Gator Talk Episode 11: 415 Day!

Welcome to Gator Talk, a collaborative CalState podcast that brings city and statewide perspectives to SF State news.

In Gator Talk’s eleventh episode, host Sebastian invited past sources and San Franciscans on social media to share what they call this place that we live in. This is a celebratory episode for San Francisco’s birthday!

Warning: This episode contains explicit language.

TRANSCRIPT:

Intro

*salsa song fades in*

 

Seb: This is Sebastian Mino-Bucheli, I’m your multimedia editor and your host for Gator Talk, a Golden Gate Xpress podcast that brings news to SF State students.

This is one of the triple-header episodes headed this week while you Gators rest up.

For more information/coverage, check out goldengatexpress.org OR @GatorTalkPod on all social media platforms.

 

Preview of the show


Seb:
Here’s a quick preview of the show.

I’ll be updating the audience with a quick news brief with news that happened this week that matters to SF State students.

News brief


Seb:
It’s April 15 that means Californians ages 16+ and up are now eligible for COVID vaccinations. It’s now your turn, California! While I have you here, 2 out of 3 vaccine types will be available.

There is still no data to report why the Johnson & Johnson dose is tied to blood clots in 6 people. For your safety the city and county of San Francisco have halted distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

California’s economy is still to be reopened June 15.

Overall, the pandemic isn’t over so please keep on double masking and please get vaccinated.

The Golden Gate Xpress will be at your side keeping you up to date!

That’s it for the news brief.

 

Main Story

Seb: So today’s main story is a real treat.

Whichever city you come from, you’re bound to an Area code. For some, there’s a lot of pride with a certain area code. 805 IPA is tied to San Luis Obispo’s area code 805. 305 from Mr. World Wide aka Pitbull who always gives a shout out to the city of Miami.

Sometimes people take that swagger from a popular area code to be cool, like Kendall Jenner taking the 818 area code, which is my hometown of San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, to sell her tequila. Which there was some backlash.

For those who have moved to San Francisco to study at our beautiful university, you probably come across the area code 415 for important phone calls. Like your landlord, the university or buddies you make from your classes. Knowing that area code might be your first introduction to San Francisco. The second probable lesson? How to properly call the place where we live.

But why does this all matter? The area code for San Francisco is 415. Today is…April 15. Today is San Francisco’s birthday! Throughout my reporting since the month of March, I’ve gone the extra mile to ask them what they call the place where we live. Simple right?

There’s an actual debate on this: You have a group of San Franciscans who prefer Frisco which is short for San Francisco and you have another group that says it’s San Francisco in full, no shortcuts. Terms like The City or S.F. are somewhere on the sidelines of this debate. Where it’s somewhat acceptable. Most famously The Golden State Warriors have a second edition of their jersey with the label “The City” similar to their “The Town” when they used to play at Oracle Arena in Oakland. As for S.F. It’s just an easy shorthand way to write San Francisco.

For full transparency, I don’t think I’m doing the justice needed in explaining why. I’m an Angeleno who’s been living in the city for two years. I’ll let my sources explain.

From the most recent episode, I interviewed District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar who grew up in San Francisco after immigrating with her family from El Salvador during the civil war. Finding out what she stands on this debate was content that had to be cut because it didn’t overall fit the episode. Here it goes.

 

Melgar: I’m a Frisco person dude. Because, you know, so when we first came from El Salvador, we lived on Outer Mission.

You know, so I remember getting on the 14 bus. I didn’t speak English, I had my little trencita as I was 12 years old, and I remember these cholas looking at me like, I’m fresh off the boat. And they were so cool with a Mary Jane’s and their eyeliner is up and I felt like oh my god. But you know, that was my introduction to San Francisco, and, you know, then in there, people call them Frisco and proudly, you know, like to have Frisco to have to use and everything. So I think it is definitely a working-class thing and something to be proud of. So I’m definitely in the Frisco camp.

 

Seb: And in this corner, I have David Miles Jr., Godfather of Skate, Founder of Church of 8 Wheels, whom I met when I was covering a rally for #CarFreeJFK



Miles Jr.: Yeah, I call it the city. But San Francisco, it deserves to be pronounced. It’s Regal, you know.  San Francisco, you know, some things you don’t cut Sure. But you know what, I don’t like to check people on it. I just, when somebody say, Hey, I’m from Kansas City, right. And so when I go to Kansas City. They like Hey, I heard you moved to Frisco. I just looked at him. Yeah, I’m from LA. And, I mean, even that they call me Frisco go there. This is San Fran but I you know, when I’m there, I’m like, Nah, don’t call it Sam say that the proper way. And there’s only one second system. Well, thank you, man. Appreciate it. Yeah, I always loved that whole thing.

