conference, or somewhere else. I always run into the same people. It is very odd.

I even met an elementary school classmate once.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:33 PM
 
Location: brooklyn, ny
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Default SF is small

Lets be honest. SF is a small city. People that live in San Francisco have a big city mentality on the other hand. When people in SF regularly compare their city to Tokyo, NYC, London or Chicago it speaks to something else on the other hand. SF is like a teenage girl that is wearing makeup, she's just trying to hard to seem sexy.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I find SF to be "small" in the sense of social circles. I always run into people I know from various stages in life whenever I am out in SF. Whether it is people from college, former co-workers, people I met at a conference, or somewhere else. I always run into the same people. It is very odd.

I even met an elementary school classmate once.
I feel that way about my line of work in the state of CA.

I have often called another company and run into someone I knew in LA, that is now in SF or Sacto, or even Visalia or elsewhere.

My unit manager in Pasadena got promoted to branch manager in Bakersfield, then to a bigger, better office in Oakland. And you bet your sweet bippy if I needed a job I'd call her quick as can be.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:26 PM
rah
 
Location: Oakland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmac6270 View Post
Lets be honest. SF is a small city. People that live in San Francisco have a big city mentality on the other hand. When people in SF regularly compare their city to Tokyo, NYC, London or Chicago it speaks to something else on the other hand. SF is like a teenage girl that is wearing makeup, she's just trying to hard to seem sexy.
SF is a big city. London, Chicago, and especially NYC and Tokyo are gigantic cities.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Liminal Space
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyMac18 View Post
But, in reality, anyone arguing that SF is a "small" city really hasn't traveled much.
I would argue the opposite: anyone who thinks SF is a "huge" city hasn't traveled much. In terms of density, SF is pretty average by any non-US standard. In terms of actual land area, it is small for a major city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 04kL4nD View Post
It IS a small city, but an incredibly densely populated one.
Case in point. SF is not "incredibly" densely populated. It is only ~16,000/square mile, less than a quarter of Manhattan at 66k/sm. It is pretty easy to find 49 sm areas of LA, any OUTER borough of NYC except Staten, and any major city in Europe or Asia that have higher population density.

The USA, Canada and Australia are the only major countries in the world where SF's level of density would be considered exceptional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhegisRilbin View Post
Paris is 34 sqm (easily walkable end-to-end like SF) and it's not generally considered a small city. Density, vibrancy, sphere of influence, and cultural/economic output carry a lot more weight than land area.
Interestingly, Paris has 2.2m people, almost three times as many as SF, in about 70% the land area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcimos View Post
Manhatten is 23 square miles, therefore by some "logic" found here, new york city was a small city in 1894 when its population was 1,400,000 and was only Manhatten.
We have to think in historical context here. In 1894, 23 sm was a normal size for a major city in the US. In 2013, 49 sm is extremely geographically small for the central city of a large metropolitan area. Most major cities have gobbled up massive amounts of their surrounding land. New York was the first. When it annexed the 4 boroughs in the 1890s, it was pretty much annexing its entire metro area at the time (just leaving out parts of New Jersey that weren't possible to annex). This included a lot of undeveloped farmland and small towns in what is now Brooklyn and Queens. Most other big cities in the US have followed this model, except SF. That's what makes it a unique, and yes, small, city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyMac18 View Post
Agreed, it is small geographically, but so are a lot of older cities. But, I also think sometimes people mean it's small, as in it "feels small" at times (I've personally heard this a few times in person). Fact is, ~800,000 people in 49 square miles = a pretty dense and big city. Boston, another city most would agree is a big, has 625,000 people in 48 square miles.
Boston is referred to as "the biggest small town in America," and is sometimes thought of as the East Coast twin of SF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by destroycreate View Post
When will people get it through their head that SF is a huge metropolis of 7,000,0000 in the greater area? Our city limits are tiny, yes, 7 x 7 square miles, but other cities have giant boundaries making them appear more populated. SF is like a NY part 2. Kind of annoying, anyone else feel the same way? The Bay Area = SF.
The Bay Area does not = SF. The Bay Area has three focal point cities, which is what makes it a unique region in the US and the world.

SF is not only geographically small, it is small in population compared to the size of it's metro area. Consider that it has only 800k of the 7m people in the Bay Area, whereas New York is home to almost half the 17m people in its metro area.

The fact that SF can economically and culturally dominate such a large area, relative to its size and population, should be something that San Franciscans are proud of rather than defensive about.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:34 PM
 
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Tiny in area sure but everone in the country knows SF is a very large city in population. I dont know anyone would thinks SF is a tiny city other then area
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