The New San Francisco – Adapting to Life in the City

San Francisco, December 2022

I’ve been back in San Francisco for four months. I don’t know exactly what I expected, but it has been much different than I imagined. The homeless population and the closed restaurants can give a depressing hue to this beautiful city. The pandemic took its toll here as in many other cities. Now, the recession that swept across the country is gutting the once vibrant technology industry. The Sales Force tower is quiet. The Yahoo office near me has one employee at the entrance and I’ve seen no one go in or out. The newly renovated San Francisco Chronicle newspaper winner of six Pulitzer Prizes for journalistic excellence has three bronze doors facing Mission Street that rarely open or close. Yet, San Francisco is the type of city that is always reinventing itself. From the gold rush to the AIDS epidemic it is constantly changing and adapting.

Earth quakes and fires have also changed the face of San Francisco, yet it remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It has natural beauty of course, but also a thoughtfulness to the way the streets are laid out and how the architecture from the last 200 years is layered. Brick buildings from the 1900s sit next to modern green glass structures uniting the old with the new.

I love watching the colors outside my window. A blue building sits next to one made of concrete and painted a putty brown. Straight ahead is a brick building with arched windows. The bricks are painted a modern rich dark chocolate brown. The milky clouds, blue sky and the green tree tops complete the scene. At night, Highway 80 snakes around with headlights that look like a moving diamond necklace. There is one street where you can see the row of stop lights change as they graduate up the hill toward Twin Peaks.

It remains to be seen what will become of this beautiful city, but everywhere I look I see people trying. The building owners sweep up the garbage and hose down the sidewalks outside their businesses every morning. Police and ambulances show up to assist the people who live on the streets. People walk to work in every imaginable occupation from tech to parking cars. We are a melting pot of people from all over the world and are here together creating the new San Francisco. This is nothing new it’s just different.

How did I land here I often wonder? It is not where I thought I would be. I thought I would be safe in the suburbs waiting for the arrival of my grandchildren. But, that was not to be. However, when I look back at my original self, the person I was before marriage and children, it makes perfect sense that I am here working to make a success, and sharing my wisdom as a teacher and a writer. I too am adaptable like the beautiful city I now call my home.

Love and blessings to all.

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