Dear San Francisco,
We met a year ago at a work function. You like tacos? Oh my gosh, I like tacos! I felt the chemistry between us immediately. We’re totally gonna be, like, best friends! We were together only for the summer; then reality called and I had to go back to my East Coast life. We said our goodbyes through tears (and over tacos). And I have to be honest with you, San Francisco, I had a new best friend in you.
I also couldn’t stay away from you. I came back for a week, and we picked up right where we left off. We spent the afternoon together in the Mission, shopping and wandering from block to block; we drank coffee in the FiDi at lunchtime among all the suits; we spent entire days in a fog, watching Netflix and binge-eating. But of course, our time together came to an end once again, and I boarded the red-eye back to Boston. I pushed up against the window as I told you this wasn’t goodbye; it was “See you later.”
When I returned to Boston, I found myself longing to be back with you. I wanted to lie down in the grass at Dolores Park and spend the whole day reading. Everything I used to love about Boston began to irritate me beyond belief; all its flaws became so much more apparent. I realized that you did everything a million times better than Boston did. I missed you. I still do.
I was sitting in my apartment recently on a 90-degree day with a humidity level of 80%, and I don’t have air conditioning. Boston’s sun beat down on me, and it ran its wet, grimy fingers through my hair. But you, San Francisco, you would’ve come in with a cool breeze as I was sweating from the heat of my hair straightener and kindly offered to cool the back of my head. Boston says that your fog makes you depressing, but I find your unique subclimates so appealing.
You also allowed me to stock my temporary fridge with all my favorite foods and offered me the best places to eat. We spent days grubbing on so much Mexican food, bagels, and crepes. The closest thing to good Mexican food Boston gives me is Chipotle.
Another thing that’s been bothering me about Boston is the company it keeps: it’s constantly attracting “Massholes.” But your friends are great, San Francisco! During my time with you, I met some of the nicest people I know. Whenever I got lost (which was often) people would stop and give me directions, and one of your friends even walked me to my destination – how sweet is that?
Boston is also a pretty flat city. The only way to get a decent view is to break onto someone’s crappy roof, but even that doesn’t provide enough height to see it all. But even without trying, SF, your landscape allows you to see so much from so many different heights. You never whine at me to go to the gym, either; you sneak my workout into my daily routine by making me climb mountains to get from point A to point B. My calves, quads, and butt were on the road to perfection by the time I returned from my last trip.
And if you want to talk bookstores, Boston has two, and they’re great. But in San Francisco, the number of independent bookstores scattered across every neighborhood is unreal. On one trip I ended up paying $50 to ship home all the books I had bought. You’re so well read, friend, and I love that about you too.
You also allowed me to stock my temporary fridge with all my favorite foods and offered me the best places to eat. We spent days grubbing on so much Mexican food, bagels, and crepes. The closest thing to good Mexican food Boston gives me is Chipotle, which sure as hell isn’t Nick’s Crispy Tacos. In Boston good crepes are sold only from a food truck that always seems to be wherever I’m not. And there are no hole-in-the-wall bagel shops – which, let’s be honest, are the best kind.
Boston likes to control my drinking, so it overcharges for cocktails, thinking that that’ll stop me from going out. And it only throws “happy hour” deals at the sticky, nasty bars that it knows are no fun.
But you, San Francisco, you hooked me up. We maintained a giggly, affordable buzz with the help of wine, mimosas, beer, and whiskey straight from the bottle. Thanks for introducing me to your buddy, the Final Final, who let us rearrange his furniture and change every TV to broadcast the Germany game. And of course, Double Dutch, for having $3 beers (and the sweetest music) before 9 p.m. on Saturdays (we shared a lot of laughs that night). And a special thanks to your friend Encore for not laughing at me when I volunteered to sing karaoke but didn’t know all the words to “Promiscuous” – and when I remembered that I’m a terrible singer.
At the end of the day, it’s the mileage in between us that sucks. It’s taking a lot of willpower not to buy a one-way ticket to you and leave my old friend Boston behind for good. But duty calls, and I have to finish school. So until I can call you my home, stay golden, San Francisco.