highest number of cafes and restaurants per capita of any USA city, a trendy art scene supported by many galleries and tourist dollars, as well as a highly developed public transportation system,
even by European standards, certainly qualifies San Francisco for the title of the "Most European" of USA's cities. San Francisco is also one of the most beautiful cities in the world
with hilly streets providing gorgeous glimpses of the San Francisco Bay and its famous bridges. Our favorite Golden Gate Bridge, is also the city's oldest.
Looking for diversity, well San Francisco
has plenty of it, as well. Every ethnicity and preference group finds a home in San Francisco. There is certainly the mandatory of any large US city Chinatown, and a surprising Japan-town, home
to probably as many Koreans as the Japanese. North Beach neighborhood is unmistakably Italian. And then there are the "Russians" more on them later... Non-standard
sexual preferences are the norm in the Castro. Hippies are still chilling at Haight-Ashbury, the place where the entire movement began in the sixties. The
clubby 20-somethingsdon't stray far from SoMa, just across Market St. from the plusher financial district with the adjacent Union Square.
For more information on San Francisco Bay Area points of interest, look at this list from the California Division of Tourism.
Now, about the "Russians"... An unusual thing about the Russian-speaking community of the San Francisco Bay Area is that there is more than one. And each one of these communities has
little interaction with others.
are the recent (mostly Jewish) Russian-speaking immigrants living along Geary Boulevard in San Francisco. Walking down Geary between 14th and 26th Avenues it is hard not to notice the similarities
between this street and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. Our own mini version of Odessa is less saturated and smaller than New York's, but then again San Francisco itself is like an apple seed when
compared to the Big Apple.
It is not long before one notices the contrast between that and the oldest San Francisco Russian-speaking (Russian Orthodox) community. Geographically close,
but worlds apart, these communities have nothing in common, but the language.
The third notable Russian speaking community is geographically dispersed and centered approximately 40 miles
south of San Francisco in an area called the "Silicon Valley." Russian-speakers that belong to this group tend to be most affluent and very well educated. On the one hand, this group is the most
diverse culturally and on the other very strictly characterized as mostly men in their 20s and 30s.
Some of the local groups have recently opened up their own websites on the internet. To
learn more about the local Russian-speaking community, please visit our forums and then come visit us here in the Bay Area.