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Tips for Looking Like the Bay Area Natives that I Adore

Updated: Aug 06, 2011 15:55
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When I lived in San Francisco, I simply didn’t appreciate the local dating pool.  You see, SF guys generally fall into one of two categories: Peter Pan Syndrome-sufferer/ borderline alcoholic, or douchey nerd-turned-frat-boy-turned-corporate-hack/ borderline alcoholic.  The thing is, now that I live in the pretentious, chambray-and-khaki wasteland that is NYC, I curiously find myself going gaga for any man in mismatched free box clothes and a Giants baseball cap (obvi, the former of the aforementioned categories).  You always want what you can’t have– and right now I want a big man-baby with questionable hygiene, little ambition to get a well-paying job, and a chilled out attitude.  While I appreciate any dude that can transport me to Never Never Land, I have a special place in my heart for those San Francisco natives who grew up with two moms and a names like “Orion” or “Canada.”  Even if they happen to come from money, they somehow “get” broke-ass culture, a.k.a. they “get” me.  Based on the ones I know I and love, here’s how to pass for a beautiful SF native, even if you aren’t one:

1) Drink.  A lot.
There’s no accessory more vital to your SF native look than a constant state of semi-drunkenness.  Many guys in SF have “alternative” careers like bike mechanic, online poker player, or eternal Bachelor’s degree candidate, meaning that they don’t go to an office and have lots of free time be wasted Lives of the Party. And who doesn’t love a good L.O.T.P.?  This lady definitely does.

2) Be a “closet intellectual.”
My friend once tried to convince me to date a rough-looking, alcoholic bike messenger by describing as follows: “CJ is a San Francisco Legend!  He’s a musician, and a closet intellectual.”  Wow, what a Renaissance man!  SF is teeming with “fuck-ups”/secret Benjamin Franklins– which I actually think is great because I despise nothing more than status anxiety.

3) Roll around on some sort of motorless contraption.
Most SF natives were raised by hippies, meaning that they appreciate the environment and alternate modes of transport.  Bikes are hip, and ladies love to sit on the handlebars (in the movies, that is).  Skateboards say, “I might be pushing 40, but I don’t act a day over 15,” which is crucial for any man with Peter Pan Syndrome.

4) Rock some tie-dye.
Like Baby George Washington, I cannot tell a lie– I secretly love a man in tie dye.  Maybe it’s the DIY aesthetic, or the fact that it evokes an air of “I like to go camping and get stoned and I always forget where I put my keys” (which, perhaps sadly, is the epitome of adorable for me).  One tip, though– leave the hippie headbands at home because they say “Woodstock-wannabe-asshole” and are seriously Not Cute.

5) Rep da Bay.
SF natives have major location pride and like to rep the Bay with ironic 90s sports gear. Try a too-big Giants hat, a 49ers puffer jacket, or a Warriors jersey.  It should be ill-fitting and clash with the rest of your outfit– you gotta look exactly like you did in 1995 when your dad would take you to sports games and dress junior-you up in his shit.  Time waits for every man in SF, so don’t change a bit from boyhood to male pattern baldness.

6) Be a little ghetto, even if your parents are kajillionaires:
Every beautiful SF native I know loves the nastiest, most ghetto rap music.  Who can blame them with Oakland across the Bay, producing all those top-notch rappers?  Even if they grew up with silver spoons feeding macrobiotic Burmese food into their organic chapstick-rimmed mouths, SF natives do broke-ass things like drink PBR, live in walk-in closets for $150 a month, and really feel the jams of the downtrodden urban community.  They have soul and (pretend to) keep it real.

Like a cup of Blue Bottle coffee, the SF native is an artful blend.  They combine elements of  Hippie, Hip Hop, and Hipster culture (that’s a lot of “hip” for one compact city!) into a look that is distinctly “Bay Area,” and it makes my heart go pitter-patter.  Some might think I need therapy for wanting an impoverished space cadet who can pedal me around on his bike while rapping to me, but what can I say?  The heart wants what it wants, fools.  Holler at yer girl, SF boys in NYC!

Image via Alek Morawski, who is BayArea-born and Warsaw-raised.

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Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven is a natural-born storyteller from California, but she
lives in New York now. She likes dogs, nail art, and Mexican food,
but mostly she likes scoring sweet deals at thrift stores. She tends
to have a flair for the dramatic.


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  2. August 11, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    for the writeup. I definitely agree with what you are saying. I have
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  3. James
    September 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Damn hipster. You don’t know shit about SF natives. I’m glad you left. Can you tell the rest of your hipster friends that we want our city back? Thanks.