Seb: One of the people to reach out is Emperor Norton I, the famous tour guide in modern times. But if you ever run into him, he’ll be playing the character of the real Emperor Norton, a historical figure who labeled himself Emperor of San Francisco.

Emperor Norton I can be found in Union Square or around Financial District giving historical tours who paid tickets to the tour, Emperor Norton’s Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine


Seb:
I know we were talking about that you were an alumni but didn’t graduate

 

Emperor Norton: Theater major and stayed for two and a half years.

 

Seb: And so what, what made you to go from, you know, theater art major to going on to impersonate Mr. Norton?

 

Emperor Norton: Unemployment. I took two and a half years of theater classes at SF State. And aside from like one year of being a technical director to the community theater, I didn’t really work in the theater after that I pursued other careers. I spent some time as a cook, did retail management in the art materials industry, ran art supply stores. Then I was a magazine editor and writer. And then right around the year, 2000 all those jobs dried up. I was lucky enough to have a job that took me through to 2007. And then I just couldn’t find another job in that field because they just disappeared. And so I was underemployed or unemployed for a couple years and decided to take all the skills I’ve got the acting, improvisation, writing research, all those sorts of things and create this with that.

Seb: You know, the, of all the historical San Franciscans since the start of the inception of the city, why did you choose Emperor Norton; because of like his legacy?

 

Emperor Norton: Well, I knew I wanted to be somebody eccentric and at first, I was going to be Mark Twain. But I looked at him and he wasn’t here that long, so I was sort of searching for. Who could I be, and I pick up. I’ve been vaguely aware of him for Norton, and I’ll tell that story in a minute if you want, but I was reading a book about him and it sort of sort of hit me like a lightning bolt and this is who I needed to be, and it was totally the right decision.

 

Seb: Do you, do you get, Do you get so much into the character of the actual Emperor Norton from the history books, he’s always referred to as the person who would get a tax if you mispronounce San Francisco.

 

Emperor Norton: Whoever after doing proper warning, the urge to utter the abominable word Briscoe, which has no linguistic or other warrant shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor and pay the Imperial treasury, the penalty of $25. The law is still in effect, but unfortunately, it’s the hardest part.

 

Seb: Do you get tourists who decide to jab you with Frisco?

 

Emperor Norton: Not so much tourists because they’re warm from the beginning, not to use that word, but there’s a couple of locals who when they see me will just say it to get my goat, and they know they’ll get a reaction from me. Especially if I’m in character, you know, they’re going to get a reaction. I don’t want to put this uniform on and leave the house. I don’t break character,

 

Seb: We’re gonna take a quick break

 

Break

 

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*break ends*


Cont Main Story

Seb: Back again for the main story.

One of the last guests to speak on this is Abraham Woodliff, the guy behind the Real Bay Area memes page on Instagram and Facebook. Although he didn’t grow up in San Francisco, he is one of the most recognizable pages on social media and I believe that his opinion on the matter, what do we call this place that we live in?

 

Woodliff: San Fran is disgusting. San Fran is just go I’m saying San Fran really does sound like shit. Am I just saying that? Because like, I’m from the Bay. There’s like, Hey guys, I’m going to San Fran. Does that sound like a place you want to visit? Or like, like, like, I think San Francisco despite all its problems, like probably the most beautiful city on earth, and to call the most beautiful city on the on earth San Fran. Just sounds fucking terrible. Like I’m going to San Fran I went to like Shut the fuck up. Frisco. I have no problem with the first guy.

I think Frisco is fine. I know a lot of people like don’t call it Frisco but that’s because of Herb Caen and and that guy’s from fucking Sacramento so who gives a fuck what he thinks um, and also there’s like this weird classes slot slash racist undertone because mostly, you know working-class people and black and brown people were calling it Frisco for fucking ever. And so there’s this weird class like, we’re not that because San Francisco wants to appeal to this kind of like, you know, high society, you know bourgeois elements in calling it Frisco sounds I guess you know, not good to them or whatever. They don’t like the way it sounds. But fuck that if you want to call first go call Frisco people been calling it Frisco forever especially from the mission and you know Hunters Point and the Excelsior and pretty much any working-class community in San Francisco has been calling it that so why the fuck would that be a problem?

 

Seb: So it’s speaking about below and other North Bay cities. Where do you draw the line on what counts is the bay? I mean, you have people who count Napa or anywhere where the water touches. And then what is like, you know, you have Gilroy that now sort of counts as the South Bay.

 

Woodliff: That’s tough. That’s a tough one.

