San Francisco, ye Shining Beacon of Rolling Hills, Liberalism, Organic Produce, Full House! Envelop me in your sunshine, whisk me to wine country, sail me in a boat of dreams 'cross the golden bay of prosperity!
Wait, uh, hang on, let me just check the forecast first-- hmm, sunny, but with a chance of rain, off and on-- so should I bring both my light hooded jacket and my umbrella? I need to walk sort of far to the train, and I don't want to get too hot, so I'll have to layer and carry my extra layers with me in case the wind gets chilly. And once I get inside the train there's no air circulation, so I don't want to start sweating on the upholstered train seats... And if I'm going to walk the hills I'd better wear my sneakers, but I don't want them to get drenched-- maybe I can pack my rain boots just in case? Oh, but that's so much to carry...and I don't have a car, so maybe I'll just hail a cab on the way if it starts pouring. Dum dee dum dee dum, walking down the street, oh crap, it's drizzling, and hard to carry all this stuff-- taxi! TAXI! Taxi. Taxi? Where are all the taxis? Are there taxis? I could call one, but then it'd take about fifteen minutes to arrive... I might as well just keep walking and put on all my layers. Man, these city blocks are really huge, and I have to pass through long stretches of abandoned buildings in between neighborhoods. Weird. Man, it's pouring now. Oh, sweet, there's a taxi! Taxi! Phew. Do you take credit card? No? But there's a credit card machine right there near your windshield. No credit card today? Because it's the weekend? But, sir, it's Thursday. Okay, okay, fine, just take me as far as five dollars will get me. Down to the end of the block? But that's, like, thirty feet. Sure, fine. Just drive! At least I can escape the rai-- hey, look, it's sunny again.
So begins just about everyday I spend here in San Francisco. At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly (too late?), I will posit the following opinion: living in San Francisco is like being in a relationship that vacillates between the two extremes of infatuation and give-me-back-my-stuff hatred. And I can say with confidence that anyone who has had to endure the wrenching unresolvability of said relationship middle-ground will, in a heart's beat, prefer to come down on either side. Doesn't matter which-- just quit the dallying. Hot summer or cold winter. Love me, or leave me!
For now, I will leave it at that-- a whiny account of San Francisco's weather, but this blog post will beget further posts, ones in which I will more ploddingly parse apart the source of my disenchantment with the city, homing in mostly on its imbalances and stratifications, as manifested in its wide socioeconomic spread, its neighborhood disparities, its public transportation system (or lack thereof), and, as this post suggests, its bizarre and disconcerting weather.
Maybe I just need a nap.