a clutch of roses dropped in a Capp Street crosswalk
That was dreamy. Now I'm thinking of the places I've visited to try and remember how I felt.
Love me some San Francisco Bay Area. But Chicago is my ultimate jam. I dig cities that vibe with pedestrian energy along with a little bit of grit.
This is a dreamy essay. Having lived in the Bay Area I loved revisiting San Fran through your eyes but pulling it all together with your love map was the icing on the cake. I don't think I recall the places of love as much as the feelings of the environment, the emotions and sensations it evoked.
One place that does come to mind is crossing the bridge toward your place but hanging a left. Walking up into those hills for a picnic with my love. It was one of my last days in San Fran and I distinctly remember that place and that food looking over at the city and the bridge.
Ah this one got me!!! That city got me, it still has me. Beautiful. Beautifully written. A quilt. A kaleidoscope of memories... really good. ❤️
Beautiful memories Bowen. Thanks for sharing. My brief 1 year stint living in Bernal Heights and walking my Golden Bogie in the hilltop park every day before work was magical.
My Mom and Dad began taking my brothers and I as children, visiting his college buddy who was a ranger at Point Reyes. Decades of visits and memories since. There’s very few places like it. You’re fortunate to call it home.
I see Palermo on your list of favorite cities! Curious what about the city really struck you?
I lived in various places in the East Bay from 1993 to 2019, and held a few jobs in SF. My husband had an office in the city for many years. This essay therefore sparked nostalgia but also surprise, because everything I hear from my friends in Oakland & SF is how bad the urban centers and neighborhoods are now due to crime, mental illness, drugs, and high vacancy rates--a whole new level of violence and hopelessness, according to them. I was under the impression that the Bay Area has really lost its magic, and those who live there have a bunker mentality, on guard for being attacked, like my friend the other day who stopped at Arazmendi on Lakeshore in Oakland--one of my favorite bakeries--and had her purse straps cut by someone on the sidewalk who then ran off with her purse. She described this as if it’s a normal occurrence. Does this square at all with your view of SF now? I’d like to return to run trail races in the Oakland Hills and the Headlands, and hopefully experience the city the way you see it.
This is beautifully written. It definitely raised my excitement and anticipation of my trip to San Francisco and Mill Valley next week, where I hope to add another layer of SF memories.
Wonderful piece. Voices of those who know the city as a child, teenager, adolescent and middle aged, soon to be old, person are rare and powerful. I too have traveled more or less all over the world, but am still trying to figure out what makes San Francisco such an alluring, captivating, frustrating, beautiful, confusing and mysterious town.
Beautiful writing about SF my man! So true.