…most certainly has hold of one of the largest portions of my city-loving heart.
It’s the city that most reminds me of a warm friend, always taking you in after a long journey – no questions asked. Setting you comfortably in front of a warm, cozy fire and handing you a steaming mug of coffee to warm your soul. Hugging you for a few seconds longer than you had initially intended to pull away, inherently letting you know that everything is, was, and always will be OK.
This city takes care of those who love it, anyone can feel its friendly personality eager to get to know its people and visitors. Wandering through its different neighborhoods yields the best kinds of serendipitous joys and small pleasures. I’m so lucky to have so many friends residing in her homes and apartments speckled all over the grid – giving once-anonymous bus lines and BART stops faces and memories to their names.
Bus 38 went to Graci’s when I would cross over from Berkeley to meet up with an old friend and feel safe and happy watching our favorite shows on a lazy Sunday before the start of another week of classes. Bus 1 was the day last year I decided to traverse the length of California Street in order to descend and eventually reach the Sutro Baths and Lands End. Montgomery Station was a summer of nannying and venturing to eventful concerts in the park, breaking up long but dynamic days of working with children. Ubers split a car-full of friends to the Castro from the East Bay were exuberant weekends that made the last semester of college pass us by in a sweaty, dancing haze.
But more than the bus and BART lines and stops, there’s been nothing better than falling into a deep, comforting, no-matter-the-distance-or-time-passed friendship with the city simply by exploring her streets (and hills!) on my own two feet.
Yesterday, not having anything in particular planned, I decided to let the city guide me to something lovely – as I well knew it would. Leaving my friends’ sweet apartment, I wandered to a favorite coffee shop around the block and had a nice chat with the barista about weekend plans. It was turning out to be a gorgeous, sunny day and I decided to wander down Nob Hill to North Beach.
Upon arriving, I knew I had been LONG overdue for a visit to the City Lights Bookstore – a complete and total San Francisco staple, to say the least. And, me being me and an absolute sucker for bookshops, it was inevitable that I stayed and explored for a good two and a half hours. I even skimmed/read a couple of books (not novels, mind you!) cover to cover during that time because – let’s be real – I’m never prepared to shell out upwards of 20 bucks for books (that’s what libraries and book-loving friends are for, no?)
Last night had in store a sweet reunion with a dear friend who I’d studied with in Paris at a French wine bar called Amélie no less, followed by an enormous pizza at Gioia.
Tiny note about this specific moment in time that I don’t want to forget: It’s so early in the morning now as I’m writing this and I’m loving hearing those familiar foghorns in the not-so-far-off waters.
SF, I just love you so much.