When I started procrastinating about an hour ago, Facebook group Secret San Francisco was at 42,654 members. Now, it's at 43,736 members. A mere 10 days ago, it was just a glint in Jamie Quint's eye.
The 24-year-old entrepreneur started this group based on the model of Secret London, which went from zero to 180,000 members in under 20 days. The group is an open forum for people to spill San Francisco's best kept secrets, from restaurants and bars, to events, shows, and random cool things to do.
Discussion boards contain threads on topics like Best Sandwich, Best Brunch (for foodies not alchies), and Best Outdoor Workout…to burn off all those carbs and eggs benedicts. There is even a brief diatribe that ensues when an out-of-towner catastrophically requests some good tips on where to go when she visits "Frisco" this summer. Eeek. Poor thing won't be uttering that jaunty little nickname for a long time.
There is a lot of noise on the Wall, but search and you are bound to happen upon a hidden gem or two, and get inspired to plan an excursion the next time you have a free weekend.
Now, I know we all love the Internet and everything, but still…it is remarkable how popular this group has become in such a short time. Is it because we all love a juicy secret? Is it because we're bored? Or because Yelp reviews are too hiply cryptic to understand sometimes?
In a time and place where Twitter-roving street food carts are the new speakeasies, slinging Kung Fu Tacos and Sexy Soup to the masses willing to seek them out, "underground" is the new black, and "secret" is the new twenty.
SF Underground Farmers Market, 01.28.10
Just ask any one of the hundreds of kombucha-thirsty flavor-ravers who turned out for the Underground Farmers Market last month.
Mission Street Food, 01.28.10
Or walk by Lung Shan on a Thursday or Saturday night, when an unassuming Chinese restaurant turns into the packed, twinkle-lit, pop-up restaurant, Mission Street Food.
Perhaps we gravitate to these projects because they exude a sense of authenticity, of being "in the know", and part of something special and communal. Or, it could simply be...some things are just too good to keep to ourselves.
Flavor-ravers, SF Underground Farmers Market
Secret San Francisco Facebook Group
If you're interested in receiving a weekly digest of the best posts on Secret SF in your email, you can sign up here.