In Defense of San Francisco Craigslist Ads: We're No More Annoying than You Are
Yesterday, Uproxx and Jezebel wrote about a Craigslist housing ad deemed "the most annoying ad ever" and that combines "every [San Francisco] stereotype into one, magnificently un-self-aware post." Because it's the Internet, we expect a certain amount of snark for all things even a little bit mockable, but is the ad itself deserving of so much scorn?
Is San Francisco Craigslist really worse than other big, liberal cities? Let's explore.
First an excerpt from the ad:
It's 7:14am and the sun is beginning to reach through the window, around your curtains, gently rousing you from an undisturbed night of rest. Sitting up, you hear the jingle of a bell - it's Bambina the cat, scurrying towards her food bowl. You know that your lovely roommate, Marina, will soon follow, rubbing the sleep from her eye and muttering about the "little bastard" under her breath. Minutes later, Kyle walks past with one of his many bicycles. You wish him a nice day as he heads out the door to his job at an ad agency.
Stepping into the newly remodeled kitchen, Marina asks if you would like to taste some of the kale smoothie she just made...it is surprisingly delicious. You sip the delicious smoothie and look out onto the garden where a hummingbird is gracefully sipping it's [sic] own breakfast from a flower.
Is this a bit flowery and over-the-top for a roommate ad? Sure. And the fact that Kyle has "many bicycles" is also pretty San Francisco (and some might say annoying), but it's kind of ridiculous to balk at a roommate nice enough to make you a smoothie in the morning. Also anyone who'd hate on gardens and hummingbirds.
The post continues:
It's time to shower and you head into the bathroom -- completely redone with two sinks and copious amounts of storage space. Smiling and sighing to yourself as you look in the mirror, you whisper, "Today is going to be a beautiful day!" That's just like you. Always so positive.
You've brushed your hair and your teeth, bid Bambina adieu, and now it is time to catch the bus. Luckily the lightrail is around the corner, as are the 10, 48, and 22. Getting to work will be a breeze! You wave to Fred across the street, and walk over to Piccino's for a quick cappuccino before heading to the bus stop.
It's so sunny and everyone is smiling as they walk their dogs or push their adorable and well dressed children in their strollers. Why is everyone so happy? What is this place?
Welcome to the Dogpatch, my friend. This beautiful sliver of San Francisco could be your new home!
Again, "Marina" is perhaps overly cheerful (especially for 7:14 a.m.) but why is her positivity looked at like the scourge of the earth? Uproxx writes "If one could e-mail barfs, I would e-mail her all of the barfs. She also forgot to mention that the utilities are free, as the power of the smugness lights the entire building, which is nice, because it's a renewable energy source and we're all about being green!" Jezebel likened "Marina's" upbeatness to an Adderall addiction, and then made fun of her for "speaking French to a cat."
As someone who recently spent many months looking for an S.F. apartment on CL, I've definitely seen my share of horrendous ads, but you know what? I'd far prefer to live with someone who likes her cat and would make me blended beverages than someone who would "appreciate it if you didn't use the kitchen," or would prefer I "not have sex in the house" (true story). While it might not be everyone's cup of kale to be super-chummy with one's housemates, I hardly think San Francisco is any more annoying than say, New York, where the Jezebel writer lives. From Complex, here's a brief sample of terrible NY ads:
More poetry than ad, this seems to exist only as a reminder of the brevity of life.
UNLIMITED SESSIONS. And no extra charge for a kitchen? Hot damn.
"We want to use your home as a fuck hotel."
You want a urine sample too? My first born?
And on and on it goes. Maybe I've been in the Bay Area too long, but I think we should cut each other a break here. I won't go so far as to don some Steampunk attire and sing the Full House song with you, but I think we could all benefit from a little less snark and a little more smoothie.
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