We San Franciscophiles believe, of course, that there is no better city in the world than ours.
No view is more breathtaking than the bay peeking through the fog as it snakes across the Golden Gate Bridge, no food more delicious than that first crack of dungeness crab in December, no setting more ideal than a sunny Sunday picnic on Speedway Meadow. Sure, we wear jackets in the summertime and the Market Street bike lane hasn't been paved in years, but no matter. Our city embodies perfection.
Which is why we weren't at all surprised to learn that a new report ranks San Francisco among the best cities for quality of living in the world. We're just shocked we didn't top the list.
British consulting firm Mercer recently surveyed 420 international cities and analyzed a number of factors, including recreation, economic climate, public services, sanitation and education and compiled the results into their "2011 Quality of Living" rankings. European cities dominated, with Vienna coming in first place, followed by Zurich and Auckland, New Zealand. Baghdad came out on the bottom.
While our fair city clocked in at number 30, we were among the top two in the United States, coming in behind only Honolulu (ranked 29). A nod to our decidedly European flair? Perhaps.
Boston, Chicago and New York also rounded out the top 50. But the top four cities in North America all belong to our neighbor to the north: Canada cleaned up, with Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal topping our continent-specific list.
Mercer, while we do appreciate the international recognition, we'll now return to our regularly scheduled belief that San Franciscans do, indeed, enjoy the very best quality of life in the world. Make that the universe.
Take a look at the full report here, and see how other U.S. cities fared in our slideshow below: