There is a post on the SF Bay area board about tourists over-running the ferry building in SF
[BROKEN LINK REMOVED]
Which got me thinking... While I wish we all could live a genteel life, in our own ivory tower wandering in peace through our local farmer's market, consuming only lovingly prepared local produce and delicious foods that make our foodie hearts melt... (can you hear the birds chirping... as a cool breeze drifts in from the bay???)
but in reality... in order to sustain those markets and ferry's buildings that we love so much, it takes money. plain and simple. money from those who love and appreciate the fruits of organic farming and from those who are just their to have a san francisco experience, get their pictures taken in front of a giant cheese wheel and pick up some tapenade as a souvenir.
We need people from around the world to believe that california is a destination for good food and wine. really not just a source of these things, but a lifestyle to be desired and emulated. Market branding has become a staple of the food tourism of California. it's not just good cheese, it is from the cowgirl creamery. Red wine with dinner? but of course only it is is from the napa valley.
why would you pay $12-15 for a burger and fries? oh well, because it isn't "just" a burger and fries. it is from Taylor's Refresher with zinfandel carmelized onions.
I love that we all live in an area that has so many great restaurants, markets and foods to sample and enjoy. I guess what is boils down to is that I have been a tourist myself and been annoyed by tourists on many occassions. As has everyone... but really if you live in SF, and drive up to the napa valley for the day (and even if you love and appreciate every bite of your french laundry dinner) you are still a tourist! Whether a stylish foodie or a sneaker shod mid-westerner with elastic waistband pants and a camera slung around your neck. we shouldn't bite the hand that helps keeps places we love open.