In Western New York (WNY), from whence I moved about 12 years ago, the opening conversation is always about the weather and why it's so awful (it frequently is awful there; Rochester and Buffalo are infamous for it).
In the Bay Area, the starter conversation topics are two: one's commute and all its permutations, or food. I take BART to work so my commuter conversation is enthusiastic but not all that interesting; my food conversation, however, is a lot more fun.
There's a reason for it - here in NOCA (Northern California), we have it all. Fresh organic veggies, fruits, meats, dairy and eggs, all locally grown and offered at charming farmers' markets, Mom-and-Pops, or excellent grocery chains like Andronico's or Whole Foods. We are blessed.
And then there's the seafood. OMG. Last night, MB and I grilled wild salmon of staggering price and deliciousness on our vintage '70s JennAir grill. It was beautifully striped, still sizzling and on the medium rare side when we slid it onto our plates alongside a nice, big artichoke from Castroville and a little dish of melted butter.
When I talk to my friends from WNY, I start the conversation by telling them that NOCA rules!