North Vs. South

Dear San Francisco,

In my 25 yeas of performing, I've learned this: No matter how good you are at what you do, it's almost impossible to see your own value. This often manifests in the slagging of another comic in order to make yourself feel better. It takes a long time for a performer to know "I've got this."

Which brings me to the longstanding San Francisco vs. Los Angeles thing. Now before we get started, let tell you a little about me. I am a third-generation San Franciscan. My grandmother Bernice Bertha "Babe" Behrendt was born just days after the San Francisco earthquake; she was baptized by actual fire. My father went to Lowell High School, then to UC Davis, married a Portland girl from Stanford, and eventually worked his way up from cameraman to station manager of then-NBC affiliate KRON.

I was born in 1963 at Mt. Zion Hospital, baptized at Grace Cathedral, and attended Town School Elementary until the family picked up and moved to Marin in 1973. After taking seven years to nail down a theater degree from the University of Oregon, I returned to San Francisco in 1987 with a bunch of wet sweaters and the hope of becoming an actor. I lived above the Ben and Jerry's on Haight and Ashbury, worked at Chevy's Mexican restaurant, failed at acting, and joined an improv troupe called Crash and Burn. It was there that I met Margaret Cho, who told me I should try stand-up. I gave it a shot, I loved it, I honed it for five years in San Francisco. And then... I moved to Los Angeles.

Now for a lot of San Franciscans, hearing that you left the splendor of the bestest city in the world for Los Angeles is like making a new friend at a bar who, after pounding some drinks, suddenly asks, "How do you deal with the Jew in Hollywood on a day-to-day basis?" (Which happened to me in a Sacramento bar once, but that's a story for another time.)

Most San Francisco natives, and many transplants, have a seething hate for the city six driving hours away. I have always found that odd. It's like hating cinnamon. You don't have to like it, but it's not hurting you. Sometimes when I'm performing stand-up in S.F., I'll say, "I now live in L.A.," and people boo." Loudly! And I always say, "Why are you booing? You live here, you win!" It's like you all are at the top of the mountain with your favorite people and a beautiful view, and you are booing the people down below.

Having now lived there for 20 years, I can tell you that Los Angeles is a factory town. Not unlike Pittsburgh and Detroit. Only our factories make show business. If you want to be in show business, it's the place you have the best chance of getting a job and getting paid. Period. Sure, there is the false glamour of the Movies, TV, and Music, but that's all it is.

In L.A., there's no historic bridge, no beautiful sprawling park, no walking. We have two seasons: blue and brown. We have no pro football team. And Los Angeles, like the big dumb happy dog it is, thinks San Francisco is amazing; we wag our tail every time we see you.

We're not your competition, San Francisco, you dazzling progressive mass of architecture and cultures, you've won. You've got this.

Hate Portland instead; they're a bunch of assholes.

Love, Greggers

Greg Behrendt has written for Sex and the City and introduced He's Just Not That Into You to the culture via book and film. He performs Feb. 8-9. sfsketchfest.com/x/performers/greg-behrendt

 
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51 comments
Sickness01
Sickness01

Don't care. Refuse to read this. You forgot too many cities to make a valid point.

jozaybarajaz
jozaybarajaz

I'm from L.A. Moved to Salt Lake City for almost 3 years. Hated it. Moved to Oakland, worked in the City. Lived in the Bay for 3 years, beautiful place, loved it. Came back to L.A. because my family and friends are here. I'll never have anything bad to say about my beautiful state of California EVER. It's the best place in the world. I hate it when people wanna hate because someone is in one area and their area is always better. It's retarded. I'll never segregate my town, my county, my state. The best of everything is in this place. California. CALIFORNIA FOR LIFE, hate on that!

Frank Sahlem
Frank Sahlem

To L.A. people, S.F. is a nice place to eat well and see some sights if the weather is decent. L.A.'s rival is N.Y.

Mike Rosal Casiano
Mike Rosal Casiano

SF 415 Frisco till the day I die. Mission District Army & Harrison!!! Eff LA

Ben Sears
Ben Sears

I was born in la, moved to sf when I was 2. Stayed for 23 years, and came back to la. San Franciscans are.... stuck ups. Lol!

Danny Mosquera
Danny Mosquera

LA folks have no idea that people from SF hate them. It's like being that hot girl in school and all your average looking girl friends are so jealous of you because you don't come from a smart wealthy family and yet all the guys are all over you. These friends go out of their way to try to trip you and make you fall, deep inside they call you bitch because you're so beautiful and you're not even trying.

Jamie Cope
Jamie Cope

I am stunned that after a post by Stephen Duffy, not one of the comments has pointed out that, culturally and for sheer hipness, Oakland puts them both to shame. Not that I necessarily believe that. I'm just surprised someone hasn't said it ;)

Angel Castrillo-Jones
Angel Castrillo-Jones

I never understood this. I was born in LA and since age 7, I traveled to SF to visit my wonderful family. I have a profound love for both cities each for their own reasons. I love both the Giants and the Dodgers and enjoy a good walk along Fisherman's Wharf as much as I enjoy a stroll through Hollywood. That, to me, is true California love. There are more important things in the world here, people. Focus on love, not hate for stupid reasons. Life is too damn short.

valda1
valda1

Love you cos you're funny as... In Australia we put "as" on the end of sentences and just leave it there. You are funny as.

mrjodie
mrjodie

I was born in Long Beach and raised in Orange County. I lived in SoCal for twenty-eight years, Phoenix for five and Clear Lake (northern California between San Fran and Sacramento) for two. After witnessing all that, I move my family to Portland eight years ago and we've never looked back... except to remind you that we're assholes, just to keep the riff-raff out.