 

Seb: Yeah. So where do you draw the line at least?

 

Woodliff: So generally speaking, I don’t try to be a dick and be like you’re not the bay or you’re not the bay. It’s like I don’t fucking care. You could be from the Bay and be a wack-ass person. You know, if you’re, if your whole life sucks, and you know, and you’re working at Taco Bell, and you’re your boss’s patient actually just being from the Bay really fucking matter or your city being in the bay matter that much. But generally speaking, I know, there’s the county rolls and there’s also just cultural differences. Like, you know, generally the shoreline tends to be more diverse and the valleys tend to be a little less so obviously, there’s exceptions. You know, Concord has a big Latino community. You know, Antioch is super diverse, Pittsburgh’s super diverse, you know, but if you’re in a county that touches the bay generally the berry is Napa.

The Bay fucking shore is Napa cool? No. No care. Vallejo is definitely the bay and it’s not helping it at all. It’s surrounded by fucking water. You stand on a hill you see the fucking Bay even on a clear day run it uphill you to the Golden Gate Bridge. That helped me go out. Not one fucking bit. So I don’t know is Santa Rosa, the Bay Shore? I guess. Here’s the thing. If you’re actually I think this is a better definition if you’re 50 miles or less from San Francisco or you touch the base and no disrespect to San Jose. It’s I know you’re right in that line. There. They touch the bay. And then you’re the fucking Bay. If you’re more than 50 miles and especially if you don’t touch any fucking bay water we’re getting we’re getting a little difficult. It’s gonna like Gilroy. I’m sorry. I know you’re in Santa Clara County, but it’s like really shut the fuck up. Like no disrespect to Gilroy.

 

Seb: So then Pacifica, Half Moon Bay?

 

Woodliff:  Yeah, yeah, that’s the peninsula. Yeah, they’re all the bay, anything with 650 area codes. The Bay doesn’t make these towns cool. But they’re definitely the Bay, the Pacifica is hilarious. They have the fanciest talk about in the fucking world. That’s fine.

Seb: I also spent time on social media trying to get requests from people to weigh in on this debate, which was very cool to hear. Here’s what some had to say.

Rick Dalton: Hi, this is Rick Dalton and I called the city Frisco.

52 yr old Gen X: Yeah, I’m a native San Franciscan fifty-two-year-old Generation X bless you with this in currently living in SOMA apartment flat for twenty-eight years now feeling stable and secure. So I referred to San Francisco as the city and then when I’m telling people about it, it’s San Francisco. Also when I write to you about it, I abbreviated it to SF. I prefer terms of San Francisco, SF or the City. SF is shorthand. At least we don’t say that. Anyway, just write that in San Francisco, so good you gotta spell it out.

William Campero: Hi, this is William Campero. So, you know, we spoke just a moment ago. So I’ve been to Native here born and raised since nineteen seventy. My family came from Peru wage, uh to live here. We lived out in the sunset. So it was mainly Irish Community. So I was mainly raised white and probably once a week I would be Peruvian where that’s where my mom would cook food and family, but for the longest time. I’ve always known it as the city and the reason why is because whenever I went to different parts of the area such as Vallejo, Stockton, Sacramento, Morgen and Monterrey they say “hey, are you heading to the city? Have fun.” Yeah, that’s where we’re heading.” So that’s what it’s always been term. If because the city San Francisco is where all the parties were in the eighties. That’s where we had the influx of Latin freestyle early stages of house music and that’s where the clubs were at. That’s where the party was at home. So I’m going to go to the City to have fun and it’s always a term for Francisco the other terminologies, you know, they were used but they weren’t really wage.

I know that a lot of people choose to do so but if you’re anywhere, you just use say hey, I’m visiting from the city wage majority of people especially those are my age in the forties. They would definitely know where you referring to the newer generation such as the millennial age and younger, they may not be familiar with that term as a term evolved but some of the older crowd they’ll know this. Oh, you’re heading to the city the city and depending where you work such as I work at a utility company Pacific Gas and Electric and there that’s where A lot of people in the workplace term. Oh you work in the city. So sometimes in businesses. Especially large one still say I’m going to head to the city for a meeting meaning you are referring to San Francisco. So that term still continues on and on not only for the older generation but also for the older businesses that have been around for a long time something like Salesforce they may not use that term but as I said, this is concerned it’s been around for quite a while and this is deterministic years. Appreciate it now.

End

 

Seb: And that was the episode. This is Sebastian Miño-Bucheli. I’m your multimedia editor and your host for Gator Talk.
New episodes will premiere Friday mornings so stay tuned.

And with that, I’m signing off.

I love you, San Francisco!

 

*Salsa song fades out*