Thursday, July 17, 2008

What I Miss About San Francisco

In no particular order...

1. I miss crossing the street without fearing for my life! In San Francisco, pedestrians have the right of way.

2. I miss walking into a store with the sales assistant greeting me at the door and asking me how I am, if I'm looking for something in particular, and my name is xxxx, if you need any help, just ask for me. You see, in San Francisco, they are paid on commission and it's their job to kiss your ass as a paying customer. They are paid to be your best friend. They don't gather around the counter chatting to each other and ignoring you, and you have to wait until their conversation is finished for you to interrupt them to ask for your shoe size.

3. The stores are open. Period. In San Francisco, stores are open after 6PM. Oh, I don't know why, maybe it's because stores want to make business and people have different schedules and want to shop at certain hours. You see, stores that open after 6PM stimulate the economy. And by god, if I want cotton balls at 3am, I am going to get it! Because I'm proud to be an American!

4. I miss well paved sidewalks. In San Francisco, you can wear your stillettos all the live long day and walk 5 miles because the sidewalks aren't uneven and don't have crevices the size of ravines.

5. I miss neighborhoods with character. I miss how you can walk into each of these neighborhoods and feel like you're in another world. Mission District = South America, North Beach = Italy, Japantown = Japan, Chinatown = China, Tenderloin = Crackhouse, some parts Vietnam, Valencia/Dolores Park = Alternative/Ecclectic, Noe Valley = Yuppie Families, Sunset=Irish, Chinese,Richmond District = Russian, Chinese, Italian, Marina = Trust Fund Babies, Financial District = Three Piece Pinned Striped Suits, Excelsior District = Native San Franciscans/Filipino, Castro=LGBT community. The list goes on. San Francisco is certainly not a one note city.

6. I miss the food. Fresh produce all year round and in season. I miss real mexican food (burritos in the mission). I miss the fact that if I have a craving for something I can get it whether it be Ethiopian, Pho, Peruvian, South African, Cajun, you name it, they've got it! I'm not even going to mention the Michelin star restaurants (this is a whole thesis). I miss good old fashioned American Breakfasts at a good old fashioned American diner. I miss Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. I miss butternut squash ravioli at pasta pomodoro, I miss bbq chicken salad at CPK, I miss Turkish Coffee milkshakes and Portobello Mushroom burgers at Barney's, I miss Arnold Palmers (half lemonade and half iced tea). And I mean LEMONADE, you know made from the juice of REAL LEMONS! Not 7UP or Sprite!!!

7. Costco because sometimes you feel like buying in bulk like Doritos or something superfluous like that. Not to mention their big, FAT hotdogs that stick out of the bun. None of the rinky dinks they have here. BIG, FAT hotdogs with ketchup, mustard, saurkraut, and REAL sweet relish. AND a mixed berry smoothie. *SIGHS*

8. I miss that, in San Francisco, you can find something to do no matter what time of day. If I want to go see rennaissance paintings there's the Legion of Honor, if I feel like modern art, I go to the MOMA, if I feel like rollerblading in golden gate park, I can do that, or if I prefer, I can rollerblade across the golden gate bridge all the way to Sausalito. If I want to workout at the gym at 4am, I can do that. If I want to hear jazz, folk, rock, pop, or electronic music, clubs abound! If I want to sit in a cafe and people watch, I can do that. And If I want a fucking ice cream sundae at 11:30PM, I CAN DO THAT TOO!!!

9. We have an amazing public transporation system. Every inch of the city is accessible. You can catch a bus within 2 blocks walking distance max and you can go anywhere you need to go and they run all night. If you want to venture outside the city and go across the Bay Bridge and hang out with the weirdos in Berkeley, you can take BART. If you feel like taking it by sea then you can take a ferry.

10. I miss coffee that doesn't taste like cigarette butt juice.

11. Festivals. In San Francisco, festivals are abound. Ethnic Dance Festival, San Francisco Independent Festival, Fillmore Street Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival. I miss the cool summer free programs like Concert in the Park, or Dolores Park Movie Night where you picnic in Dolores Park while watching a classic movie like Breakfast at Tiffany's.

12. I miss how everything is within reach. If you want to go ski in the mountains, you can go to Lake Tahoe, if you want to take a drive through the wine country Napa only 35 minutes away, if you want to go to the beach, you can either go to Ocean Beach in the city, or down south to Monterey or north to Bodega Bay. If you feel like camping, Yosemite is not more than 3 hours away. If you want to go to Los Angeles or Vegas, a plane will take you there in 1hr and 45min.

13. I miss how random strangers on the street greet you good morning or engage in friendly idle chit chat. Over here, people are reserved and aloof. They only talk to you when you approach them. If not you either get menacing stares, or you're invisible.

14. I miss a sweltering summer. I miss the sun beating on my skin and blue skies!

There's more to this list but I am not going to continue because I would just be torturing myself.


healysequoia said...

I've started many lists like this one only to get too depressed to carry on! I'm also a flippin' yank from DC stuck in Norn Iron for the last 8 gets better...kinda. But not the weather, that just gets worse.

Joanne said...

I'm so sorry you are missing home. I'm actually headed upto San Francisco tomorrow for the weekend. Partly business and lots of pleasure; I'm hoping. I'm taking my almost 4yr old for the first time; I'm excited. I may have to hunt down that portobello mushroom burger at Barneys.

Flippin' Yank said...

@Sequoia...8 years?!?!?...How did you last that long!...You must really love it here. What is your secret?

Flippin' Yank said... lucky you!...Hope you get this message before you leave. It's Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers in Noe can take the outbound muni metro (J Church)...and get off at 24th Street. Head towards your right and it's several blocks up, past Divisadero. Make sure to order the spicy curly fries w/ ranch dressing. They rock! Your 4 year old might also like Rainforest Cafe. Don't know if you have it in SLO. But they have mechanical animals and neat stuff like that. It's near Ghiradelli Square. There's also the Exploratorium near the palace of fine arts. Lots of hands on learning about science! Kids seem to like it. And the zoo near ocean beach is great! Ugh! This is making me homesick!

Flippin' Yank said...

@Joanne....I forgot to can catch the J Church at Embarcadero, Powell St, or Civic Center. They run underground, if you go down to the BART station, go to the muni side turnstiles. It's $1.50 for adults and free for children under 5.