As this is San Francisco Appreciation Week, it's time to be reminded of the many great and witty things that have been said about this fairest of cities, and the often lovely words that our local laureates have put together to describe, and glorify, this place we call home. Some of these quotes are very old, dating to Barbary Coast/Gold Rush days, and many are from the middle of the last century, but even the oldest still ring true. So the next time you're contemplating something drastic as you write that rent check, be it fleeing to LA, back to New York, back to Topeka or whatever, you might think back to one or two of these quotes and remember why it's still worth it to stick it out. And for everyone who came, or was born here, and can't imagine ever living anywhere else, this type of affirmation fest is always nice too.

Read the below whenever you feel the need.

"Now there's a grown-up swinging town." — Frank Sinatra

"If you're alive, you can't be bored in San Francisco. If you're not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life." — William Saroyan

"Anyone who doesn't have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me. You go there as a snarky New Yorker thinking it's politically correct, it's crunchy granola, it's vegetarian, and it surprises you every time. It's a two-fisted drinking town, a carnivorous meat-eating town, it's dirty and nasty and wonderful." — Anthony Bourdain

"San Francisco is the only city I can think of that can survive all the things you people are doing to it and still look beautiful." — Frank Lloyd Wright

"San Francisco has only one drawback: 'tis hard to leave." — Rudyard Kipling

"I can walk down the streets of San Francisco, and here I'm normal." — Robin Williams

"I was married once — in San Francisco. I haven't seen her for many years. The great earthquake and fire in 1906 destroyed the marriage certificate. There's no legal proof. Which means that earthquakes aren't always bad." — W.C. Fields

"San Francisco is really fun and liberal, and it's my kind of politics. It's like being Jewish in front of Jewish people." — Elayne Boosler

"The Bay Area is so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I'm here." — Billy Graham

"I don't think San Francisco needs defending. I never meet anyone who doesn't love the place, Americans or others." — Doris Lessing

"One day if I go to heaven... I'll look around and say 'It ain't bad. But it ain't San Francisco.'" — Herb Caen

"Chicago is the great American city, New York is one of the capitals of the world, and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic; San Francisco is a lady." — Norman Mailer

"I love San Francisco so much. I call it the Emerald City and have been coming here since 1992. I have a few old friends that live here, and my aunt and uncle live in Oakland. I think it's a magical city — it's big, sexy and very 'cosmo' with a small-town feel." — Andy Cohen

"It's an odd thing but anyone who disappears is said to be in San Francisco." — Oscar Wilde

"It is a rich, lusty city, rippling with people, with movement, with girls in summer dresses, with flowers, with color; one of the great and wonderful cities of the world… the great seaport of the Pacific now, one of the great naval bases. Through it have poured a million men... And the sea is always just on the other side of those hills." — James Marlow

"I’m just mad for San Francisco. It is like London and Paris stacked on top of each other."— Twiggy

"I never dreamed I'd like any city as well as London. San Francisco is exciting, moody, exhilarating. I even love the muted fogs." — Julie Christie

"East is East, and West is San Francisco." — O. Henry

"As the years went by, San Francisco became not only my city but also my way of life. From the time I was a boy, I wanted to live in a place like my father's theater world, a magic box filled with lavishly made-up women, extravagant gay men, and other larger-than-life characters. I wanted a world that could encompass all worlds. I found something close to it in this soft-lit city in the ocean mists." — David Talbot, Season of the Witch

"Once I knew the city very well, spent my attic days there, while others were being a lost generation in Paris, I fledged in San Francisco, climbed its hills, slept in its parks, worked on its docks, marched and shouted in its revolts... It had been kind to me in the days of my poverty and it did not resent my temporary solvency." — John Steinbeck

"Such was life in the Golden Gate: / Gold dusted all we drank and ate, / And I was one of the children told, / 'We all must eat our peck of gold.'" — Robert Frost

"As many of you know, I came from San Francisco. We don’t have a lot of farms there. Well, we do have one — it’s a mushroom farm, so you know what that means." — Nancy Pelosi

"It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time." — Jack Kerouac, On the Road

"San Franciscans are very proud of their city, and they should be. It’s the most beautiful place in the world." — Robert Redford

