Fans at a Giants game this summer. Photo by Roy Luck/Flickr.
Fans at a Giants game this summer. Photo by Roy Luck/Flickr.

Jeff Sucharme has a long list of reasons to be happy that he lived in the Bay Area this year.

“The Giants victory was the best. But lets not forget our service men and women. Fleet week was off the chain this year!” San Francisco resident Sucharme wrote in a comment on NPR’s Facebook page. “Amazing weather, America’s Cup, Blue Angels airshow, Niners record-setting game, Hardly Strictly, Castro street fair, and Pier 3 fireworks on the bay. All in one weekend!”

Fellow San Francisco resident Jamie Dowd, meanwhile, was a little more succinct.

“Every day that happened was the best. San Frantastic!” he commented.This week, as part of our year-end wrap-up, we asked our followers on social media to name the best thing that happened in the Bay Area in 2012. We also asked them to tell us the No. 1 reason for living in the region this year.

We received around 150 responses, including some that cited simple pleasures. “I ate a really good burrito a few weeks ago,” commented Don Reynolds. Others named personal victories. Randy Nola wrote: “I moved here; BTW Bay you’re welcome.” Still others described events in their local communities. “When San Jose Public Library got the funds to open four new branches!” Amanda Dos Santos wrote. And Steven Kyle Weller said the best thing to happen to the Bay Area was “the new Target at 4th and Mission.”

A few events were cited repeatedly. Here are the five that were listed most often or named in comments that received the most Likes on Facebook. Come back to News Fix tomorrow for more about other ways the Bay Area was no. 1 this year.

Sergio Romo. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.

1. The Giants Won the World Series

In 2005, Sergio Romo was an unheralded 28th-round pick by the Giants. In 2012 he closed out the season as both an athletic and pop-culture hero, striking out arguably the game’s best hitter – Miguel Cabrera – in extra innings to complete a World Series sweep of the Tigers. For many locals, the Giants’ World Series win was the biggest Bay Area event of the year. In fact, Bjorn Stromsness of Fremont commented that the biggest things to happen in the Bay Area this year were “1. Giants, 2. Me getting married.”

2. The A’s Made a Thrilling Run to the Playoffs

The Giants weren’t the only Bay Area baseball team to generate excitement. Sue Haas wrote on Facebook that her favorite local experience of 2012 was “following the Oakland A’s incredible baseball season!” The A’s had the lowest payroll in baseball and at the end of June they were 13 games out of first place. But when the season ended, the A’s were the AL West champs. It was the team’s first division crown since 2006.

Joe Pug performs at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Photo by J. Pitt/Flickr.

3. The Big Bay Weekend Packed San Francisco with Entertainment

The weekend of Oct. 5 was kind of like an entertainment convention for the Bay Area. Over just two days local residents had the opportunity to experience what seemed like the entire range of entertainment available in the Bay Area. Sports fans could cheer at two Giants games, a San Francisco 49ers game and the America’s Cup races. Music fans could check out the long lineup of talented artists at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. Families could enjoy the roar of the air shows in the culmination of Fleet Week. Outdoor partiers could head to the Castro Street Fair. And those interested in the region’s diversity could watch the Italian Heritage parade. “I love living in San Francisco,” Sucharme wrote in summing up the weekend.

4. The Golden Gate Bridge Celebrated its 75th Anniversary in Style

Thousands attended a blowout in San Francisco the weekend of May 26 to celebrate the 75th birthday of the Bay Area’s best-known landmark. The party included music, dancing and an arts exhibition, as well as classic car and boat displays. It closed with a jaw-dropping rock-and-roll fireworks display from the bridge that reportedly included three tons of explosives (watch the video below).

Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Fireworks Celebration from KFOG Radio 104.5/97.7 on Vimeo.

5. Local Transportation got a Little Better

Hillary Stangel is a big fan of public transportation in the Bay Area. “After living in Los Angeles, Caltrain and BART are dreams come true,” she wrote on Facebook. And BART riders had a little something extra to be happy about this year, as the train service began introducing new vinyl-covered seats. The new seats were a relief to BART riders tired of stained fabric cushions. In fact, one of the most-liked Facebook comments about 2012’s highlights was a comment by San Francisco Jorge MackIntire calling the new seats the best Bay Area happening of the year.

  • MA

    this list is so sports and san francisco based. what about all the awesome stuff that happened in oakland and other cities in the bay area?

    • http://www.kqednews.org/ Ian Hill, KQED News

      Again, this list is based on comments left on social media. They were overwhelmingly about baseball, which is probably no surprise. And this is only five reasons. We could probably populate an entire blog with reasons why local residents say it’s great to live in the Bay. Feel free to share yours in a comment.

      • christine

        We get that this is based on social media comments. But it’s still super SF-based, and since probably the bulk of your readers/listeners are SF based, that’s fine, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the title of this article seems rather misleading as compared to the content here. If you’re going to do a list of top things in the Bay Area, then those top five reasons need to encompass the entire Bay Area. This list would be better titled Why It Was Great To Live in San Francisco.

        • http://twitter.com/sspediacci Sean Spediacci

          What exactly happened in the East Bay besides the bandwagon A’s fans coming back for a hot minute?

        • http://www.kqednews.org/ Ian Hill, KQED News

          Then no. 2 (Oakland A’s), no. 4 (Golden Gate Bridge – regional) and no. 5 (BART – regional) wouldn’t apply. We also noted the commenter who was happy with funding for the San Jose libraries. And as we say in the post, there will be more coverage tomorrow. Again, though, that’s the great thing about comments. This is part of the story. I’d love to see some comments with suggestions about other events!

        • neutral_corner

          #6. The freedom to whine and nit-pick about anything and everything.

  • http://www.kqednews.org/ Ian Hill, KQED News

    So we’re already seeing some interesting response to this post. What events were missed? What other great reasons were there to live in the Bay Area? Leave a comment!

  • http://www.facebook.com/smspirate Sharon Slayton

    It’s ALWAYS great to live here. It isn’t about “events…” It’s about the incredible privilege of living by the Bay! And every year, when they get that first blizzard/snow storm in the Midwest – makes for many of the reasons to live here!

  • CVOAK

    What about the art murmur and arts in general flourishing in Oakland? Or all the million awesome restaurants popping up in the east bay? The multiple music festivals, bike rides like east bay bike party, parks, museums, etc. I would title this list “a 50 year old suburban commuter dads guide to San Francisco”

  • http://twitter.com/joey89924 joey

    makes for many of the reasons to live here!
    RS485

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