so this is san francisco
by Amy D.
Florida to Virginia to Washington, D.C. to New York to San Francisco.
Life coaxes me to unexpected places, and down unexpected paths.
Now here I am teaching small children on the other side of the country, in a city of hills and fog and ocean air, stumbling along and playing at being a grown-up.
So this is San Francisco, and there is much for me to love, including:
- Temperate weather. Being a Florida native, I feel right at home in a city where seasons are but a quaint storybook fiction, though the whole micro-climate and sunny-foggy-sunny-foggy thing adds a kooky element I find both perplexing and appealing. Florida only has hurricanes, and the occasional sinkhole.
- A house in the clouds. We (partner and I) currently reside in the southernmost part of the city, at the tippy-top of an impossibly steep hill. Due to its geographical positioning, our neighborhood is a fog trap. There’s something ethereal and mildly eerie about waking up to a world covered in mist, or driving down your street — car’s fog lights aglow — half-wondering if you will either reach the bottom or enter a portal to the Fourth Dimension.
- My morning commute(s). Three days a week, I take a ten-minute stroll to the preschool where I teach; two days a week, I drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and park down by the Bay, where the watermelons grow–er, that is, where sea lions bob in the water like adorable buoys, and I blow them a good morning kiss before heading into the children’s museum where I also teach. Blessed.
- Parks galore. Gimme that green space, mmhmm.
- Eclectic foods. Bubble tea. Sushirritos. Cronuts. Red wine and Coca-Cola sorbet. If you’re looking for culinary innovation, you’ll find it on every corner.
- Walking. Besides the preschool, I can walk to the store, to the library, to the cafe, to the auto shop, to the Thai restaurant, et cetera. There is something very gratifying about the ability to go places on one’s own two feet. And yes, I realize I must sound quite provincial, but I did grow up in suburban Florida, after all.
- Good vibes, man. I see a lot more smiles than frowns on a daily basis. That stuff we East Coasters hear about West Coasters being “laid-back”? So far, so true. People are, generally, more at ease here — the perfect antidote to my neuroses.
Indeed, there is much to love about San Francisco, but there is also much to bemoan: the influx of “techies,” absurdly high housing costs, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and a dwindling artistic community — all of which are interconnected. I cannot afford to stay here forever, nor do I wish to; for the time being, I will enjoy everything this pretty little city has to offer, until the next adventure. And I won’t take it for granted.