Friday, September 2, 2011

Thoughts on San Francisco

I have promised to give this city (and this house) one year of my life before I make a decision about moving. But right now, I'm not loving it here.

I don't understand why people love San Francisco.

I have yet to encounter a person anywhere in the world who had anything negative to say about San Francisco.

But personally, I'm finding little to make me fall in love with this city.

Even though technically it's a big city, it doesn't feel like it. Perhaps that's the appeal to many, big city conveniences without the big city feel. It is not however, appealing to me. Go big or go home.

It is very much like Portland in this respect.

I love Portland. But I chose to live elsewhere, if I wanted to live somewhere like Portland, I would just live in Portland. Then I would be that much closer to my family, ie. free babysitters ;-)

And the weather f***ing sucks. This is why we're giving it a year so that I can see all of the "seasons", but so far summer is getting a big huge thumbs down from me.

And the house, well, the house is another matter.

My husband bought this house 7 or 8 years ago, long before he met me and while I like the house there are several things about the house that I and the hubs want to change. And the more the changes add up the more we're considering that maybe a move to a different house and a different area might be a smarter option. We're seriously at the point where we're considering almost a full remodel, if there's almost nothing in the house that we'd keep, why stay?

And the area, well, the area is nice, it's a great part of San Francisco, but...

San Francisco has a weird school system where the whole thing is a lottery and you have very little choice about what school your kid ends up in, but here's the kicker, THERE ARE NO SCHOOL DISTRICTS. I think in most areas of the world your school is determined by the area of town you live in and you go to the school for whatever area you are in. Choosing homes near good school districts is a very common way to purchase a house. Here you throw your name in the mix and your kid may very well end up at the worst school in the city an hour away from home.

It's weird.

And we're right next door to a school, SCHOOL KIDS ARE NOISY.

And I'm paranoid that my cats are going to get run over.

And all the houses are SO close to each other. You can hear neighbors argue if they have the windows open. And you just know they're watching your every move. Neighbors are nosy.

I'm seriously considering moving to the 'burbs just to get some better weather and to not be so close to my neighbors.

BUT just so everyone doesn't think I'm not giving San Francisco a fair shot here are some things I'm really enjoying about the city:

The recycling system - It's AMAZING! I know this makes me sound like a total dork that the first thing I like is the recycling system, but SERIOUSLY! Why has the rest of the US (and the world) not started recycling/composting/reusing EVERYTHING like this?

The fact that it IS a big city with big city conveniences (even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes) - I was DYING in Springfield, I am just happy to be back amongst the Crate and Barrels, Williams Sonomas, The Container Stores, Bloomingdales, Sur La Tables and every other favorite store of mine that I've been missing over the last year.

Big City Crowds - I know it's ridiculous but I missed fighting my way through crowds on the sidewalk, angry honking, and people that are in a hurry everywhere. YES I am a big city girl at heart.

Being close enough to Oregon to drive - It's an 8.5 hour drive yes, but it's a drive and it's doable in a day. That's a far cry from being 7500 miles away in Sydney or even 3000 miles away in NYC.

Farmer's Markets - San Francisco kicks ass on the organic front. They have a Farmer's Market in a different part of town every day of the week. If you wanted fresh organic produce everyday, it's not a problem and it's not expensive like shopping at Whole Foods.

Midwives and Homebirthing - I could not ask for more choice or more options when it comes to a home birth. I was completely overwhelmed both by my choice of midwives as well as my choice of midwifery centers in hospitals. Not only do I have awesome midwives to attend my birth at home I also have an amazing back up midwife at the hospital should anything go wrong. I could not ask for more support than this city has offered when it comes to bringing my baby into the world. AMAZING.

So, other San Franciscans, please share, what do you love about this city? What am I missing?

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