Yup, "the Paris of the West". It's a phrase that's been liberally applied to our fair city, perhaps most notably when the mayor of the Paris of, um, "France", arrived in San Francisco last November to commemorate the 10th anniversary of our "Sister Cities" agreement.
Never heard it? A quick Googling brings up a hefty 7500 matches, and as the scanning of turn-of-the-century tomes marches forward, that number will certainly increase.
But to the point; sure, all of our friends from The Continent flatter us by calling San Francisco the "most European of America cities", but where did this phrase originate?