Ralph Lauren shop. (thinkretail / Flickr)
Ralph Lauren shop. (thinkretail / Flickr)

Think San Francisco is still a bastion of hipsters, hippies and bohos? Maybe so, but a new and somewhat tongue-in-cheek analysis names the city as the “preppiest in America.” Yes, says real estate brokerage and info hub Movoto, we’re No. 1 on the list of Top 10 cities where folks live large and do it with a certain elite style.

The fun folks at Movoto, based in San Mateo, used the following criteria in their rankings of the 100 most populous cities in the country:

  • Number of preppy clothing retailers per capita
  • Country clubs per capita
  • Equestrian centers per capita
  • Private schools per capita
  • Presence of boarding/preparatory schools
  • Percentage of college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Median household income

Once they determined the criteria, says Movato:

We then looked up data for these criteria using resources including Yellowpages.com, Yelp, retailer websites, Yachtclub.com, Boardingschools.com, and the U.S. Census for the top 100 most populous cities in America. Once the data was acquired, we ranked each city from one to 100 across all the criteria, with one being the best. We used the average of these scores to determine each city’s final Big Deal Score, the number we used to determine their overall preppiness. The lower this number, the better—and the more preppy.

While San Francisco did not top the rankings in all categories, it did score first in the number of private schools per capita, with one for every 6,451 residents. Fremont scored third, with one for every 9,431 residents. Oakland—Oakland!—placed third after Scottsdale and Anaheim in equestrian centers per capita, with one for every 43,980 people.

Frankly, we need to mull this over. Heading to the club for a little golf. See you there.

Move Over, Hipsters: San Francisco Rated ‘Preppiest’ City 10 September,2013Katharine Fong

  • saucetin

    SF isn’t a big city. The Bay Area may be big, but SF itself isn’t. It has 850k people,
    while San Jose’s just 15,000 short of a million. Not a big city, baby. Here’s a telling metric: big cities have all-night subway systems, for example. SF does not. Sorry.

    • Gopal Rao

      A complete overhaul of MUNI (and the addition of late night BART service) would be a complete game-changer. Unfortunately, we’re more likely to see world peace in our lifetime.

      • Guest


      • saucetin

        The RETURN of all-night BART service. Man, those were the (5) days.

    • Gopal Rao

      A complete overhaul of MUNI (and the addition of late night BART service) would be a complete game-changer. Unfortunately, we’re more likely to see world peace in our lifetime.

    • Rio

      San Francisco is America’s 14th largest city and always listed as one of the countries major cities, your subjective analysis notwithstanding.

      • saucetin

        “Major” in terms of its history, yes. A major tourist destination. If you want to visit a LOVELY city, with charming architecture and the best sailing port on the west coast.
        But, *subjectivity* is the only reckoning where SF WINS–counter to your argument. It’s just NOT v. economically important.* Ask a lifelong residnt

        *Statistical analysis will confirm this. I know, I used to drink the Flavor Aid. (You DO know where the ‘kool aid’ expression actually came from, right?) SF is WAY more interesting and self-obsessed than it’s important

        SF hates LA but it’s a 1-way obsession. LA doesn’t think about SF @ all.

      • dayv

        sf is the second in density to nyc

        • saucetin

          and it’s highly walkable, too. but the rivers, like Islais Creek–along Cesar Chavez/Army St., aren’t daylighted. Should be, though.

      • saucetin

        It’s important as a beautiful, walkable city. Please, do yourself a favor & walk in it as often as time allows. Say hi, and make eye contact. We do that here! Enjoy it like, like you would Venice, Italy. But, if you see a show, plan around NOT being able to take BART or MUNI home. That’s not subjective–it’s a practical consideration, + it makes us more car-dependent than we should be. If it were SAFE to walk it late at night (not a subjective criterion), I wouldn’t be putting such a fine point on this. By the way, if SF were Top 10 largest, or in GDP, SF wouldn’t be as quaint, or as cute a tourism-driven city as it is. And then the Gays would leave, and with it the property values. So, please–stay tiny, San Francisco.

      • saucetin

        Subjective, like that feeling when get out of a show, needing to get home safely? You can’t take transit without walking so far, and thru such neighborhoods, that you find yourself at the police station, b/c you–a san franciscan by birth, have been a jumped. Sorry for that overly SUBJECTIVE analysis Rio. BART owes SF citizen better accessibility.

    • MaxMen011

      Hate to break it to you brah, but the only two “big cities” in the world that currently have 24/7 systems are New York and Chicago.

      • saucetin

        1) Those may be the only two cities in the U.S., not “…in the world.” May travel broaden your horizons, young man. And go soon.
        2) The overly-familiar preamble is presumptuous. Can you write without that crutch?

        • halfkneegrow

          So there are only two big cities in the US?

          • saucetin

            I’m disputing MaxMen’s *claim* that only two cities (which he lists) have 24/7 systems. He says “in the world”, which seems unlikely. As for big cities in the US, there are nine that have 1 million people.

        • MaxMen011


          “Only four rapid transit, metro systems in the world run a complete, twenty four hour, round the clock service, and they are all located in the same country.

          They are the New York City Subway, the Blue and Red Lines of the Chicago L system, Philidelphia’s PATCO System and the New York City to New Jersey PATH – Port Authority Trans Hudson – system.

          Some cities offer bus services during the hours that their metros are closed, particularly ones that cover airports or major rail stations on their routes.

          Certain cities will offer 24 / 7 services during special occasions, but as a general rule, it is unusual to find a 24
          hour, metro system due to the fact that the lines need to be cleared for maintenance, and the best time to do this is overnight, when passenger numbers are low.”


