Your seasonal depression arrives earlier than that Macy’s Christmas tree in Union Square.
Autumn in San Francisco is a very mercurial thing. But this season in the city is also, simultaneously, formularized — the fog wanes; temperatures slightly cool; there’s a massive, albeit temporary, influx of new possible fuck buddies and people to cuddle for cuffing season. However, these aforementioned normalities exist with some degree of uniqueness.
Maybe the marine layer over San Francisco grows weaker than usual. That steam-fed radiator will creek more randomly, SF’s version of a crackling fireplace. Perhaps Folsom Street Fair will introduce you to a couple looking for their third (or vice versa).
Alas, fall in San Francisco is predictably inconsistent. But here are five sure-fire signs we know it’s arrived.
Karla The Fog takes a moderate sabbatical
San Francisco’s misty veil is thickest between June and August. After “Fogust” — the month-long span we’ve all come to connote with a dense atmospheric film that’s reluctant to burn off — the subsequent few months see Karla take a growing number of OOO days.
But rest assured she’s still an early riser and will continue lingering in the wee hours of the day and night.
All your friends are going on a day trip to see the foliage change… somewhere
If we had a nickel for every view a story of ours got that highlighted fall foliage… we’d be a majority stakeholder in Square. Or at the very least have enough capital to privately invest in Rivian. That said, don’t get us wrong: We stan Mother Nature’s color shift on display around the Bay Area, especially at SF’s Japanese Tea Garden and Filoli Garden in San Mateo.
Marina District-based social media influencers start filling their Instagram accounts with everything fucking pumpkin spice
San Francisco’s Marina District is known for its lacquered nativism, odiously conservative newspaper, and — perhaps more than anything else — its permanence as the city’s fraternity house of sorts for an ever-growing tech-bro population. It’s also an area that doubles down on every popular Instagram trope… which includes posting about all things pumpkin-spice or Ugg-boot-related starting in October.
We finally surrender and don slightly thicker outerwear
Living in San Francisco basically means you wear the same wardrobe all year — though maybe you’ll make some NSFW changes for Folsom Street Fair. But with temperatures routinely sitting cooler, we can wear those slightly thicker Patagonia jackets. Beanies? Oh yea: Fuck it up. Scarfs? It’s Red season, after all. Thicc gloves? Impractically unnecessary, unless you’re heading up to Lake Tahoe.
Union Square already wants to believe it’s Christmas in November
Much like how CVS and Walgreens start selling Halloween decor and candies around early September, San Francisco’s Union Square likes to skip over Thanksgiving and, more or less, usher in Christmas starting in the middle of November.
This year, downtown saw its ice rink go up in the first week of November. The massive Macy’s Christmas tree was low-key brought in and lit up on Wednesday — which is *wild.* And speaking of Macy’s festivities, the company will debut its SPCA Holiday Windows this week, too.