Rahim Abbasi
Rahim Abbasi

I greatly appreciated his last statement. Portland is an awesome place to live. SF is great, LA has grown on me, but I still rather be in Portland.

Brian Gaudenti
Brian Gaudenti

To be fair, after growing up in L.A. then moving to the SF Bay Area as an adult, I can safely say I cannot stand either city equally. Almost everything bad to be said about L.A. can be said about SF. All you have to do is replace "entertainment industry" with "tech industry". They are both equally full of themselves, both are smug and vain, both look down on those not part of the "in" crowd, and they both don't understand why not everyone agrees that they are the best city in the world. The main difference between the two cities, is that SF has a urine smell which never goes away, and L.A. is way bigger so there is more to technically hate. Learn to swim in the Arizona Bay.

Jesse Mills
Jesse Mills

Who gives a shit what people think? "Hmm, the public opinion of blahblah vs. blahblah is biased and unfounded...." Yawn. It's like watching people argue over women's lacrosse. Anyway, Greg Behrendt looks like Joe Rogan was riding a skateboard when he smacked into one of the gang members from "COLORS". Who dresses like that? I mean, over the age of 16? Does he still rock one of those chain wallets that you can hopscotch with? I loved in the second episode of GIRLS when they totally shit on his how-to-manipulate-women-for-cash book, "How To Tell When He's Just Not That Into You". This guy can barely tell the difference between blue plaid and aquamarine plaid. Bonus points for the "Family Values Tour" black caterpillar under the chin there. You edgy rock n roll comic, you. HTTWHJNIY FTW! lol

Jonathan Sheppard
Jonathan Sheppard

Sixth street bridge. And people in LA don't give two fucks about Frisco.

Michelle Lollock
Michelle Lollock

If you're a San Franciscan traveling internationally, meeting someone from LA is something to celebrate. The hate is really absurd here at home

Heather Madison
Heather Madison

Maybe he can kindly tell LA that 'we just aren't into them'. Just kidding, my family goes back 100 years in OC/LA...

Anne Petersen
Anne Petersen

I got over that years ago. LA's cool. I want to start saying "Frisco" though. Please don't hate me.

Kelly Navarro
Kelly Navarro

I am SF born and raised and I love LA except when my LA friends call it "San Fran," that's when it gets personal.

Anne-Marie Dumaresq
Anne-Marie Dumaresq

People who seem to be taking this too seriously, should get a life and a sense of humour!

Nicholas Burke
Nicholas Burke

I like both cities equally though, so like Anjelika said, yeah, who cares?

Nicholas Burke
Nicholas Burke

Just thinking about that time I walked every day from 8 in the morning to 6 at night for three months around San Francisco looking for a day job. I applied to 300+ places and oddly no one hired me. Finally got a job in Oakland and ended up living there for 2 years. Now living in LA and finally I am making money doing music.

theqispot
theqispot

As a Portlander, I hope you hate Portland. I hope you hate Portland so much, that you never ever come to our city. It's miserable up here. Don't even visit. Go to Vegas. Just stay the fuck out of Portland. Seriously. There's no fresh air, organic food, ski mountains, pristine beaches, friendly people, amazing music scene, low cost of living, great schools, best basketball team in the Country, amazing food scene. It's all over priced, over crowded, over polluted, over taxed, and bankrupt (LOL) We don't want to become the shit hole California has become. (You must not be listening to me, since Portland is the #1city in the Country that people are moving too, and California is the #1 place that people are moving to Portland from). Just keep saying Portland sucks. Please.

Eric Brown
Eric Brown

There are famous bridges in LA. Namely Jeff Bridges and his father Lloyd.

Mark Carlin
Mark Carlin

La does not have the largest public park in the US, San Francisco doesn't either

Patty Hines
Patty Hines

I was raised in Oakland and I love the Bay Area. Bravo!

Susan Kell
Susan Kell

The native San Franciscans hatred for LA has been far surpassed by their hatred of the newly San Franciscan. Hating LA is sooooo 2010.

Kawehiwehi Murray
Kawehiwehi Murray

"Hate Portland instead; they're a bunch of assholes." No we're not.

Matthew LaPorte
Matthew LaPorte

Being from just outside LA, I love the Dodgers. Not a huge fan of the city though. SF has that in the bag. F the Giants though. Dump them into the cove.

John Calderon
John Calderon

We have King King, they have Mighty...raves are definitely better in SF tho!

Tammy Lively
Tammy Lively

Being from the Central Valley all I knew was they both were way better than where I lived!

Niko Larrison
Niko Larrison

I always think of San Franciscans as Jan Brady... " Marsha Marsha Marsha"

Christofer Simeoni
Christofer Simeoni

Having lived in LA my whole life, I'm pretty sure most LA people don't even know where SF is. They sure hate those Giants though

Mark Carlin
Mark Carlin

He's a Marin dork that went to Town, he clearly states it and calls himself a native?

Christina Mathis
Christina Mathis

Exactly. It's like Niners fans who hate Raiders fans. There's no reason.

Nicolo Pastor
Nicolo Pastor

That's cute but there is no comparison. Never will be!

Mindi Levine
Mindi Levine

"LA - we're just not that into you. Love, SF" Never understood it myself.

Glenn Darwis
Glenn Darwis

Not gonna lie: SoCal has some of the nicest beaches.

 

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