Ex-NY Post gossip columnist Chris Nolan writes in:

With all due respect to Ken, Jason, Nick and Elizabeth and all you other bloggin' fools:

Why I live in San Francisco, not NY or LA.

1)It's beautiful. Not pretty, beautiful. New York can be stunning. LA is pretty. But San Francisco is beautiful even when it rains.


2)Every day is a reminder that white people do NOT run the _entire_ world.

3)I don't have a British accent, the must-have accessory in New York or LA these days. Brits have replaced Southerners, particularly in NY, as the still-smoking heavy-drinking foul-mouthed objects of curiosity for the pseudo-lit set and its hangers-on. Ain't that right, Nicky?


4)Fucking and shopping are not competitive sports here, except for gay men.

5)No Beauty Nazis. Guys like Andy Rapapport that GQ, or is it Esquire, writer? who think SF is no good for girl watching, don't live here. Those aren't girls, Andy, they're preying mantis in $800 shoes.

6)It's cheaper. Real estate. Services. Things that make your life easier cost less. One of SF's better-known Drag Queens gives me the best haircut I've ever had.

7)No Media Culture. Parties are not filled with people who write or report or hold forth for a living sitting around talking and writing, reporting and holding forth for one another as practice for their paying gigs.(This is also why Calvin Trillin can have a leisurely lunch with daughter and grand-daughter at Zuni and only be recognized by one other fellow diner).

8)It gets cool enough so people wear clothes but not so cold they have to wear fur.

9)Less struggle. Last time I was in NYC, I had to make it uptown with a suitcase in the rain. No cabs. No umbrella. Rush hour on the train and three blocks in a cold downpour. No mas.

10)Unexpected treats: Last night when I swam my mile I got to look up at the full moon while I did the backstroke.

Chris Nolan

Dear Chris,

San Francisco-bashing: Like Shooting Fish in a BarrelTM

1) Eye of the beholder. Okay, San Francisco, generally: pretty. Ish. Sometimes.

Drunks, heroin addicts, poop in the streets: not so pretty.

2) You must be refering to that other mystical San Francisco Ken was talking about.

3) You've been away from NYC far, far too long. Brits are, like, soooo over. And Southerners? Hellooooo 1988!

And as Graydon Carter would say, there's nothing wrong with drinking, smoking and cussing.

4) We'll take competitive fucking and shopping over competitive self-righteousness anyday. Which is sillier: my supermodel girlfriend is hotter than your supermodel girlfriend, or my soy milk is more organic than your soy milk? Tomato, tomahto.

5) Don't hate us because we're beautiful.

6) The only reason why San Francisco is cheaper is because people are fleeing the city like a rats on a sinking ship. Fewer big spenders mean supply exceeds demand and prices fall. (It certainly wasn't cheaper before April of 2000.)

7) People in New York don't recognize Trillin because they're part of the media culture; they recognize Trillin because his picture's on the book jacket cover and people in New York actually read books instead of burning them. (We hear the Berkeley Library has been officially reduced to the Winnie-the-Pooh anthology, so as not to offend anyone anywhere.)

8) Fur: one woman's guilt complex; another woman's portable space heater.

9) I'm trying really hard to understand the appeal of a car town with no parking, crappy public transportation, and massive hills that make casual bicycling an extreme sport and it's just...not...happening. I mean, really. You have trolleys; how can you possibly expect to be taken seriously?

10) Unexpected treats: the noticeably absent crunch of crack pipes under your Manolos when you exit your building; being able to eat a thick juicy steak without horrified glares of disapproval and/or avocado; and being almost as far away from Berkeley as geographically possible.

We can only assume that the heroin dealers have proliferated to such an extent that all breathable air in the Marina is now laced with smack, as heavy narcotics are the obvious prerequisite for a top 10 list that favors San Francisco over New York. Maybe you should come back to New York and detox. (If we hear you talking about what a nice down-to-earth guy that Larry Ellison is, we're sending over a rescue squad; we don't care what you say.)

As for Ken Layne, we haven't done the "L.A. Sucks" issue yet, so I suppose it's a bit premature to talk about skies in lovely shades of slate from which birds periodically freefall, having choked to death on the pollution. But soon!

Best Regards,
Elizabeth Spiers