David Byrne -- the tall guy in ivy league favorite Talking Heads/the man behind the score of The Last Emperor -- wrote in last week's about the perfect city. San Francisco was one of them, or so he thought.

Every time I visit San Francisco I ask out loud "Why don't I live here? Why do I choose to live in a place that is harder, tougher and, well, not as beautiful?" The locals often reply, "You don't want to live here. It looks like a city, but it's really a small village. Everyone knows what you're doing" Oh, OK. If you say so. It's still beautiful.

We're not quite sure we agree with the sample of locals used here. While it's true San Francisco isn't that big; it's not that small, either. There are many different scenes, different groups, and different types of people within this dense 7x7-mile prison fortress. Too many of them, some might argue. What we think is going on here is this: the denizens of San Francisco suffer from a healthy amount of arrested development. (The 18-to-35 year-old sect, that is.) So, we tend to form small, elite cliques (ones based off of playlists, political leanings, income) similar to the groups we saw at the high schools that shunned us so many years ago. Said cliques tend to go to the same clubs, bars, Muni lines, movies, food trucks, parks and readings so that they never have to venture outside their safety zone the way folks in LA or New York City or Buttonwillow do.

Or not. We're just guessing.

Anyway, Byrne has a new book coming out. It's called Bicycle Diaries.

Wall Street Journal