Mar 162010

Versiune în română

Back in San Francisco for a two weeks trip. We’re waiting for friends from Romania to join us and together we’ll take a trip to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and a tiny bit of Los Angeles thrown in on the way back. A tight schedule to say the least. But as long as I get to travel I’m not complaining, even if it’s travel to places I’ve been before.

San Francisco, my city by the bay. It still feels like home even though I don’t live here anymore. As soon as I step out of the airplane I feel a familiar smell, a mixture of salty waters and probably the smell of some local plants. I have a big confession to make, I didn’t like San Francisco at first. I didn’t like it for what it wasn’t, if that makes any sense, specifically, it wasn’t New York, the city were I dreamed to be living back when I was a graduate student at Rutgers, in New Jersey. But Cris got a job offer in California and instead of New York, we moved to San Francisco. The city was too quiet and subdued for my taste (compared to New York that is) and because I was adding another 2500 miles (4000 kilometers) between me and Romania I had a feeling of being at the end of the world. I’ve heard my American friends saying that San Francisco looks European but to me it looked alien and unfamiliar. The city where it never snows, where there’s an ocean but you can’t swim in it. Where August is cold and foggy and palm trees grow next to fir trees. The city with the highest percentage of same sex households in US. Also, on a sadder note, the city with the highest number of homeless inhabitants per capita of any major U.S. city. As I started work a week after moving to California, I didn’t have a lot of time to explore the city. I just started living there and discovered it little by little. And thinking about this a year or so later, I realized I’ve been feeling at home in San Francisco for some time. Come to think of it, it did happen like the song said, I left my heart in San Francisco! 🙂

According to the San Francisco page on wikipedia, tourism is the backbone of the city’s economy. No wonder, since San Francisco has been frequently portrayed in music, film and books. The city has some tourist attractions that are checked out by all visitors, but in my opinion what makes gives this city its reputation and make it one of the most romantic looking cities in the world is the landscape. The steep, famous San Francisco streets, the ocean, the bay, the rolling fog. The hills and its location between the bay and the Pacific ocean give out an awesome view from almost anywhere in the city.