Tuesday, August 11, 2009

#16 The San Francisco “Summer”

The weather, unlike Macy’s or United Airlines, lacks a customer service center, which means two things: first, the weather simply does not give a damn, not even in that half-ass, patently selfish corporate way we’re used to, and second, there’s no sensible place or target for unleashing outrage at the oppression we suffer. Our only coping mechanism is to “vent”, which means re-directing our bitter, recriminating energies towards the people who love us, which works as follows:

“Hey friend, what’s up?”

“This weather, I hate it!”

“I hate you!”

“Die, mother f*cker!”

The climate in San Francisco is “Mediterranean” or “uncomfortable year-round”, a meteorological quirk that results in a host of social externalities, including one already articulated here, but none really make you feel homicidally disgruntled until late May, when the cold and blustery winds that characterize the city’s weather patterns are supplemented by a low-lying, bone-chilling Londonesque fog (circa 1870s), a gloom so damp and hypothermic you are bound by obligation to your insurance carrier to wear a parka when venturing outdoors, and do so knowing full well that in cities across America, bush-league cities like Milwaukee, Boise, Buffalo and Nashua, New Hampshire, citizens just like you except not as smart or well-paid are cavorting about in flip flops, barbecuing on decks, licking ice cream cones and making out at the local Frosty Freeze and thinking on this destroys any lingering, underdoggy hope you have for a just world. Some statistics:

-Among largish U.S. cities, San Francisco has, by a long shot, the coldest daily mean, maximum and minimum temperatures for June, July and August,

-The average high in San Francisco in July is 66 degrees,

-The average high in Fairbanks, Alaska in July is 72 degrees,

-The the average wind speed in San Francisco in July is 14 MPH; and

-The average wind speed in Chicago, the windy city, in July is 8 MPH (Chicago’s coldest July on record averaged 77 degrees).

In this regard, a summer in San Francisco is like a date with Pamela Anderson: the idea of it seems, despite all reason, precedent and widely circulated rumor, tremendously alluring, but the actual experience is so astoundingly awful, all cuss-words and effed-up mind games, that you wake up in the morning wanting to f*cking kill yourself.

We kid. Actually, the research demonstrates that it is hot and humid weather not soul-crushing, Frigidaire-sponsored San Francisco type weather that is correlated with people being shot in the face and other such brutally violent acts. No, the real vice of the San Francisco summer is what doesn’t happen:

-Girls wearing dresses, skirts, halter-tops, short shorts

-Outdoor/patio/rooftop social venues

-Pretty skin

-Pool parties

-Breast augmentation

-Skinny dipping at Midnight

-Skinny dipping at Noon

-Skinny dipping at other times

Apologists go around talking up San Francisco’s famous Indian summer, which consists of 9 warmish days in early October (jeans, a light wind breaker and you’ll be fine!). This is a pathetically meagre trade-off. This is laughable. This is the French negotiation of the Louisiana Purchase. This is the Falcons giving Brett Favre to the Packers for three towels and a case of PBR.

We don’t really think about it but the things that make summer delightful 1) are the very reason we suffer through our horrible jobs and all the stressful, inclement crap going down from school’s start on through the holidays, the tax season, and the NHL playoffs and 2) can basically be boiled down to opportunities to hang out with physically appealing people.

If such things are missing, how exacerbated are the travails of the human condition? What meaning is there in such a cold, Sisyphean world? What incentive to tighten up those abs, diet or believe in God? The summer is a symbolic amnesty, an escape from corporate abuse and a limited time reprieve from Sartrean nausea. It’s a chance to get off the snide. It’s a last chance for 40 year old virgins. Broken fire-hydrants, wet t-shirts and back-seat gropefests. We don’t just like it, we FaceBook like it. But make the tragic error of moving to San Francisco and it’s all gone in an instant. As they say, it’s not the cold, it’s the conditioned mentality. It’s like volunteering for early on-set senescence, where the memories of the good life remain but you’re long past actually experiencing it.


  1. So true! Even more shocking is the change in weather...there will be a few hours during the day when it's somewhat warm(ish), but then as soon as the sun begins to set you better sprint home and hide beneath the blankets!

    This is my analysis of SF's Weird Weather: http://tinyurl.com/rxwj4b

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  2. Beer - The cause of and solution to all life's problems.

  3. What a baby. It's cold outside, really, it's cold outside? Atleast when it's cold, you can put on something to warm you up. Try living down here in texas where we don't have a winter at all, and where our summer actually causes people to faint and die. Then you'll have something to whine about.

    But really, none of us should be whining about the weather, we live in a modern society that has buildings with ac, fans, electricity, etc... Think of the people in 3rd world countries that have to put up with horrible weather and don't have the option of getting out of it before you start complaining.

  4. Your summers may be chilly, but I'd take your average low of 46 in January over our 13.

  5. Yeah it gets chilly in SF, I wore sweaters pretty much year round, but loved the mild winters. Now I live in Oakland, best of both worlds, mild summers and winters, but we get a lot more sunshine over here.

  6. ...and you have to live in Oakland. No thanks.

