Don’t Call it Frisco

We don’t call it Frisco. We don’t call it that, claimed Herb Caen, out of respect for the saint the City was named for. We don’t call it 7×7. That’s a magazine title. We sure don’t  call it Shaky Town, that’s too obvious. The Golden Gate City? Haven’t heard that one, but it’s better than some others I have found in city guide books and “insider” publications .  I asked a friend  who ought to know, and he has never heard it called Gay by the Bay. Excuse me? Kremlin by the Sea? I know a lot of Russians here,  and I have never heard that one, either. 

Fog City. Quake City. These are acceptable nicknames if you run a local business and are looking for a hip name. There was a popular place on the Embarcadero for years called Fog City Diner. If I coached a soccer team based in San Francisco I might consider calling them the Quake City Kickers. Eh, maybe not. 

We sure don’t call it Shaky Town…

The great newsman Herb Caen loved this city. He coined the phrase Baghdad by the Bay back in the day (his day), and titled one of his books by that name. It’s not called that too much any more, what with the Middle East war/troubles/occupation making references to Baghdad unromantic these days. My father called it that, but he’s been gone since 1993. These days if I make reference to the city by that name, not many folks get what I’m saying.

Another book title of Herb Caen’s is Don’t Call it Frisco.  Just don’t do it, man. Take my word for it. You can call it The City, or, unoriginal, but accurate -San Francisco! Well, that’s a bit formal. But you get the idea.

There is a now-closed laundromat in Hayes Valley that was called The Don’t Call it Frisco Laundromat. That’s my kind of place. Too bad it’s gone now, much like a lot of small touches of local flavor that have left the city. 

That’s all I have for now. But I’m glad I got this off my chest. I hope Mr. Caen would approve. 

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