San Francisco 2009, part two!

Seagull near the Embarcadero

Growing up in small-town New Hampshire, California seems to be this mystical, amazing place, where people are diverse and interesting and accepting.  I recall reading a book of someone growing up in Berkeley and thinking “I need to live there.”  I finally got to visit San Francisco in 2005 when a dear friend moved to the Bay area after college.  My best friend and I went and visited him for a week and we got a whirlwind tour of what Northern California has to offer (and that’s a lot!).  I almost applied to grad school at UC Berkeley, but their deadline was early, their funding for MA programs nonexistent, and so in the end, I ended up living my California adventure in San Diego.

Dinner at Samovar Tea Lounge

After a couple of years in San Diego, it was blatantly obvious that San Francisco and the Bay area were more suited to me — my politics, my love of city life and public transportation, my personality and attitude, my vegetarianism and sustainable eating practices.  But I didn’t manage to visit again until the end of May/early June 2009, when I needed a quick and inexpensive vacation and was evaluating it as a potential place to move.  It was my first solo adventure in the US, and I stayed in a hostel, wandered around, ate alone, and I loved it despite the dampness of spring.  But did I want to move there?  Not really.  If I’m honest, I was tired of California (for good reason, I’d been fighting to survive for too long in its terrible economy).

Looking Back at San Francisco

Once my mind was made up to leave California, I wanted to visit again, cheaply, since it’s far more expensive flying across the country (and I hate, hate, hate cross-country flying, since I have ended up sleeping in the airport on several occasions).  I got a $70 ticket for early December and off I went.  When I got out of the BART station and was surrounded by the tall city buildings, I knew for sure: I love city life, it suits me, and I miss it greatly. San Francisco is a lovely city and someday it would be great to live there (with disposable income).  My second visit in 2009 was even better, with sunshine and blue skies (though bone-chilling temperatures due to the dampness in the air), and my own improved familiarity with the neighborhoods and public transportation.  I wandered and ate lots of delicious food (especially ice cream) and just appreciated the city’s character (so different from and similar to NYC at the same time).  I may have never visited Los Angeles during my three years in southern California, but I visited San Francisco twice!

Yerba Buena Gardens

You can check out my photos here, but here you see some of my favorites.

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