The City

My trip to the SF Bay Area wasn’t exactly what I anticipated. I expected to fall in love and want to stay forever. I did really like the Bay, but it’s off my list of possible places to relocate. Admittedly, I didn’t spend much time in San Francisco, referred to as “The City” by locals. I’ll definitely visit again and perhaps spend more time in SF. The bulk of my time was spent in San Jose with friends and attending a conference.

San Jose has a surprisingly spacious feel to it. The hills surrounding it are beautiful and give an impression of being somewhere sacred, as if those hills are guardians of a sacred circle. The time I spent in The City was spent largely in book stores and coffee shops. Hills run throughout the city giving it this feeling of moving even while standing still. Where the energy of San Jose is one of calm and spaciousness the energy of San Francisco felt like being on a conveyor belt constantly going somewhere. Of course these were just my brief impressions and I’m sure given more time in the area I’d have different impressions.

What struck me odd was a comment my friend made about locals having some aversion to crossing the Golden Gate to go into Marin County. Apparently people south of the bridge just do not go across. On our travels through the area we stopped just before the bridge.

Though surrounded by hills
This place seems to expand
beyond its reasonable borders
Wide lanes and intersections
Spacious lots between buildings
where trees are planted
Even downtown
Where the buildings kiss on both sides
The wide sidewalks give illusion of space
A reason to ignore the pressing populace
Until you reach the freeway
Cramped in cushioned seats
A digital stranger tells you every incident along 101
As you make your way into The City
Where there is a sprawled out lack of space
The buildings here do not kiss
But wrestle each other
Using force to defend their domain
Along Polk street
Where the you step quickly around beggars
Careful not to spill your gourmet coffee
Here you only go as far
As the Golden Gate
Where we stop and take snapshots
Walking the short trails
Passing cyclists and joggers
Smiling parents pushing strollers
Everyone has forgotten
The beggar on Polk Street
The noise and dirt of the city
In this made for TV moment
In sunny California

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