I lived in San Francisco for thirteen years. All of my twenties. A fragment of my thirties.
I’ll miss the fog and the summers in the Mission and the drum circle on Hippie Hill. I’ll miss the burritos. I’ll miss the Haight-Ashbury, the neighborhood that I’ve been lucky enough to call home for the past two and a half years. It’s going to be extremely hard to find a replacement for Rockin’ Java, where many things were written, or the Booksmith or Ploy II or, hell, just everything really. I’ll miss the fag hags, the creative swindlers, the misunderstood people on the more interesting half of Polk Street, the guy who drums the same beat for hours on plastic buckets on Powell Street next to the meticulously groomed evangelist telling all who will listen that sex is evil. I’ll miss Frank Chiu, the tech geek crowd, the strange exhibitionist empathy, and the unapologetically corrupt politicians. I’ll miss Dan Leone’s Cheap Eats column. I’ll miss many friends and acquaintances, those noble soldiers of the Sunday Writing Circle, and I’ll even miss the sneers of some of my enemies. I’ll miss trips to Berkeley and the Great American Music Hall and the Red Vic and the Lucky Penny, easily the worst diner on the West Coast. I’ll miss Ross Mirkarimi. I’ll miss the incongruous automated voices inside MUNI buses, the capacious thatch of Dolores Park, the dogs flitting about Duboce Park, the almost perennial sixty degree temperature, the sex subcultures, the San Francisco Independent Film Festival, Bottom of the Hill, the Edwardian and Victorian houses, the many confused kids and misfits demanding spare change, the martinis at Blondie’s, the post-2AM crowd at Sparky’s, The Mint, the hills and the valleys, the earthquakes, the smell of oak trees in the Panhandle, the interesting developments around Divisadero Street, the snobs at Reverie, and the pretentious Marina crowd. I’ll miss the Exit Theatre, the Castro Halloween Parade, the lonely people I talked with during Christmas, the nice Russian ladies at the Yellow Submarine, the influx of Indian food in recent years, the notebooks at the Blue Danube, the sand hills near the Pacific, the drunks writing for the Guardian, and too much to list here really.
Goodbye San Francisco. It was a great run.
© 2007, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.