For the purposes of this board...
I'll take a stab at that ...
I've always assumed that it was the "nine Bay Area counties": Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara.
After that, I think it gets gray. I've always thought of Santa Cruz as part of the "Bay Area" but technically it's not. Sonoma and Mendocino sort of run into each other ....
And of course we don't have any control about where people choose to post their messages -- I guess to someone who lives in Sacramento or Stockton, eastern Contra Costa, Alameda and Solono counties could be thought of as part of "the Sacramento Delta" rather than the Bay Area.
I don't think there's a definitive answer.
re: Ruth Lafler
> I've always assumed that [the Bay Area is] the "nine
> Bay Area counties": Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano,
> Napa, Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and
> Santa Clara.
> I've always thought of Santa Cruz as part of the "Bay
> Area" but technically it's not.
You're quite mistaken. Santa Cruz could not be more a part of "the Bay Area", the Monterey Bay Area.
By me, there is no such thing as "The Bay Area" as there are many such such as Monterey, Chesapeake, Coos, Humboldt, San Francisco, and many others.
San Francisco is not a part of a San Francisco Bay area as San Francisco is a place, not an area.
I've travelled extensively and have yet to visit, or even find, an area.
re: Icono Clast at JPS Net
"San Francisco is not a part of a San Francisco Bay area as San Francisco is a place, not an area."
San Francisco is certainly part of the San Francisco Bay Area, which refers to San Francisco Bay and its surrounding areas, not to the city itself, just as Monterey Bay Area refers to Monterey Bay and not the city of Monterey.
The nine counties Ruth referred to, and some adjoining areas, sometimes including Santa Cruz (the city, not the county, which stretches south to Watsonville), are often referred to as the greater Bay Area.
re: Ruth Lafler
I pretty much agree with Ruth on this, that the orthodox interpretation is the original Nine Counties. Another definition might be the territory containing a significant element of folks who commute into the central core on a daily basis. Is the central core San Francisco only? Probably used to be, but now it's more like the whole ring of cities around the Bay, so folks who commute from Stockton to, say, Milpitas would make the cut.
In my business, it's the area that can be efficiently serviced from a San Francisco or Oakland location: north to a line roughly Healdsburg-Calistoga-Fairfield; east to a line roughly Benicia-Discovery Bay-Tracy; south to a line roughly Morgan Hill-Santa Cruz.
Or, more acutely, from what distance would you travel for a plate of Flint's ribs or drinks at the Tonga Room?
Don't try to make TOO much sense of it! (g)
Attempts to stipulate would be futile....the geographic range of a board is defined by how people use it, and that's it. It's a self-limiting thing, like language use or any other community custom.
We might, at some time in the future, spin off narrower regional boards (e.g. East Bay, Millbrae, Napa, Marin), and that would tighten things up, but it won't happen till we get new message board software.
In the meantime, it's one of those happy Internet hodge-podges....
re: Jim Leff
I'm with Ruth and vote for a geographical definition. Otherwise, we'd need to take over Oregon, Reno, and Hawaii too. During the summer month, there are almost more tourists from California in Hawaii than natives!
Here's a map showing the 9 counties that front on San Francisco Bay.
And, yes, Cloverdale is in northern Sonoma County falling within this definition.
I would certainly put Tri-Valley type posts on this board. I think the Nine Counties approach makes sense, up to a point.
Beyond that, though, I think it's a matter of cultural affinity as well as geographical proximity. By that reckoning, I would put Santa Cruz on this board I would include Mendocino but not Modesto, even though they're about the same distance from San Francisco, because Mendocino is full of Bay Area tourists and refugees while Modesto is distinctly Central Valley. I would exclude Sacramento, which is closer than either, because it has its own sphere of influence.
re: Tom Hilton
Modesto, as well as Tracy, Stockton, Manteca and even Los Banos are full of BATs (Bay Area transplants)though no tourists. These areas are starting to lose something of their Central Valley flavor as a result but I agree that they are not yet ready to be part of the greater Bay Area.