So far, I. Love. San Francisco. Everybody knows it’s a beautiful city surrounded by some of the most spectacular landscapes in America. But that’s just one layer. I could (and have) walk around my neighborhood, The Mission District, for hours. Here are some things I love:
1. All the alleyways, and half of the buildings, are covered by colorful murals, painted by every kind of street artist. Some murals tell stories, some are political statements, some are just beautiful graffiti. This street art is celebrated here, rather than reviled. Check out pix of Clarion Alley: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarion_Alley
2. Being gluten-free, dairy-free is not a pain in the ass, and in fact every single restaurant has amazing options for high-maintenance eaters like myself. And a lot of the restaurants use free-range meats, organic produce, all that hippie stuff. Num-num-num.
3. Lots of pink hair, green lipstick, and weird beards. Yes, please.
4. SUN! Everybody who says SF is all fog all the time can suck it. Well, maybe that’s true of some parts of the city, but not MY hood. I’m in the Sun Belt and it has been sunny and 75 degrees every day since I arrived. Uh-huh.
5. Vintage mid-century and shabby chic reclaimed furniture everywhere. Love it, yes, yes, yes.
6. There are impossibly hip bars with reasonably-priced perfectly-mixed cocktails, where the average age of the patrons is 30-something. Whatttt. My favorite so far is Royal Cuckoo: http://royalcuckoo.com/
7. The people are SO FRIENDLY. Everywhere we go – random bars, grocery stores, furniture stores – people seem genuinely excited that we’ve moved to town. At Trader Joe’s, our check-out guy rang the bell to announce to everyone that they had new neighbors. Everyone wants to recommend good restaurants.
8. International record stores. Weird art galleries. Food trucks. Street fairs. Cerebral book store events. GAHHH.
Why doesn’t everyone move here? Oh yeah, it’s because we all spend like 50% of our salaries on rent, so we can only afford to buy our clothes in thrift stores. I wonder if, two years from now, I’ll be annoyed by the uber-hip-eco-braininess of this area. But for now it’s like a wonderland of Yes Please.