Naivety is knowing SF as nothing more than Alcatraz, Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square and Lombard Street.
I’m fortunate enough to know more than that now.
Yet if there was a class called SF100: Intro to the City I would take it in an instant.
Because every time I go to the city, I am in awe.
It energizes and empowers me. I learn something new and am knocked off my feet by its charm. I may struggle to find love with a man, but I can assure you, I can commit myself to the city without hesitation. Putting prices and money aside, there is so much love, and so much to love in the city. Each trip I take extends my familiarity yet broadens my curiosity. Sure, I know how to walk along the embarcadero and through the piers that look out at the bay. I can recite the names of various neighborhoods of the city I have walked through. I have seen the view from Twin Peaks. I have walked through the Palace of Fine Arts and thought, “holy moly!” I have successfully completed Bay to Breakers twice.
None of these things have even come close to satisfying my desire to know more about San Francisco.
It’s not like other cities. I have been to other cities, even “the City” of the east coast, NYC. San Francisco is different. It feels familiar and friendly. I know I have little authority in calling it familiar. I’m little more than an extended-stay tourist. But I can say I’m starting to bridge the gap with my current surroundings (and no pun was intended there believe it or not). I’m not lying when I say I’m wholeheartedly invested in and intrigued by my friends who grew up in and are from the city. Their hometown pride is so obvious and captivating. The strangest part is, I’m starting to catch on! … And I’m in no way from SF.
The rolling hills that fill with city traffic.
The comfort of water in the distance.
The stadium that allows homeruns to be caught by kayakers.
The fact that the city offers a glorious BEACH! That I didn’t really think about til Bay to Breakers herded me to it.
The dramatic but perfectly executed mix of greenery and buildings.
The neighborhoods that promote personality and accepting people with all different passions and pasts.
The people one can meet and stay connected to from living there.
The ability to see great concerts at all times.
The people who grew up there and their stories.
I am finding that my heart understands just a little of why and how they love a place so deeply. And of course, I want to see more about what I’ve heard. I want to embody what these “city people” exhibit. I would even say that I could see myself being one of them, for a limited length of time at the minimum.
By experience, I have completed what might be included in SF 100: Intro to the City. Through these experiences and my advancing interest in the city, I have become too invested. Each story I hear and each trip I make to the glorious 7×7 peninsula steals a small piece of my heart. Soon it’ll be gone.