November 19, 2013
SKANLYN’s Top Ten Worst Cities in America
Having had the opportunity to travel all around this great nation, I’ve gotten the chance to visit a lot of great places. I’ve also gotten the chance to visit a lot of terrible places. Since there’s no fun in writing or reading about the positive, over the next several days I will be counting down the top ten WORST cities in the United States.
#9. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Like Seattle, San Francisco is cold and wet though the sun does tend to shine there more often. That only tends to illuminate the city’s imperfections though.
Known for its mostly harmless population of Asians and homosexuals, there is also a fairly significant thug element in San Francisco that makes you feel generally unsafe. Wander slightly away from Union Square and find yourself lost in a neighborhood known as “The Tenderloin” and you will immediately sense the imminent danger. Filthy hippies and homeless people are also quite abundant throughout the city. While the panhandlers may not be quite as aggressive as say Atlanta (which, unlike San Francisco, has enough positive attributes to outweigh its homeless problem), they certainly bring down any efforts to gentrify this big dirty city that somehow manages to command a ridiculously high cost of living.
As in Borat's country, in San Francisco there is problem and that problem is transport (well one of them anyway). The city's extreme urban density causes quite a traffic nightmare, making commuting to work by car highly impractical for most. Public transportation is therefore of the utmost necessity, a factor heavily exploited by the union representing employees of the BART, the nation’s most unreliable public transit system. Each night, they force the city’s working population to stay up late to find out whether they will be allowing the trains to run in the morning or whether they will again be holding the city for ransom. They make their decision sometime after midnight with many commuters having to hit the road shortly thereafter in order to make it to the office on time (a necessity for those working a non-union job). I’m told that, in addition to a pay increase, more vacation time, and the flexibility for employees to show up at work whenever they feel like it, their latest assortment of unreasonable demands includes a mandate legally compelling all Bay Area McDonald’s to serve Shamrock Shakes year round (Uncle O’Grimacey we implore your tasty mint flavored mercy!).
The transit union of course isn’t the only labor organization to inflict their disruptive shenanigans on the City by the Bay. I was once unfortunate enough to be in town when one of the local hotel unions was striking. I remember disgruntled workers pacing the sidewalk, shouting into megaphones, and beating on empty paint buckets all night, making enough of a racket to disturb me twelve floors above street level. Police stood at the scene keeping a watchful eye and making sure that no patrons had the unreasonable expectation of a good night’s sleep, lest they attempt to enforce the apparently non-existent ordinance against disturbing the peace with their fists. And yet they say the South is ass-backwards! Go figure.
Will your city be #1???