Pine Street at night

Yes, we now live in a city. This is a fact about which I seem to be constantly amazed.

Pine Street at night

Here’s a visualization that I think might help explain my state of wonderment more concretely. Each bar represents a zip code I’ve lived in from birth to the present (L to R). The height of the bar represents the population density of that zip code. Yeah.

Zip Code Density chart
Data source: the excellent City Ranks, which plots population density data (from the 2000 US Census) by zip code on a Google Maps interface.

Here’s the raw data:

City, State Zip Code Density (P/mi2)
Hyde Park, NY 12538 508
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 1,207
Austin, TX 78758 4,958
Austin, TX 78727 2,826
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 297
Carrboro, NC 27510 3,551
Santa Rosa, CA 95401 1,648
San Francisco, CA 94109 45,973


Pine is awesome at night. Especially once the fog starts rolling in. So awesome. You have to try The Grubstake, 1525 Pine. Great Portugese food.

That’s so right down the street, it’s sick. There’s so much within a few blocks of us, and yet we’re like one block insulated from the hustle and bustle.


Justin, you are not just living in a random city, you are living in SF. I have been crossing the US in May, visiting quite a couple of cities like Boston, NYC, Chicago, Denver, to name just the bigger ones. I have lived in big and nice cities like Berlin and now Frankfurt. I have seen more big and nice cities throughout Europe. But i have have found nothing so truly amazing as SF. I have really enjoyed my five days there, and i will come back for sure.

You love charts and graphs! I fould this one particularly helpful. :)

Roland, I’d be interested in hear what stands out in your experience of SF as compared to the other cities you’ve visited.

Leona, yes I do.


Hey, I’m reading a good book right now that is set in SF–the memoir Oh the Glory of it All by Sean Wilsey. Good stuff about SF “society,” the quake, the culture of the 80s there.


Well, what should i start with? The sheer beauty of buildings, streets, parks and places, the golden gate bridge, the great sea front, the wonderful climate, the fresh air and the fog, the great restaurants and coffee bars, the walkability and runnability (i found myself running everyday, crossing golden gate bridge twice during my five days), the friendly and happy and easy going, yet serious (and again, beautiful) people. Frankly, now that i am listing all the details, i am again amazed, because i would use superlatives for SF in each and any of the mentioned areas… And i have not yet mentioned the hills, and the public transport system… just about every aspect of this city seems perfect, if i had to tell about some drawbacks, i would have no idea what to think of…
Actually, after returning to Germany, i had a short look in the internet for job opportunities and found it might not even be unrealistic to try and find a job in SF. I have not followed up the idea up to now, but it is not out of my mind…

What a lovely photo. The thing I missed most upon moving to NC was the “city-ness” of Seattle; having multiple options for everything (even bus routes), choosing to carve out relationships with some areas or people rather than having to by virtue of proximity, and knowing the boundaries of my world extended much further than how far I could walk.

The density differences for Chapel Hill and Carrboro are incredible. It certainly doesn’t feel that different going between them. Perhaps Chapel Hill has a lot more wild spaces.


2006, hmm, but anyway.. i’d like to compare ratios of pop/mi² : pop. IOW, I’m curious where, why/how a higher overall pop influence the overall pop/mi²
sf – good-looking geekgirls there.
sf – fascinating mini-hoods. walk two blocks and pass from middle-class resid, thru abandoned lowrise business w/piss-soaked sidewalks, into upper-mid gentrified lofts etc.
sf – (among?) the most moderate climates on Earth. i wonder what used to live there before the Spaniards…
sf – so pricey. though unaffordability prolly reduces mccoy v. hatrack** feuds, cuz in the usa, lower-cost apts tend to be full of deliberately offensive people. US culture, the ‘ugly american’, etc: “we” can’t live with ourselves.
[btw, cityranks has become a domain sitter.]
** yeah, I know the mccoy feud was with the “hatfields” but there’s space for only a hatrack in a crowded city. ☺


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