Dear friends and family on the East Side,
It’s not you, it’s me.
I live in a completely different city. Life is very different over here, and to tell you the truth, I prefer it. The actual distance may only be a few miles, but it may as well be light years.
There’s a grittiness, a weathering of the soul you experience over here. San Franciscans, native or otherwise, weather just as the trees along the coast twist and turn and age. Each of them looks different, and I think that reflects in the people who live here. We identify with each other as San Franciscans, yet we’re not homogenous by any stretch of the imagination.
[Source: Manny Santiago/Heso Magazine]
I live in The City, and have no need for a car, which is phenomenal in this car-centric nation. Many of us walk, cycle, rollerblade, run and vespa around town. We have majestic bridges rising above the bay, iconic architecture, a stunning ballpark. We have Baker Beach and Ocean Beach, the Presidio and Golden Gate Park. World glass golf courses such as the Olympic Club and Harding Park. We have great restaurants, mainstream and indie clothing stores, and a whole host of gourmet food trucks. We have organic and free range and gluten-free. We have Pride and a city-wide committment to the arts. Each neighborhood has its own vibe, its own ‘people’. And the temperature is mostly 62 degrees each day. It’s a little piece of paradise on the tip of a peninsula.
I know of people who have not left The City in years. Literally. It has everything you need! And never leaving The City is a perfectly acceptable way of living. As Rudyard Kipling said, “San Francisco has only one drawback - ’tis hard to leave.”
The simple fact is that I like it over here. Life is varied and interesting. I have everything I need, right here in San Francisco.
So maybe it is you. And I think it’s time you paid me a visit over on the West Side.
“I’ve been to all the great cities of the world,” he said, “and not one of them has what this one has – and I’m not talking about hills or water. I mean light – fantastic changes of light. I’ve never seen a city move so fast or so often from gray to white to blue to pink to gold and then back again, and sometimes all at the same time. Wherever you turn there seems to be a new shade in a new connotation – a violet hill, a yellow street or a green house turning orange right before your eyes.” — From Herb Caen, ‘A Sense of Wonder’, SF Chronicle