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30 Days: South Beach Memoirs

[personal profile] seventhe asked me to talk about my neighborhood.

I live, as most of you have probably figured out by now, in beautiful San Francisco, California. Although I grew up in the Midwest (born in Ohio, ten years in Iowa), my heart has always been in Northern California -- my mom's family all lives here, we came to visit about every other summer, and being here just felt right to me, even as a kid. Moving here as a teenager was like coming home. And the place I always loved, above all others, was San Francisco: downtown, Golden Gate Park, taking Muni to the Zoo, visiting my aunt in the Mission or the Western Addition. So coming to live in San Francisco in 2000 was literally a dream come true for me. SF is not, of course, the perfect city: it gets really dirty, the cost of living is through the roof, the politics make me crazy sometimes, and don't get me started on Muni. But the joys of living here so far outweigh the annoyances, and right now I can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else.

My home base is a warehouse conversion loft in South of Market (SoMa), more specifically South Beach. T bought this unit in 1999; I moved in with him in 2000, and we've never left. I live right near the Bay, just a few short blocks from AT&T Park (where my beloved San Francisco Giants play). As for what's awesome about this particular neighborhood, let me start with a picture that's worth a thousand words:



This is the view from my streetcar stop. (Click here to see it full size.) I see this almost every single day. Twice, really; once going to work and once coming home. And this is just a crappy shot taken in a hurry with my iPhone on an ordinary day. There's nothing like seeing the bridge shrouded by fog, or during sunrise, or lit up at night after a storm. The sheer physical beauty of this place is not to be denied.

Another thing I like, although admittedly sometimes I have a love-hate relationship with it, is the proximity to the ballpark. I love the energy, the idea that I can just pop over and watch a game (although I almost never do), and I love the changes that it's brought to the area. This neighborhood used to be marginal, almost nothing but abandoned warehouses and empty streets, rotting piers, a run-down marina. Now it's a real place, with a grocery store and restaurants and parks and houses and cafes and more development coming in all the time. It's what we call "an emerging neighborhood", and it's been a lot of fun watching it emerge, both as a resident and as a long-time city planning geek.

Also, it's really convenient to the freeway, which is not something to take lightly in San Francisco.

Finally, there's my home itself, which I actually detailed pretty well in another meme awhile back; the only updates from that are the upgrading of the TV to a 40" HD model and the fact that we've added a couple of T's photographs to the walls. No pictures, but I confess I feel a little weird about posting pictures of my home in an unlocked entry; the place is actually fairly unique in the city, and it would be a little too identifiable for my taste. So in lieu of that, have pictures of cats in my house instead:



Really, I think I should just do a photo essay about the cats alone sometime later in the month. Do I have the votes for that? ;)

30 Days of... Project! Complete list of questions / Ask a question on LJ or on DW.

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