"A city is where you can sign a petition, boo the chief justice, fish off a pier, gape at a hippopotamus, buy a flower at the corner, or get a good hamburger or a bad girl at 4 a.m. A city is where sirens make white streaks of sound in the sky and foghorns speak dark grays — San Francisco is such a city." — Herb Caen

"I was appalled that the San Francisco ethic [of the 1960's] didn't mushroom and envelop the whole world into this loving community of acid freaks. I was very naive." — Grace Slick

"San Francisco was where the social hemorrhaging was showing up. San Francisco was where the missing children were gathering and calling themselves 'hippies.'" — Joan Didion

"I have always been rather better treated in San Francisco than I actually deserved." — Mark Twain

"The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco." — Unknown, and not Mark Twain, who never said it, though one 18th century humorist named James Quin once said something similar about Paris, which Twain repeated, referring to Paris.

"We’re crazy about this city. First time we came here, we walked the streets all day — all over town — and nobody hassled us. People smiled, friendly-like, and we knew we could live here… Los Angeles? That’s just a big parking lot where you buy a hamburger for a trip to San Francisco… And the beautiful old houses and the strange light. We’ve never been in a city with light like this. We sit in our hotel room for hours, watching the fog come in, the light change." — John Lennon, speaking for himself and Yoko Ono

"The extreme geniality of San Francisco's economic, intellectual and political climate makes it the most varied and challenging city in the United States." — James Michener

"The changing light / at San Francisco / is none of your East Coast light / none of your / pearly light of Paris / The light of San Francisco / is a sea light / an island light / And the light of fog / blanketing the hills / drifting in at night / through the Golden Gate / to lie on the city at dawn." — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

"It is a good thing the early settlers landed on the East Coast; if they’d landed in San Francisco first, the rest of the country would still be uninhabited." — Herbert Mye

"Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible." — Walter Cronkite

"You can go one block to the next in San Francisco and get a completely different opinion of what the issue is." — Don Johnson

"San Francisco is one of the great cultural plateaus of the world — one of the really urbane communities in the United States — one of the truly cosmopolitan places and for many, many years, it always has had a warm welcome for human beings from all over the world." — Duke Ellington

"When I was in my late 30s, I lit a figure on fire on Baker Beach in San Francisco. It was me, a friend, and maybe eight people, tops. There wasn't any premeditation to it at all. It was really just a product of San Franciscan bohemian milieu." — Larry Harvey, Burning Man founder

"I will meet you in the dirtiest city you can dream of. We will drink cocktails so sweet they pucker our cheeks, as we perch on cracked leather bar stools. I will buy you plates of calcium and protein and we will run through the streets in excellent danger." — Michelle Tea

"I love San Francisco and Brighton has something of San Francisco about it. It’s by the sea, there’s a big gay community, a feeling of people being there because they enjoy their life there." — Brian Eno

"What fetched me instantly (and thousands of other newcomers with me) was the subtle but unmistakable sense of escape from the United States." — H.L. Mencken

"Perpetual spring, the flare of adventure in the blood, the impulse of men who packed Virgil with their bean-bags on the overland journey, conspired to make San Francisco a city of artists." — William Henry Irwin

"Where else but in San Francisco would characters such as Sister Boom-Boom, a transvestite who dresses in a miniskirted nun's habit, and a punk rocker named Jello Biafra run for seats on the Board of Supervisors? And where else would 75,000 runners dress like centipedes, gorillas, and six packs of beer to participate in the 'moving masquerade ball' otherwise known as the Bay to Breakers Race?" — JoAnne Davidson

"Never take an elevator in city hall." — Harvey Milk

"We're not our skin of grime,
we're not our dread bleak dusty imageless locomotive,
we're all beautiful golden sunflowers inside, we're blessed
by our own seed & hairy naked
accomplishment — bodies growing into mad black formal sunflowers in the sunset, spied on by our eyes under the shadow of the mad
locomotive riverbank sunset Frisco hilly tincan evening sitdown vision." — Allen Ginsberg

"San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the world…I would probably rank it at the top or near the top. It’s small but photogenic and has layers…You never have problems finding great angles that people have never done." — Ang Lee

"I think San Francisco is the best place in the whole world for an easy life." — Imogen Cunningham

