Each time I come back home I recognize things I really like. The sound of foghorns during the day, when it’s bright and sunny out (the fog gets trapped in the center of the bay on hot days sometimes, and shipping channels have to have audible warnings for islands, sandtraps, and such). When the sea lions are around, the sound of their barks float over the tops of the houses and into my bedroom. It was a freaky surprise my first few nights here.
I like neighborhoods where people sit outside at cafes. I just don’t get tired of that. As a pedestrian, I used to feel self-conscious and now I just stare back at them. People watching isn’t just a spectator sport (ar ar ar). I scored an outside seat in the Inner Sunset yesterday and after sitting there for an hour, told my friend, “This is almost as good as North Beach.” (Yes, I’m a snob.)
I love being along the line of multiple transit lines. It only took 20 minutes to get home the other night from the diagonal opposite location in the City (Twin Peaks).
I love being walking distance from downtown. Conversation the other day, for a friend who does not live walking distance from downtown: “You can pick that up right at the Apple Store downtown.” friend: “I never go downtown, there’s no parking.” Silence. Parking? Downtown? Take the bus!
I love getting to the ocean in a few blocks. I was walking in Golden Gate Park yesterday- my old “beautiful place” that I would escape to when I lived on that side of town, and appreciated yet again that it’s quick and easy to get to Fort Mason, Telegraph Hill, or just the docks.
I have started to truly appreciate tourists. I got on the cable car the other day kind of in a pissy mood, and by the end I was completely distracted by a bossy mom and her two kids, one of them a precocious public transit nerd, and the parent’s obsession with the idea of “buying” each house on the route. Tourists are just so chipper, it’s like harmless happy children surrounding you where ever you go. Sure, when they walk in front of traffic it’s nerve-wracking, but their ice-cream eating, neon-color apparel and perma-smiles are appreciated! None of this angsty SF hauty demeanor for them, no. They also just love this place, and they talk about it all the time. It gets you quickly to a Zen like- appreciation of the “now”. I’m mad at something someone said online? Well this cable car is amazingly cute, so there!
I love shopping in small shops. I can get all of my errands done in a few blocks. It’s too bad really that urban design went to parking lots and mega stores, because there’s a beautiful simplicity in doing errands in 20 minutes- shopping, post office, library, etc- and walking to do it.
OK I’m sure there’s more but I consider my reader’s busy life.
Picture: on Columbus, at Cafe Boulangerie