An Open Love Letter to San Francisco

San Francisco and Bay Bridge at night 旧金山夜景

Hey San Francisco,

I know that because you’re so beautiful and artsy and sassy and witty and full of joie de vivre everyone wants a piece of you. I know that Trip Advisor has boasted to the world of its countless conquests of your seductive streets. I know that the blogosphere has licked its lips at the sight of your tumultuous body, and countless travel blogs have thrown themselves at you, desperate for your love. I know that Yelp whispers sweet nothings in your ear, tells you how highly rated your numerous hole-in-the-wall markets, art galleries, restaurants and record stores are. And Groupon, crass as always, boasts to anyone that will listen that you’re actually a really cheap date.

But I know better. I know that there is more to you than meets the eye. I know that I can’t really claim to know you, that perhaps only those who have lived here for years can even begin to comprehend your sheer awesomeness. If it counts for anything, this is not the first time we have met—forgive me for even assuming you remember me, humble newbie travel blogger that I am. Today I walked through your streets and was reminded yet again why I fell in love with you when I was still young, innocent, and naïve.


I walked down a tree-lined street in Lower Haight and ate a delicious, freshly baked spinach croissant for breakfast, and its buttery crust reminded me how even on the foggiest of days, the sun eventually comes out to shine on you.


I flaneured my way into the Mission and passed by countless colorful bodegas stocked with fresh fruit as colorful as the Castro itself.


I saw whitewashed buildings that were old and regal-looking, and boxy buildings constructed of shiny steel and glass.


I viewed artwork on street corners, on the sides of old buildings, in the sun and in the shadows.


I trudged through back alleys and side streets, under highways and tall, tall skyscrapers.


I came across gardens next to junkyards, tattoo parlors next to computer stores, and taquerias next to bookstores.


I stood upon pavement that was buckled and worn and concrete that was poured yesterday.


I entered the Ferry Building and immersed myself in food of all kinds.


I came back to my friends’ apartment and cooked dinner, and we drank wine and laughed, told tales of college days gone by, of loves that died and loves yet to be born, of our tragedies and triumphs.


I sat down by the window and looked at your face, multifaceted and colorful, and fell in love once again.


I may only be here for one more day, but I hope that even for this short time, you will be mine.

With love, Nathan

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