"San Francisco is poetry. Even the hills rhyme." — Pat Montandon

"Fog spilled from the heights of San Francisco like the liquid it almost was. On better days it spread across the bay and took over Oakland street by street, a thing you saw coming, a change you watched happening to you, a season on the move. Where it encountered redwoods, the most local of rains fell. Where it found open space, its weightless pale passage seemed both endless and like the end of all things. It was a temporary sadness, the more beautiful for being sad, the more precious for being temporary. It was the slow song in minor that the rock-and-roll sun then chased away." — Jonathan Franzen, Purity

"After the Second World War, San Francisco was the main point of re-entry for sailors returning from the Pacific. Out at sea, many of these sailors had picked up amatory habits that were frowned upon back on dry land. So these sailors stayed in San Francisco..." — Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

"Growing up in northern California has had a big influence on my love and respect for the outdoors. When I lived in Oakland, we would think nothing of driving to Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz one day and then driving to the foothills of the Sierras the next day." — Tom Hanks

"I love this city. If I am elected, I’ll move the White House to San Francisco. Everybody’s so friendly." — Robert Kennedy

"You wouldn’t think such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight here, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes. Beautiful Chinatown. Every race in the world. The sardine fleets sailing out. The little cable-cars whizzing down The City hills... And all the people are open and friendly." — Dylan Thomas

"I have seen purer liquors, better segars, finer tobacco, truer guns and pistols, larger dirks and bowie knives, and prettier women courtesans here in San Francisco than in any other place I have ever visited." — Hinton Helper

"There is no logic to San Francisco generally, a city built with putty and pipe cleaners, rubber cement and colored construction paper. Its the work of fairies, elves, happy children with new crayons." — Dave Eggers, A Heartbeaking Work of Staggering Genius

"San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal." — William Saroyan

"San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality." — Paul Kantner

"I prefer a wet San Francisco to a dry Manhattan." — Larry Geraldi

"It's like Paris — it's soft, the breeze blows, the city may swelter but the hillers do fly — over the bay is Oakland (ah me Hart Crane Melville and all ye assorted brother poets of the American night that once I thought would be my sacrificial altar and now it is but who's to care, know, and I lost love because of it — drunkard, dullard, poet)... — Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans

The winds of the Future wait
At the iron walls of her Gate,
And the western ocean breaks in thunder,
And the western stars go slowly under,
And her gaze is ever West
In the dream of her young unrest.
Her sea is a voice that calls,
And her star a voice above,
And her wind a voice on her walls —
My cool, grey city of love.

— George Sterling

"No other American city has undergone such an earth-shaking cultural shift in such a short span. Today San Francisco is seen as the 'Left Coast City' — the wild, frontier outpost of the American Dream... San Francisco values did not come into the world with flowers in their hair; they were born howling, in blood and strife... One of San Francisco's more flowery laureates anointed it 'the cool gray city of love.' But the people who cling to its hills and hollows and know its mercurial temperament — the sudden juggernaut of sea fog and wind that can shroud the sun and chill the soul — recognize San Francisco as a rougher beast." — David Talbot, Season of the Witch

Quotes about Oakland, Berkeley, NorCal...

"But I have never had the privilege of unhappiness in Happy Valley. California is about the good life. So a bad life there seems so much worse than a bad life anywhere else. Quality is an obsession there — good food, good wine, good movies, music, weather, cars. Those sound like the right things to shoot for, but the never-ending quality quest is a lot of pressure when you’re uncertain and disorganized and, not least, broker than broke. Some afternoons a person just wants to rent Die Hard, close the curtains, and have Cheerios for lunch." — Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot

"She took us to see her granddaughter who was teaching in the Dominican convent in San Raphael [sic], we went across the bay on a ferry, that had not changed but Goat Island might just as well not have been there, anyway what was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there." — Gertrude Stein

"In L.A., like, there's a lot of, like, materialism, and, you know, people who think they're better than each other because of the clothes they wear or how they dress, and in Oakland, it's not like that." — Kreayshawn

"LA is like this crazy mystery to me. They don't have good burritos [there]. It's so weird. It's an hour flight, why can't [they] have the same burritos as the Bay Area? They just aren't good [there]. It's a taco town." — Chelsea Peretti

"When Berkeley does not feel like some kind of vast exercise in collective dystopia — a kind of left-wing Plymouth Plantation in which a man may be pilloried for over-illuminating his house at Christmastime — then paradoxically it often feels like a place filled with people incapable of feeling or acting in concert with each other." — Michael Chabon

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