Monday, 2 July 2012

A place to live?

I have spent a fair amount of time in San Fran in the past few years. After finals I took advantage of my Aunt and Uncle's wonderful hospitality and descended upon them for a whole month with my trusty side-kick Lydia. My uncle Stuart was kind (stupid?) enough to lend us his beautiful red convertible to cruise around California on a road trip and for those couple of weeks we felt akin to the legendary Thelma and Louise - young, carefree, and having the time of our lives!

Perhaps it is these youthful memories that make me incredibly favourably disposed to this captivating city but everytime I visit I am struck by its vibrancy. San Francisco oozes creativity and flair. It is a happening place where innovative ideas are born and played out, where everyone knows the founder of some ridiculously successful and everyone is an entrepreneur; its residents just seem the sorts of people who make things happen. It might not have the flawless weather that typifies the rest of California but somehow the misty fog adds to it's mystique and charm and may even be responsible for blowing away the cobwebs of apathy that seem to entangle many Californians ensconced on their sunkissed beaches.

Louis Vuitton exhibition at the De Young
My aunty Jenny is a print maker/artist and my uncle Stuart works in Silicon Valley in the communications industry so it may be that my experiences of the city are somewhat biased towards this idyllic view of life but somehow I think not. You have only to wander around the various city districts to get a taste for the thriving arts scene, the metropolitan mix of bars and restaurants and the eclectic melting pot of fashion boutiques and vintage shops selling anything and everything you can imagine. Street corners are abuzz with bright, trendy young things hanging out, talking about Facebook shares and throwing ideas around 'man'! There really is something for everyone here and the latino vibes in the mission district give the city a distinctly fun and sunny disposition even when the fog rolls in.

All of this, which is visible to any visitor to the city, plus the distinctly liveable aspects of San Francisco such as great coffee shops, affordable beauty treatments (there are nail bars and massage parlours on every street corner - whoop!), independent butchers, bakers and candle stick makers, green spaces, long evenings, sixty days of rain a year, the Ocean, beautiful countryside a stones throw away and a small and manageable CBD makes it a pretty special place to settle. Shame that the US is so hard to get into...perhaps one day eh!

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