I love walking around the pond by the Palace of Fine Arts
I moved to San Francisco more than eight years ago for no other reason than because I am absolutely in love with this city. I love the culture, the creativity, the beauty, the inspiration, the energy, the history. I love how I feel here. And I’ve said many times that if there is “the one” for locations like there may be for romance then San Francisco is definitely my one. It was love at first sight and the embers of love just keep growing, even as I see different, more complex, not always pretty facets of the city. It is sometimes flawed but it is always perfect for me and I couldn’t be happier to live here.
The beautiful tiled mosaic 16th Ave Steps
San Francisco houses are painted so many different colors
San Francisco is a neighborhood-oriented city. Where you live, dine, work, shop says a lot about you. Just a few blocks in either direction and you could be in a totally different space, living a different life. When I first moved to the city, I lived in the touristy heart of North Beach near Fisherman’s Wharf, right on Lombard Street, actually. I loved the apartment, which had the beautiful huge Bay windows that San Francisco architecture is famous for. And for a long time I liked the area but it wasn’t right for me after I wasn’t really a San Francisco newbie anymore.
In the heart of Japantown, behind me is an origami sculpture by local crochet artist Ruth Asawa
Now I live near Japantown in Lower Pacific Heights a neighborhood I love because it’s in flux. It’s in between the rich day spa artisan chocolateness of billionaire Pacific Heights and the jazz history farmer’s markets of lower Fillmore heading towards lower Haight. It’s a little of each although it’s turning more into the former than I’d probably prefer. The plus side of that is my neighborhood is filled with amazing eats (in just a few blocks I’ve got a Vietnamese bun place, Ethiopian, Thai, Mediterranean, pizza, fresh yogurt, sushi and more, more, more). It’s a neighborhood that’s rapidly becoming a strollers-and-dogs kind of neighborhood, and I’ve got mixed feelings about that but I admit that I hold hands with my beaux and walk a dog and feel happy here, embracing change in the area as well as in myself.
There are San Francisco art hearts all over the city. This one is in a beautifully kept lawn off the Lyon Street Steps.
According to a walking tour I took once, San Francisco has more murals per square mile than any other US city. This small one is near my local library.
No matter where I am in San Francisco, what I love most is the creativity of this city. I am a solopreneur writer, doing mostly my own writing along with some freelance gigs and I manage to make it here despite a high cost of living. I am friends with people in all creative walks of life – whether that’s a career in graphic design or an evening gig as a drag queen or any myraid of things in between. On any given day I might be out loving the local theatre scene, watching burlesque, laughing at stand-up, talking a historic walking tour, exploring an art gallery opening or more and more and more. It’s never boring here. I’m never bored. And yet the wonderful laidback, casual, slightly flaky slow pace of California means that I also don’t feel that kind of East Coast pressure to make sure I’ve attended everything.
Crochet in San Francisco
Ruth Asawa’s crochet sculptures at DeYoung Museum
Some of the things I’d like to highlight about crochet in San Francisco:
Crochet spotted at an Easter festival
- Lots of people are doing it. I see people knitting and crocheting in public all of the time and never get on a bus or attend an event without seeing someone wearing a handmade item.
- There are tons of yarncrafters at fairs and festivals. Renegade Craft Fair and Maker Fair are just the tip of the iceberg here.
- Wonderful selection of yarn stores. We don’t just have one LYS. We have half a dozen. And we don’t have any big box stores in city limits. We celebrate local.
- Real cool crochet art exhibits including the permanent Ruth Asawa crochet wire exhibit at the DeYoung Museum and the recent exhibit of Arline Fisch’s crochet jellyfish at the Craft and Design Museum.
- There are some really cool crocheters here other than me. Twinkie Chan and Ramekon O’Arwisters are just two to name.
Inside of my own home
The great thing about the neighborhood-oriented creativity of the city is that you don’t have to go far to spend a day on vacation. A lot of my daytime getaways don’t even involve leaving our city limits. A day at the Japanese baths of Kabuki spa or the botanical gardens in Golden Gate Park or playing tourist at Fisherman’s Wharf or walking along the ocean trails … any of those can feel like a full escape from the city.
Alamere Falls, north of San Francisco, one of only two places along the Pacific Coast where a waterfall falls directly into the ocean
But if I wanted to actually leave the city for a day my picks would be:
- The nature part of Berkeley, especially The Rose Garden
- The boardwalk of Santa Cruz
- Hiking near Stinson Beach, especially to Alamere Falls
The Monterey Aquarium, south of San Francisco, has a terrific jellyfish exhibit
And if I wanted to leave for a weekend I’d go for:
- A romantic sleepover in wine country, with mud baths and castle wineries in Calistoga
- A trip to Monterey to see the aquarium, play on the water and visit their LYS
- Camping in any number of areas north and south of here
San Francisco is perfectly positioned to get to almost anywhere in the state within a day if you so desire. You really can’t go wrong.
Homebuying in San Francisco
Many people wonder if it’s possible to afford to buy a home in San Francisco, especially on the (sometimes limited, often sporadic) income of a creative career. It’s an expensive market and a lot of people have been priced out of it. But it’s such a wonderful place to live that if you’re determined that this place is “the one” then you’re going to find a way to do it.
The California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) integrated consumer ad campaign called ‘Ripple’ is designed to help Californians realize the dream of owning a home here. Now in its second year, the “Ripple” campaign connects the dots between REALTORS® and the California economy, illustrating how a Champion of Home™ can help consumers close on their dreams and, together, benefit the entire state. For example, one of the campaign spots tells the story of how a REALTOR® gave a family pricing and marketing strategies to help them sell their home.
The idea behind this campaign is that you can own the home that you want to own and that doing so actually benefits others in the state as well. The “Ripple” campaign goes beyond the story of the individual REALTOR® and focuses on the powerful positive economic impact that REALTORS®, buyers, and sellers are making throughout California. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, one home purchase stimulates the economy by $60,000, one job is generated for every two home sales and (perhaps most importantly), a homeowner’s net worth is 34 times that of a renter.
So it makes sense to own a home. It makes sense to own a home as a Californian. And it makes sense, for me, to stay in San Francisco.
Note – I’ll be doing a post later this month showing off some of the detail in the crochet items you see me wearing in the photos in this post.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.