As I write this, it’s easy to love San Francisco; she’s putting on a show. It’s a Friday, the sun is shining in a big blue sky and there is a warm gentle breeze. It got me thinking about the things I love about this city so far.
#1 Blue skies
I had read so many blog posts about how foggy and cold San Francisco is that I was completely unprepared for how incredible it is to wake up to blue skies. There have only been THREE days in the last 6 weeks with grey, cloudy mornings. There is something so good for the soul about waking up to bright blue skies everyday. It may not always be warm, but it makes a nice change to the grey skies that sit on top of the buildings that I’m so used to in Dublin and London.
At just 7 miles square, the city is small. Having lived in London for a few years, I had completely forgotten what it is like to be able to just walk downtown or get a quick Uber anywhere. In London, everywhere was a 35 minute trip; here, it’s more like 15 mins. It makes spontaneous beers or an impromptu dinner party a possibility again.
#3 The location
Before I moved, I did not appreciate how breathtakingly beautiful this city is. Outside of the financial district, the houses are beautifully ornate and painted in every pastel shade imaginable. Together with the hills, I love how they frame surprise bay views as you come over hills and around corners. My current favourite vista is watching the sky changing colour as the sun sets over Telegraph Hill with the bay in the background. I grew up by the sea and never quite realised how calming all that blue can be.
#4 Eating and drinking
The food the food the food! From sourdough and tacos in the Mission to ice-cream sandwiches and deep dish pizza in North Beach, to avocados everywhere, it seems like there is something delicious at every corner. We’ve been pretty lucky with recommendations so far too, we have yet to experience a bad meal. The coffee, local breweries and local spirits are pretty awesome too.
#5 The people
People in the city tend to be really friendly and chatty. This is a bit bizarre given that most of the people we have met are not from San Francisco (maybe we missed the new arrivals guidebook on cheerfulness?). It’s refreshing to live in a city where positivity and friendliness is the default. It may seem a little silly that this is one of my favourite things, but after a few years in London, devoid of human contact through paying with contactless cards, using the self checkout tills at the supermarket, avoiding eye contact on the underground, dodging people on the streets and generally avoiding any interaction with strangers, it makes such a difference to engage and interact with the people around you.