          “24-Hour Operation

          24/7 (daily) Chicago USA Red Line, Blue Line
          Copenhagen Denmark Metro
          Jersey City USA PATH
          London United Kingdom Thameslink only (no tube lines)
          New York USA 20 subway lines, SIR, PATH, LIRR
          Philadelphia USA PATCO, Green Line
          Sydney Australia Metro Light Rail (Central – Star City)

          24/2 (Fri, Sat) BerlinGermany U-Bahn, S-Bahn
          Bochum Germany

          Hamburg Germany U-Bahn, S-Bahn
          Stockholm Sweden

          Vienna Austria U-Bahn

          24/1 (Sat) BarcelonaSpain

          Bilbao Spain”

          You might want to try using this “internet” thing to look up facts instead of using it to magnify your apparent ignorance and stupidity.

          • saucetin

            So, by your count, NYC + Philly + Chicago equals TWO, not three. 1 + 1 + 1 = 2 yet, I’M the stupid one? No, sorry honey.

            Not so. Stupid is as stupid adds.

          • MaxMen011

            “..inter-state svc. from NYC-to-New Jersey
            + intra-NYC
            + Philly
            + Chicago
            equals just TWO cities.”

            So you admit and agree that I was correct when I said earlier:

            “Hate to break it to you brah, but the only two “big cities” in the world that currently have 24/7 systems are New York and Chicago”.

            And in that sense, yes they are the two cities I named: NYC & Chicago. Since PATH is technically NYC and part of the NYC system that doesn’t really count. So I only missed one, Philly.

            Thank you for acknowledging that you are both dumb AND illiterate. Especially with your childish, nonsensical, and incoherent posts.

          • saucetin

            Thank you for admitting that you still can’t count, Maxi. And, no, I NEVER specified 24/7. That’s been your assumption from the start. My bad for replying to un petit con who starts off with the tone that you did. Start there, or you’ll never get THAT stain off yourself. You’re still young. So be brave, too. Make a change.

            “Illiterate” in which languages, exactly? Mandarin, Cantonese, Swahili, Tagalog?

            And, what of Germany, Denmark, England, Australia, Sweden, Austria, and Spain’s service? You’re the one who cited these!

            So, I forgive you for your tone. Forget about it and do something
            with what’s left of your life. Go somewhere and spend the day walking around. Talk to people, & start out by being more polite.

    • RCH

      Saucetin, I don’t know where you get the idea that “world-class cities
      build all-night subway systems”; that’s patently absurd. So, in your
      opinion, London, Paris and Tokyo aren’t “world-class cities”, huh? After
      all, their underground systems are out of service from about 1am-5am.

      • saucetin

        BART’s weekend hours are absurd, especially if it’s been light out for hours. You shouldn’t have to hire out a car to get to past the city gates.

        Shutting down at midnight, as BART does, is absurd. “…past midnight” would be fine. But 8 hours for maintenance? True, to qualify hyperbole above, L.A. and Miami don’t even have this. Should they? It sure doesn’t stop them from being fun–in small doses, it’s true. Yay fun.

        J’adore Paris. Tokyo je n’connais point. FOUR hours of maintenance (1 am-5 am) sure beats being shut for 12 am-8 am, on a Sunday morning.
        If maintenance take twice as long, maybe taxpayers needn’t pay BART manager http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_23416601/barts-top-paid-worker-2012-never-worked-day Dorothy Dugger upwards of $200,000 NOT to work, in 2012.

    • remy

      Even Paris, France does not have a 24-hour metro!

      • saucetin

        Je sais très bien que Paris (which, as you note, est en France) n’a pas d’service 24 h. Merci pour me faire souvenir de çela, remy, avant ma prochaine visite. Au moins que vous avez > 5 taxis operating at any one time, to make up for this! We aren’t so lucky here. As Eddie Izzard would have it (@ 2:40): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJ19ahNyM3I

  • Terry Calhoun

    Get on down to the block or two around City Lights in North Beach – not very preppie there, or in the Tenderloin, or Castro – somebody’s not seeing the whole city if they think it’s all prep – they think China Town’s preppie? C’mon

    • RCH

      Terry, do you really think that ANY town is “all prep”? There are parts of New Haven, Cambridge and Princeton that I don’t feel comfortable walking around at night, and no shortage of tacky spots in all of them. A 100% prep city simply isn’t possible.

      • Terry Calhoun

        I must have been vague RCH; I like North Beach, the Tenderloin and Castro. The preppie parts are the ones I fear walking around, day or night. Don’t like gettin’ snobbed on

  • wompadompdonk

    its called New England Prep for a reason

  • hipster

    and a great city slowly loses its awesome culture to the homogenous preppy masses

    • RCH

      …as opposed to the homogenous hipster masses, “Hipster”?

  • nancy johnson

    an influx of educated nerds and young entrepeneurs in the computer world
    have impacted the numbers of “preppy” young people.

    • saucetin

      & the Geek Squad gallops on…though we could just call them ‘yuppies’ again.

  • Andreas

    I think factoring in median household income and number of people with degrees as criteria skews the average especially when you consider it’s well educated liberal arts boho hippie types and perhaps number of wealthy folks that made their money through some sort of creative endeavor.

  • RCH

    For whatever reason (rank ignorance?) the people who did this study left out one of the most telling indicators of prep: the prevalence of private *city* clubs (not country clubs). Such clubs are, not surprisingly, where those who prepped congregate in the city. By that metric alone, SF wins; we have more private city clubs per capita than any other city in the US.

    • saucetin

      Bohemian Club, much? Good metric.

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