    Also, while I certainly agree that comfort-wise, Texas heat may be so much worse that having to wear warm clothes year-round, but I have to ask: have you seen your girls' summer outfits vs. our girls' summer outfits? I'm pretty sure the point of this article has much more to do with the utter lack of exposed skin here than anything else.

  7. I would rather be in San Francisco for the summer than anywhere in the South, Mid-Alantic Seaboard, or the Mid-West. Any day. San Francisco has perfect weather compared to those places. You want hot summer weather? Go live in Houston! You can get the hot weather that you want and you can live for a fraction of the price!

  8. Though the type of weather in SF has an effect on the type of wardrobes the ladies wear, it doesn't stop the fact that all the foxes come out in full force when it does get hot.

    Women in SF at any chance will eagerly whip out their summer dress, short skirts and high heels during the day. It's just unfortunate they scatter once the fog moves back in.

  9. You are an excellent funny writer... but.. Are you even from San Francisco? Late August through Early November is awesome.

    Have you heard of warm days in Delores Park? Loading with scantily clad babes.

    Have you ever walked the financial district SF at lunchtime? Well-dressed beauties everywhere!

    I guess I am kind of amazed at the theme of this blog?!? Are you a shut-in perhaps?

  10. I wore my winter parka in July.

    But on the other hand, while we may only get nine days of summer, if one values quality over quantity, you must admit that a warm sunny day in San Francisco, however infrequent, is probably the most amazing summer day you will ever experience. High 70's with an ever slight breeze, practically no humidity, and believe it or not, clear blue skies.

  11. Bwahaha! Did someone say move to Oakland? and Dolores Park? Suuuure... if you're into THAT type of girl (hippie chicks/plaid shirts+converse sneaks.. which by the way are SO not cute):p

    Has anyone here ever been to LA? or SD?

  12. Thank you for perfectly capturing how I have been feeling for the last two months! It's my first summer in SF (after 8 years in NYC) and man do I miss that "hey-it's-really-hot-fucking-hot-out-so-let's-go-crazy" magic. Those hot humid nights feel like school's out and anything can happen.

  13. okay i just blasted through all your posts and you're seriously cracking me up. somebody commented that you should be out trying to meet girls instead of sitting at home calculating percentages of success if you were to go out and actually try to meet girls. but then we wouldn't have these brilliant posts.
    i suggest a compromise. or rather, a debate. maybe at a bar. bring your readers together. engage them in passion, see what happens.

  14. I've lived in the lower haight for over two years now. Mid-Atlantic for 25 years prior, I do not miss the winters. Every now and then I miss the summers; the stickiness invites so many awesome side effects it's ridiculous.

  15. What a whiner! Try living in east coast in brutal winters and hot summers (over 100 degrees)and see what you think....by the way, if you like L.A kind of fake girls with no personality, why are you here? Why don't you move there?

    If you don't like something change it, if you can't change it stop complaining!!

  16. Great reading. To anonymous above: I don't think the writer is really writing about himself, or if he is, it's a small part of the blog. He's making wry social observations and backing them up with stats. This blog isn't about him or his misfortunes, it's about life as a guy in SF.

  17. God I want summer so badly. This post made my heart cry.

  18. Anonymous said...

    Bwahaha! Did someone say move to Oakland? and Dolores Park? Suuuure... if you're into THAT type of girl (hippie chicks/plaid shirts+converse sneaks.. which by the way are SO not cute):p

    Has anyone here ever been to LA? or SD?

    Way to judge a girl by her footwear. Good luck meeting anyone. I mean really, I'm wearing Converse sneaks right now; you can already tell I'm not cute? If it was yesterday when I was wearing heels, would I have been cute then? Or do I have to get breast implants, bleach my hair, spend my free time at the tanning salon and wear next to nothing to be attractive?
    You are DEFINITELY in the wrong city.

  19. FYI - Chicago is called the windy city because of the hot-air politics, NOT the weather. Post.

  20. "Has anyone here ever been to LA? or SD?"

    Yeah, the girls are trash there. Waste-chicks/prostitutes with so much make-up on you can't see them.

  21. Rogue and Dr. Pok - way to judge girls who take care of themselves, and put some EFFORT into their appearance! Seriously, take a look at girls in the bay area. Yes, some are beautiful. But there are many girls in SF(in comparison to LA and SD) who put ZERO effort into their appearance. Is that such a bad thing? It shows that you take some pride in yourself, and how you present yourself to the world.

    And I wouldn't make the generalization that the entire city of LA or SD are prostitutes, just as I don't make the generalization that EVERY girl in SF is fugly.

    I think the people that get really upset about the truth are the people who are ugly, and unsuccessful in attracting other people. People who are generally successful in that area find this blog humorous, and see the truths in it :)

  22. Why not SD or LA? Because those women will be hotties for a few years, but vapid, moron pains-in-the-ass trying to plastic surgery themselves back to 25 forever. That's why.

  23. Weather in South Bay is gorgeous, but then again, there are way more girls in SF city. So any patch of bare attractive female skin has the shadows of hordes of single men crowding around for a peek...