Jeff Sucharme has a long list of reasons to be happy that he lived in the Bay Area this year.
"The Giants victory was the best. But lets not forget our service men and women. Fleet week was off the chain this year!" San Francisco resident Sucharme wrote in a comment on NPR's Facebook page. "Amazing weather, America's Cup, Blue Angels airshow, Niners record-setting game, Hardly Strictly, Castro street fair, and Pier 3 fireworks on the bay. All in one weekend!"
Fellow San Francisco resident Jamie Dowd, meanwhile, was a little more succinct.
"Every day that happened was the best. San Frantastic!" he commented.This week, as part of our year-end wrap-up, we asked our followers on social media to name the best thing that happened in the Bay Area in 2012. We also asked them to tell us the No. 1 reason for living in the region this year.
We received around 150 responses, including some that cited simple pleasures. "I ate a really good burrito a few weeks ago," commented Don Reynolds. Others named personal victories. Randy Nola wrote: "I moved here; BTW Bay you're welcome." Still others described events in their local communities. "When San Jose Public Library got the funds to open four new branches!" Amanda Dos Santos wrote. And Steven Kyle Weller said the best thing to happen to the Bay Area was "the new Target at 4th and Mission."
A few events were cited repeatedly. Here are the five that were listed most often or named in comments that received the most Likes on Facebook. Come back to News Fix tomorrow for more about other ways the Bay Area was no. 1 this year.
1. The Giants Won the World Series
In 2005, Sergio Romo was an unheralded 28th-round pick by the Giants. In 2012 he closed out the season as both an athletic and pop-culture hero, striking out arguably the game's best hitter - Miguel Cabrera - in extra innings to complete a World Series sweep of the Tigers. For many locals, the Giants' World Series win was the biggest Bay Area event of the year. In fact, Bjorn Stromsness of Fremont commented that the biggest things to happen in the Bay Area this year were "1. Giants, 2. Me getting married."
2. The A's Made a Thrilling Run to the Playoffs
The Giants weren't the only Bay Area baseball team to generate excitement. Sue Haas wrote on Facebook that her favorite local experience of 2012 was "following the Oakland A's incredible baseball season!" The A's had the lowest payroll in baseball and at the end of June they were 13 games out of first place. But when the season ended, the A's were the AL West champs. It was the team's first division crown since 2006.
3. The Big Bay Weekend Packed San Francisco with Entertainment
The weekend of Oct. 5 was kind of like an entertainment convention for the Bay Area. Over just two days local residents had the opportunity to experience what seemed like the entire range of entertainment available in the Bay Area. Sports fans could cheer at two Giants games, a San Francisco 49ers game and the America's Cup races. Music fans could check out the long lineup of talented artists at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. Families could enjoy the roar of the air shows in the culmination of Fleet Week. Outdoor partiers could head to the Castro Street Fair. And those interested in the region's diversity could watch the Italian Heritage parade. "I love living in San Francisco," Sucharme wrote in summing up the weekend.
4. The Golden Gate Bridge Celebrated its 75th Anniversary in Style
Thousands attended a blowout in San Francisco the weekend of May 26 to celebrate the 75th birthday of the Bay Area's best-known landmark. The party included music, dancing and an arts exhibition, as well as classic car and boat displays. It closed with a jaw-dropping rock-and-roll fireworks display from the bridge that reportedly included three tons of explosives (watch the video below).
5. Local Transportation got a Little Better
Hillary Stangel is a big fan of public transportation in the Bay Area. "After living in Los Angeles, Caltrain and BART are dreams come true," she wrote on Facebook. And BART riders had a little something extra to be happy about this year, as the train service began introducing new vinyl-covered seats. The new seats were a relief to BART riders tired of stained fabric cushions. In fact, one of the most-liked Facebook comments about 2012's highlights was a comment by San Francisco Jorge MackIntire calling the new seats the best Bay Area happening of the year.