I grew up in the Bay Area, so I have my own ideas of where the boundaries between the Bay Area and the surrounding communities. Here's what I'm curious about:

Outside of your neighborhood, outside of your city and county, what is the next largest community to which you feel yourself to belong? Would you call it the Bay Area? Is it something other than the Bay Area? What is it? Where does it begin and end, and what are the shared cultural agreements and assumptions that might differ from either those in larger, outside communities, or smaller ones within the Bay Area?

What I mean is, separately from those other communities you consider yourself to be part of, what makes you a Bay Area resident? Is it simply that you happen to live here at this point in time? Is it that you walk a certain way? Think a certain way about particular things? What are those things?

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asked 21 Nov '09, 06:48

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Wikipedia's great, but I'm curious about you.

(21 Nov '09, 23:22) dr.fishtable ♦

My definition of "The San Francisco Bay Area" is San Jose to the South, Vallejo to the East, and Novato to the North. Basically, anywhere that San Francisco Bay borders. Beyond Vallejo you go through the Carquinez strait into Suisun Bay (not SF Bay). I realize that technically that northern area is San Pablo Bay, but Point San Pablo is not nearly so much a physical separator as the Carquinez strait.

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answered 24 Feb '10, 19:29

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nice map Mr w...

(24 Feb '10, 19:36) ashbury ♦♦

To me, the Bay Area is defined by how far people will commute for a job. In my mind, San Jose is part of the Bay Area because a number of my coworkers live there or in Sunnyvale / Santa Clara, and yet work across from the Ferry Building in downtown SF.

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answered 26 Nov '09, 20:26

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I would say Marin area, all the way south to San Jose, all the way up through Fremont, then Oakland, Berkeley, etc... I have only lived here for 4 years, but that is what I consider to be the bay area.

Some info from Wikipedia

The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area or simply the Bay, is a metropolitan region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses large cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas. Overall, the Bay Area consists of nine counties, 101 cities, and 7,000 square miles.[3] The nine counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.[3][4]

The Bay Area when defined as a Combined Statistical Area, is the sixth largest in the country, with approximately 7.4 million people.[5] It encompasses the metropolitan areas of San Francisco (12th largest in the country) and San Jose (31st largest in the country), as well as four other smaller, surrounding metropolitan areas. The Bay Area hosts many cities, towns, military bases, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a massive network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels and commuter rail. The combined urban area of San Francisco and San Jose is the 46th largest urban area in the world.

San Francisco is the cultural and financial center of the Bay Area, and has the second highest population density of any major city in North America after New York City.[6] San Jose is the largest city in terms of population, land area, and industrial development. Oakland is a major manufacturing and distribution center, rail terminus/hub, and has the fourth largest container shipping port in the United States. The Bay Area is renowned for its natural beauty, liberal politics, affluence, diversity, and new age reputation.

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answered 21 Nov '09, 09:59

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I think a section that kind of gets forgotten in the "Bay Area" is up above Berkeley in Benecia and Vallejo area as well. The different areas of the Bay are very different and dynamic because of the simple fact that it is a cultural and financial hub. This also makes it hard to solidify an internal cohesive identification that can make me say "I'm from the Bay Area." (It's also hard to identify this because I don't know what I identify with here because I haven't lived anywhere else long enough to know when I am missing it.)

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answered 24 Feb '10, 07:31

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It's always baffled me as to why San Francisco is "The" self-proclaimed "Bay Area" when talking about the continental U.S. There are so many bay areas around the country it's amazing. Just a few for example... - New Orleans - Mobile - St. Petersburg - Tampa - Port Charlotte - Corpus Christi - Boston - Providence - Annapolis - Charleston This is a small fraction of the "bay areas" in the U.S. Sorry for the gripe-fest, it's just very presumptuous (and typical) for people native to San Francisco to claim they are from "the" bay area and that everyone should automatically know what they are talking about when they say they're from the bay area.

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answered 25 Feb, 13:22

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edited 25 Feb, 13:24

you make a valid point.

(25 Feb, 16:18) ashbury ♦♦
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Asked: 21 Nov '09, 06:48

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Last updated: 25 Feb, 16:35