Moving to a new city has been a very wishy-washy event for the two of us. It’s especially hard to leave a city that you love so much, a city that you called home for so many years, that had so many memories. Not everyone gets to leave one awesome city and head to another one that’s just as exciting, just as inspiring, and just as beautiful, if not more. But we did, and three months later, we are slowly feeling at home, slowly finding our way around these parts, and slowly finding new friends, new traditions, and a new “normal”.
I gotta say – I am loving San Francisco – every single minute of it. The 60-degree weather that occurs 80% of the time, the foggy Saturdays when I’d prefer to see sun for miles, and the glorious Sundays when the city redeems itself, almost apologetically. I am head over heels every day of the week.
The hardest part about it though, is that process of feeling “at home”, feeling like I live here and not just like I’m visiting for an extended amount of time. Feeling like a tourist in your own city is a little awkward, and at times I feel like screaming out to the people around me: “I live here damnit, I swear I do”, as I wear my short-sleeved shirt and sandals on a dreary morning, or a day like today when the sun was shining valiantly and I mistakenly wore long sleeves and a hoodie. One day I want to not get it all wrong; I want to be a local in my own city.
One day, that will happen. It just takes a while, and I have to realize that fact.
Ironically, in an effort to better acclimate ourselves to the city, we’ve been doing a little bit of touring. Sure, we’re not wandering about in sneakers and fanny packs, but we may as well be, since we do wander about with cameras and tour books (and again, we are blatantly under or over-dressed). A co-worker told me about a book called Stairway Walks, which as it turns out, is a unique and slightly more “local” way to see San Francisco. Our plan is to slowly walk our way through the book, step by step, and in turn familiarize ourselves with all the neighborhoods and cultures around us.
So far, it’s freaking awesome. And while I know this is primarily a food blog, I also want to show you the sights and adventures that we’re experiencing as we find our place in this new world, because I think that’s important too. I want you to fall in love like I have – I want you to appreciate this city like I do, and when I talk about home, I want you to know where I’m coming from, and how I got there.
These are pictures from the first two stairway walks. Most of the hilly parts are through Telegraph Hill, one of San Francisco’s 44 hills. If these two are like any of the rest of the walks, we are certainly in for a treat.
It shouldn’t surprise you to know that a real hippie got out of that van (above), and when he opened the door I saw that the inside was carpeted, and lined with velvet tassels. Also, his hair was long, pulled into a ponytail, and grey. He was my hero, and after I saw him I couldn’t get Sugar Magnolia outta my head for at least a few minutes.
San Francisco has hundreds of stairways built into the city; some of the hills are so steep that walking up them is almost impossible. My advice to you is, if you ever drive here, make sure you have an automatic. Some of the stairways are long and winding, artistic-like, and others are meant to simply get you from A to B.
Some lead you to places like Coit Tower (below), and if you’re feeling especially touristy, you can take an elevator to the top and look out onto the Bay. We decided to save that for when someone visits and insists on going. Plus, you can see plenty just from walking up and down the stairs.
You’ll also find plenty of random artwork decorating the walkways, from mosaic-tiled tigers to frog princes to parking meters in the middle of a walkway.
Here’s the truth: there is never a dull moment in this city, that’s for sure. Every day that goes by, it starts to feel more and more like home, and every weekend I am reminded of how many adventures there are locally, as well as out and about. It’s a place I am getting used to – the good restaurants and produce help, of course, but there’s something else, too – something truly magical about being here.
Just like it was meant to be.