Mission Statement

The San Franciscan is a fiercely independent magazine that celebrates the diverse subcultures of San Francisco and the Bay Area through humor and criticism, but always with utmost sincerity and pride.


Letter from the Editor

Winter 2020

Amanda and I started The San Franciscan in November 2018 to give physical form to our deeply felt connection with the Bay Area. We reached out to potential collaborators―dreamers all over the Bay who hungered to create, to experiment, and to connect with their community.

Many of us learn to hide our dreams, to shelter them from the elements: the eroding wind and harsh rain of reality. I’m guilty of keeping writing private, of obsessively sanding sentences to a smooth sheen, of rolling around grains of ideas, discarding all but the perfect pearls, not wanting to expose unpolished, gritty thoughts. I’m the only one who can see the pile of dust at my feet.

Those I admire most dream out in the open. The toughest San Franciscans embrace exposure and failure. They publicly pursue visions of what could be in the face of a stoic status quo. Our Winter 2020 issue is a tribute to the dreamers who shape our world, who, even as they fail, persist, unafraid. Read on for the story of a political newcomer bold enough to take on Washington, a feature on a group of international artists who refuse to remain silent, and a hot take on a cold (murder) case. Take a peek at our photography spotlight and grab some headphones to listen to our curated playlist (p. 20). Reflect on our featured poems, dig into our short fiction, and see if you can’t solve our locally-themed crossword.

Developing this second edition of The San Franciscan confirmed our early suspicions: the Bay Area is brimming with makers and artists of all stripes. There are transplants who want to contribute and to belong. There are natives and long-time residents who want to be heard and to give back to the city that raised them. And of course, there are people like you: readers with an appetite for print, who want to engage with thoughtful, compelling writing.

A year later, our formerly amorphous, distant vision is now sharply in focus. I look around and can see the worlds of our artists and writers superimposed onto the city in front of me. Join me and look through their eyes, with new perspective, at what our city is and could be.

Erica Messner


P.S. Any similarities to a certain well-known weekly have been reviewed by the party in question’s perspicacious legal team and modified per a surprisingly congenial email exchange. In the spirit of amicable resolution, I have been gifted a one-year subscription to said esteemed publication, presumably for further study.