Gavin Newsom likes to say that San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality. Well, okay then. In reality, he’s actually ripping off a line from Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner.
In reality, if you walk west, north, or east in San Francisco, you’re going to get wet; we’re actually surrounded by water. If you walk south, you’ll find yourself in San Mateo. Is San Mateo reality? Perhaps: They do have a Dunkin’ Donuts there.
All of which is to say: San Francisco is a small place, and not self-contained. The American Can Company at Third and 20th streets isn’t clanking and banging 24 hours a day anymore, with workers piling in for three shifts. San Francisco can’t forge the parts it needs to keep its buses running, fix its buildings or run its computers. It has to buy things, lots of things, from elsewhere. Continue