San Francisco: a city that has been the topic of much discussion in recent years. Its beauty, vibrant culture, and iconic landmarks have always been a draw for tourists from all over the world.
Yet, recent news and anecdotes paint a picture of a city in decline, plagued by homelessness, dirty streets, and a general feeling of malaise.
In March, one tourist visited San Francisco and shared his experiences in an online post. He was shocked by what he saw.
Expectations vs. Reality
“I just got back from San Francisco last week. I was SHOCKED at what I saw,” the tourist began their online writeup. Based on what they had heard about San Francisco’s current state, they expected to encounter streets filled with homelessness, unsightly scenes, and a sense of unease. Instead, they were met with a city that still shone with its quintessential charm.
“After hearing non-stop about all the homeless people, the piles of poop, the general malaise of a once beautiful city…I saw NONE of that,” they continued. They further added that while they did not extensively visit the Tenderloin area, they still drove past significant landmarks such as the beautiful City Hall and witnessed no distressing scenes.
The Beauty Remains
San Francisco, for this traveler, was still a place filled with bustling activity, tourists exploring the city, and locals going about their day. They drove around extensively and also explored on foot, yet the negative portrayals that have been frequently highlighted in the media were nowhere to be seen.
They noted, “It was my first time back since Dec. 2019.” Yet, the city seemed as lively and beautiful as they remembered.
A Few Changes Noticed
The one noticeable change was the increase in vacancies in some of the commercial strips. However, for the tourist, this was the worst of their observations. While they acknowledge there might be issues in parts of the city they didn’t see, their experience suggests these problems are not as widespread as many believe.
Safety First, As Always
Despite the positive experience, the tourist did not dismiss the concerns completely. While they felt extremely safe during their visit, they acknowledged that, like in any big city, it’s essential to remain aware and take standard precautions.
“And I felt extremely safe there and always have. Yes, I was in a group but there was no one wandering around that looked like they were threatening any of the other people walking around by themselves,” they shared.
This personal account reminds us that sometimes, the narratives we hear are not always representative of the broader reality. While San Francisco, like many urban areas, undoubtedly faces challenges, it’s essential to remember that the beauty, culture, and spirit of the city remain intact.
That has been our experience here at the Bay Area Telegraph, too. We shared how the Doom Loop narrative is overplayed, and how–despite fiscal challenges–BART is a safe and effective transit system.
The overall conclusion? If you’re considering visiting San Francisco but are scared by the way it’s portrayed in mainstream media, don’t be. Like this tourist, you can come to SF and have an amazing time.