April 28, 2019

Urbanist Abroad: I’ll Have What San Francisco’s Having

During a recent trip to central California — bookended by a weekend in Yosemite National Park, and Passover/Easter break with family in Sacramento — I found the missing middle.

Yes, a barely-justifiable work-week in between, in San Francisco. A friend lives in Inner Sunset, a stone’s throw from Golden Gate Park, and I ended up getting a respite from household duties in Vancouver, and 40 hours of deep-focus on work. Most important, I found a few hours each day to explore the city. (#privilege)

Which, in turn, opened up a game of “got’em, need’em”. You may know it, and if you do, it might have been decades since you thought of it.

The gist: you and a friend sit down with your respective hockey or baseball card collection. (OK fine, but just go with it…) You pick up a stack of your friend’s cards, and proceed to flip through them — rhythmically, perhaps even trance-like — saying “need’im” for those you don’t have, and “got’im” for those you do.

“Got’im, got’im, got’im, got’im, need’im, got’im, need’im, need’im, got’im…”

Of course, they were always men in these trading cards, so it was ‘im for “him”, and not ’em for “them”. (In my youth, the only sport for women that seemed to get much mainstream media attention was tennis. I wonder why.)

Hence, “got’em / need’em” being an essential GenX meme that I believe can easily be used by urban travellers to other cities. What reminds you of home? What do you want to bring home?

I came away from four days in San Francisco thinking of this childhood rubric. “This city is a thrilling beast. I want more of this where I live!”, along with a little, “You can’t be serious — I thought I left that in Vancouver.”

You can see the full set of “got’em / need’em” pics on the @pricetags Instagram account — here’s a sampling:

Got’em

Need’em

Posted in

Support

If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on

Comments

  1. Interesting stuff, but note one error: “Golden Gate Park is two-and-a-half times larger than Stanley Park” is simply not true. The two parks are almost exactly the same size.

    1. Post
      Author

Subscribe to Viewpoint Vancouver

Get breaking news and fresh views, direct to your inbox.

Join 7,301 other subscribers

Show your Support

Check our Patreon page for stylish coffee mugs, private city tours, and more – or, make a one-time or recurring donation. Thank you for helping shape this place we love.

Popular Articles

See All

All Articles