I’ve fallen in love with San Francisco. This is only my second day in the area, and already I think I could stay here awhile. Not forever, of course. I’d move on eventually. But this city just sings. Everywhere we go, there’s music and art and beauty. It’s worth mentioning that I’ve never been a big fan of cities. I’m generally rather quiet and would prefer a lonely forest to concrete jungles such as NYC or Washington DC. I don’t talk much unless I’m with people I’m quite comfortable around, and even then I tend to keep to myself as much as is socially acceptable. It’s not that I don’t like other people, or feel awkward around them. I just enjoy quiet. Cities are about the furthest thing from quiet on the planet. I don’t mind them, but the only one I’d even think about spending a great deal of time in is Amsterdam. I’ll have to modify that. San Francisco is pretty great.
Yesterday was spent walking around the city. We walked about seven miles, through the center, along the waterfront, through parks and markets and busy city streets. I lost count of the number of street performers and musicians we saw working their sections of town. There’s music everywhere. Jazz, floating around the corner from an eco-friendly coffee shop. A group of fiddlers on the wharf. A guitarist, banging out a solo and singing at the top of his lungs. A homeless man, drumming like the city itself, his worn-out drumsticks rattling over pots and pans, cans and trash bins – his only drum set.
The art is magnificent. Every city has graffiti. It’s a given. But this city… the graffiti here is out of this world. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s all very, very good, and adds touches of color here and there that are a joy to hunt out. It’s less like modern graffiti and more like modern murals. It’s not a style I’ve seen much of before, and I’m enjoying it.
The bridge is great, of course. I have to say, I’m a little confused about it. On the other side of town there’s a bridge that’s the same style, and it’s a good deal bigger, but it doesn’t get any fame at all. Seems strange. Anyone know why this is?
The people are interesting as well. San Francisco is home to some of the most brightly dressed Americans I’ve ever seen. I’ve always maintained that the World’s Most Colorfully Attired Award goes to Chinese tourists. That could still be true, as far as tourists go. But when it comes to citygoers? These people take the cake. It’s fantastic to sit and watch the crowds go by. I’ve never seen so many people wearing such incredibly colorful clothes before. It’s as if the city is home to most of the creative minds of the west coast, and they’re all trying to outdo each other.
Off to adventure! There’s a coffee shop around here somewhere with my name on it…