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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

San Francisco: Love Me or Leave Me

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.

Curmudgeonly yours,
Felicia.

15 comments:

  1. Felicia:

    You need to travel 30 minutes north, east or south (west is a bit damp) to get out of the SF micro-climate and into some beautiful weather. I think it has something to do with the crazy politics in The City :)

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  2. Ooh, but San Fran has Ghiradelli! You can't go wrong with divine chocolate. And The Stinking Rose--a restaurant that serves almost nothing but garlic, which is fabulous if you love that sort of thing (although I do not recommend the garlic soup...). And I probably don't recommend those two stops on the same day.

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  3. Welcome to the Bay Area :)

    I tend to avoid SF in the spring time because of this very reason (I live right next to the wine country) unless of course I'm there to see Wicked. Which is thankfully indoors lol.

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  4. Oh, stop being such a Salty Susan...or a Debbie Downer...or a Negative Nancy.

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  5. I imagine the Big City can be an eye opener for a Rhode Islander ;>) You were kind to omit the omnipresent stench of urine that permeates Fog City. You need to explore a little; the coast is as stunning as any in the world.

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  6. I think curmudgeonly might just be my new favourite word :)

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  7. San Francisco weather is nothing if not bipolar. If the city were a person, I'd want to tie it down and force feed it mood stabilizers. But if makes you feel better, you'll likely only have another 3-4 weeks of rain, and then you probably won't see more than a sprinkling til Sept/Oct. Freezing cold fog, followed by sudden spurts of scorching heat, yes. But not rain.lol

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  8. Etizzle BenshlizzleApril 15, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    Oh, you know I'm just ribbing you to grind your gears...

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  9. Give it another month. The weather will be perfect all summer long. No rain, gorgeous blue skies, usually a perfect 70ish degrees no matter how hot it is inland because of the cool sea breeze. :)

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  10. It could be worse. It could be Florida in summer. Hot, 95+ degrees, 80% humidity, then, at 4pm...you can nearly set your watch to it...it starts to storm. And I don't mean just a little thunder/couple of lightning flashes. I mean "white out", tropical storm conditions that make driving a real thrill. Then, in 15 minutes, it's finished, making it even more disgustingly humid outside than before.

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  11. San Francisco, she's a fickle mistress. But given a little time, she will weigh out on the can't leave her side.

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  12. Sounds fun...ah the joys of acting in San Fran ;)

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  13. People always ask me how they should dress when they come to AT&T Park (I work for MLB), and the answer is one word: LAYERS.

    As you have so brilliantly figured out, that's the key to surviving spring here -- LAYERS.

    Speaking of which, if/when you do come out to a game, dress warm and in LAYERS. Heh. Got it?

    Oh, and you made me snort with laughter with both the Full House reference as well as "give-me-back-my-stuff hatred." And I'm dying to know what you thought of Green Festival -- ever seen so many hemp booths before?

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  14. My dad grew up in SF (I was born there) and notes how the weather can be sunny and clear in the Mission, while it's foggy and chillier in the areas (Richmond, Sunset) nearer the ocean. So not only does the weather change seasonally - it changes from 'hood to 'hood.

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  15. Thanks for all the tips, folks! Jessica, I've actually been to the Stinking Rose, lots of fun. And Chris, I had a pretty great time at the Green Festival; it was the perfect rainy-day activity before having to shlep it to the theater for the matinee. But, yes, hemp booths! ha! and raw food, and clothes made from raw food, and raw food made from clothes. --FR

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