South Bay Shout Out

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I was at the "Portlandia" road show at Mezzanine in San Francisco recently, and Fred Armisen asked the crowd if San Jose was considered part of the Bay Area. Know what happened? People started booing. And not a stray boo, but lusty, hateful, screw San Jose boos. Fred was taken aback. Me, I was heated. Where was this coming from?

I think it's rooted in denial. The South Bay is coming up and San Franciscans don't want to cop to it. Now I'm not going to bore you with Chamber of Commerce stats about low crime, better weather, or that recent Atlantic article listing San Jose as the healthiest city in the nation. I'm not. But here's some things to think about.

The Niners are coming down in three years, the A's in four. Bet on it.

Food and restaurants, you guys got it locked. I watched that Anthony Bourdain show about San Francisco like everybody else, but the illest chef in the Bay isn't in San Francisco, he's in Los Gatos. He's David Kinch, and he's on the January cover of your San Francisco Magazine. And what's up with your ramen spots? South Bay is eating San Francisco's lunch in ramen. And this may sound like sacrilege, but here it is: Our taquerias are better. Yeah, I said it.

As a longtime South Bay resident, I'm used to sucking it up and accepting San Jose as a punch line -- Man Jose, Stab Jose, Lame Jose, the Big City with None of the Big City Perks, Fresno with a College Degree. But not any more. Things are changing.


So all you hipster dorks who dump on the 408. I'm talking to you. Yes, you, sitting in your wi-fi-enabled shuttle commuting from Hayes Valley to your Silicon Valley tech job. The same job that pays your bills, that allows you to listen to this program, ironically, on your Cupertino-invented laptop or iPod. You, who came to San Francisco from flyover states to escape your banal suburban existence. Stop hating on the South Bay. Pack that negative judgmental trash with you somewhere far away, like Portland. But if you want to show just how open-minded you are, take a trip down the 280, or take BART in three years. I'll show you around.

With a Perspective, this is Todd Inoue.

Todd Inoue lives, works and plays in the South Bay.