Monday, August 20, 2012

Life in San Francisco

Many of you have inquired about life in San Francisco. Particularly, how Tim and I have transitioned from life in the Southeast. It is certainly different and while I still have fresh "outsider" eyes, I'd like to share with you what I love and what I'm learning I don't :) The lists aren't equal in number... which reflects how Tim and I feel. The positives of living here definitely outweigh the negatives.

Things I LOVE!

1. Not driving. Whew! Seriously a relief. Especially after living in HOT-lanta for three years where traffic was a real downer. Riding the bus here is not only convenient, but entertaining. Pretty much everything is within walking distance of where we live (bank, grocery, pharmacy, restaurants, movies, cafes, etc).

2. The Farmer's Market. The fresh produce here is out of this world delicious. Tim and I have never eaten so many fruits and vegetables before in our life! Our weekly tradition has been to get up on Saturday mornings and go produce shopping at the Alemany Farmer's Market. We sip our coffee and spend most of the morning people watching and tasting new fruits (ever heard of a pluot?! It's a plum/apricot). 

3. The spirit of openness. I'll admit, I wasn't thrilled to learn that nudity is legal here :) However, there is a free spirit here that allows people to be exactly who they were meant to be. I find deep beauty in that openness and I'm enjoying the process of breaking down my own stereotypes for what is "normal" in order to recognize God's beauty in everyone.

4. The FOOD! San Francisco is known for it's delicious cuisine and it does not disappoint! Come visit and you'll see that our "tour" of San Francisco is basically eating your way through the city. From amazing coffee and chocolate and dynamo donuts to cuisine from all over world - my tastebuds have certainly enjoyed our time here.

5. The vistas. There have been several moments during our two months here when my breath has literally been taken away by the views. From the ocean to the bay, I've really enjoyed living close to water and reminding myself how small I am in God's BIG and BEAUTIFUL creation. I can't wait to explore more of the terrain - camping and wine country and the shoreline. 

6. The cultural diversity. I LOVE sitting in a cafe or tacqueria in the Excelsior or Mission and forgetting that I'm in the United States. It happens to me on a weekly basis. Hearing Spanish (and really any other language) is music to my ears. 

What I DON'T love:

1. Not having a washer machine :( We walk across the street and do our laundry at a local laundry mat. It's really not all that bad. I do enjoy getting three loads done in one hour! However, it's something to get used to and I'm realizing how much I took for granted having a nice washer and dryer in our apartment.

2. It's expensive. Living here has definitely opened our eyes to the large price tag on living in a big city.  Tim and I have been very blessed to be employed and cared for, but it has opened my eyes to how hard life is for folks when they don't have a paycheck coming in. For friends who are in school or trying to make ends meet. For those who live in the city in deep poverty.

3. The crowds and noise. It's hard to find peace and quiet in the city. I've been told that I'll get used to it...and I think I already am. Still, I'll need to find my escapes (my urge to go camping starts here...)

4. The violence and cultural/racial discrimination. I know, this happens everywhere. It is certainly not particular to San Francisco. However, I'm realizing (like I did when I lived in Quito, Ecuador) that living in a new place raises my sensitivities to it. Surely being around lots of different people also accounts for the higher number of class and racial clashes I see. It's hard though, to see hatred and violence between people and to feel utterly helpless.

Overall, Tim and I are really REALLY happy here. We definitely feel like we are living out God's call on our life and ultimately that is what matters the most.

Admittedly, it's nice that our call was to such a cool city :)

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