Down By The Bay!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. Its the fourth of July here in the States and its a somewhat a quiet one this year. The last couple of days have been so beautiful with lower temperatures in the mornings which has been heavenly outside especially on walks without the humidity and sweltering heat. I’m not sure how long this is going to last but it’s Texas…who knows? I was in the Bay Area recently and it’s been one of the places I had never been to so I was looking forward to it. I had heard a lot but did not know what to expect.

One of the things I do when I go to new places. I love to mentally start out fresh on a clean slate and let the city write it’s own story and frame my experience. For a Texas transplant, I have pretty much gotten used to big spaces, big cars, wider roads, big EVERYTHING. So, getting into the city and seeing cookie cutter terraced homes with multiple stories literally perched on the edges of cliffs or on top of each other; or sidewalks with slopes that would leave an accessibility specialist dumbfounded was odd for me. Oh….did I mention that it felt like Winter in Summer? It was cold and windy. We were 10 minutes from the coast so according to friends, that’s the cold part of the city.

My Experience & Thoughts.

It’s the most expensive city in America! I kid you not. I saw houses that weren’t anything to write home about just by looking on the exterior but I quickly learned they were worth millions of dollars. Rent is through the roof and a lot of people live outside the area and come in for work because the cost of living is so high.

It’s cold. If you packed your bathing suit and planned on re-enacting those ‘Bay Watch scenes of running on the beach in the sun….in slow motion, I have to stop you right there. You may not make it back if you do LOL. Its not only cold but also windy. People were dressed for Winter in Summer. And I mean winter jackets, boots, scarves and hats.

The service was awesome! There’s a level of etiquette that I don’t get in Dallas at a regular restaurant. The waiters were more personable, very attentive and didn’t treat patrons like your typical assembly line fast food place. The service we got would only be received at high end restaurants in the DFW Metroplex.

There’s so much to see. Any person looking to do touristy things in San Fran needs about a full week to get it all in. It sounds long but it will be worth it in the end. From Wharf 39, the Pier, Alcatraz, bus tours, boat rides, restaurants, historic gardens, museums, the golden gate bridge, the Hippie area and so much more. It would be worth your time, I promise.

Earthquakes are the norm around there. The ground is constantly moving so the logical part of me is wondering why everyone and their neighbor has their houses perched on the edge of hill looking out to the ocean. I’m concerned that the ground has to literally cough and those structures may come tumbling down.

Never Get a rental Car in San Fran. The cost of parking is so high it’s not even funny. Taking a taxi, Uber or Lyft is the way to go. The city has a land scarcity issue which doesn’t help when finding parking. Driving around looking for a spot to park your rental is not a problem you want to have in an area you’re not familiar with. Uber it was for us!

The homeless situation is real. I was having breakfast at a diner with a full-on window view of the city, traffic and people going about their day. There was a building across the street from the diner with a recess along the exterior wall. Not too long after sitting down for breakfast, I see a homeless guy walk up to that corner and pee right there and keeps walking. I see a janitorial staff come out with a cleaning buggy and hoses down the area and go back inside the building. I kid you not, in less than seven minutes, another homeless goes right to that corner and pees and keeps walking. I see the janitorial guy AGAIN come out and do the same thing. I’m thinking to myself ‘what in the h**l is wrong with these people’? It’s not uncommon to see extreme wealth and homelessness on the same block.

Drug Addiction is a serious problem. I saw people shooting up on the sidewalk facing ongoing traffic in broad daylight. I mean…out in the open with the needle in their veins – where you could see blood and whatever drug they were injecting…And people just walked on by like it was the norm. That scared me a little. There were people lying on the sidewalk nodding off, some looked dead…and I kid you not, people just walked on. A friend of ours told us to be mindful how we held our phones out in public, that it could be snatched.

All in all, San Francisco is beautiful and different in it’s own way and I look forward to exploring other parts of California in the future. Please follow, like and comment. Until I come your way again, stay cool and hydrated this Summer!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr