A British expat shares what she’s learned after living in San Francisco six months

Writer and editor Olivia Solon describes nicknames for the city – “San Fran” is universally despised, while “Frisco” is controversial – notes that she’s had to start using checks again, and coffee is taken very, very seriously.

6. All bars have TVs

It doesn’t matter whether you are in a sports bar (where it makes sense), a hipster dive bar or a swanky cocktail bar, they all have one thing in common: television screens in every corner. Not even Top of the Mark, a high-end martini bar on the 19th floor of the Mark Hopkins hotel known for its “spectacular breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline, Bay and Golden Gate Bridge” escapes the telly box’s vice-like grip.

These screens act like conversational black holes, overwhelming all other chat forces until the only thing you can talk about is the One Second Slicer informercial. “Why yes, I am tired of slicing and dicing by hand and bulky slicers that clutter my countertop.”

Regarding nicknames: Around 1989-90, when I started covering tech, “Baghdad by the Bay” was a nickname for San Francisco. That fell out of favor for obvious reasons.

When I’m in the Bay Area, I’ll occasionally visit a fancy-schmancy boutique coffee place, but I’m partial to Starbucks and Peets. I just want a cuppa joe.

TVs in public places are horrible.

8 things I’ve learned since moving to San Francisco [Olivia Solon – Medium]