‘The city isn’t like it used to be’, long-time residents say about San Francisco, neck and neck with New York for America’s highest cost of living, as newly arrived coders and designers share stories about the stratospheric price of a place to sleep or a loaf of sourdough bread. But this is exactly what San Francisco has always been – an open mined and open-hearted city that changes with every generation of newcomers.
San Francisco is perhaps America’s greatest hotbed of invention. The birthplace of the blue jean, television and the Twitter hashtag, the Beats and the Hippies, the United Nations and the Pride Parade, San Francisco has been shaped by waves of discovery and change, both in its geography and its residents. Yet the essential San Francisco remains the same place the Spanish missionaries founded back in 1776, a jewel of a city constrained and protected by its peninsula.
In 1867, San Francisco instituted America’s first ‘ugly law’, which prohibited unsightly people from showing their faces in public. (It’s since been repealed.)
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