“If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco. If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life……San Francisco is a world to explore. It is a place where the heart can go on a delightful adventure. It is a city in which the spirit can know refreshment every day…” – by William Saroyan
After a little more than a year of life in Dallas, we were ready to move on. We always had a strong desire to visit new places. I must admit that my husband and I may be different in some views, but we both are crazy about traveling and discovering: it doesn’t take us a lot of time to decide whether to move or not. We are easy going people when it comes to change.
The next place we chose was nothing like Dallas: we gave a try to “big city life” – San Francisco. I am going to tell you about our life there: it may be very different from the stories of people who come to visit and get that “vibe” and inspiration, but I am sharing my experience and telling about a part of my life there.
But first things first: you have to visit San Francisco – it is simply a must: it is not like any other city in the worlds and it definitely has its charm and beauty. At some point, I thought that it’d be just like any other big city, but I was wrong – it was like one of the best cups of coffee you’ve ever tried: strong, sharp, pleasant aftertaste with no need for creams – it already had everything you liked. And somehow I was thinking or even hoping that it’d be similar to New York. No way! San Francisco is like a whole new world to explore, but what I am sure about – I’d rather visit it a hundred times than live there. Why?
– The city itself is absolutely beautiful. It’s not only about Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, Union Square, Alcatraz Island, Chinatown or Japanese Tea Garden. It’s also about unique streets, amazing places you see while living there and people, who came from totally different towns, cities and countries; it makes you feel like you are a part of a good old movie. San Francisco is like a new world to discover.
– There are so many cultures combined in one place. It is always crowded and the traffic is awful, but the beauty of city perfectly hides it, showing you its power. No matter where I was heading to, I could easily run into the concert, festival or any cultural events. That is absolutely normal.
– It is very windy in San Francisco, but you can always hide in skyscraper.
– The city is modern, beautiful and full of innovations. But it really amazes how healthy people try to be there. Being super busy and living fast, they find time for sport and healthy eating. All the sport activities are there. No matter what kind of sport you are into – you will easily find it.
– If you owe a pet or planning to get one – you are in the right place.
– Need a break? Go ahead and visit Chinatown: it is the quickest trip to Hong Kong in the USA: authentic markets, restaurants and so much culture in one place.
– Don’t want to stay in traffic? No problem! San Francisco has amazing transportation system. You can get to your destination fast using BART or Muni. Well, unless it is stopped because of the weather conditions.
– San Francisco is a heaven for coffee addicts like me=))). The best beans from all over the world are there and coffee shops are everywhere. If you are new in San Francisco or just visiting – give a try to local coffee shops like “Blue Bottle Coffee”.
– This is “your” city if you are a foodie. It has so many restaurants, cafes, bakeries and food shops, that it is very difficult to stay hungry. Apps like Yelp will help to find local places you won’t be able to forget! If you are still not sure where to go or you look for something very specific – ask locals: they are very friendly and will be glad to help you.
Our experience of life in San Francisco was bittersweet though. First of all, we knew we would go for renting; we were also aware of time frame: to find a perfectly good apartment in two weeks may sound like a lot, but only in the big city. It was rough and if at first we considered renting in SF, after going into some research we end up in Oakland.
We had about 2 weeks to find an apartment, and if at first we considered renting in SF, after going into some research we end up in Oakland, because, first of all, as you know, CA is expensive, but San Francisco’s rent is insane. We both love comfort, so big new one bedroom apartment out of the city in nice neighborhood suit us way better than a tiny condo in a noisy questionable district of the city. What was the first lesson I learned there? If you are in big city – be ready to spend. The prices are extremely high in San Francisco. There is not a single cheap thing there. You overspend for food, transportation, furniture that you apparently will need, and even a cup of coffee. It doesn’t make much sense for me – you pay, pay and pay. People buy equally good stuff in other cities spending way less, so they can afford to travel more than once per year, for example.
The one thing you can not take out of San Francisco – the feeling of home: no matter of you just visit, live there for one day or one year – you always feel like home. At least this is a feeling I used to have, though the more you travel – the faster you get used to new places.
I love living in the moment: walk slowly across the streets (up&up in case with SF =)), observe beautiful buildings, the style of the city and people who live there, I adore little crowded coffee shops and busy city life. The problem is that you get used, so the beauty of the things you used to like and enjoy slowly disappear. The magnificent Golden Gate Bridge becomes something you see every day: you believe that it’s beautiful, but you can’t enjoy the same way anymore because of your daily routine. So there we go: your routine takes all of you and doesn’t give a chance to appreciate the things the same way you actually should. This is the way all of us are: we enjoy first couple of minutes and then we start abusing the beauty.
So in few words about all the experience we had there:
– > new city, which means new impression and new beginning;
– > too expensive to live if you have just started your family;
– > too high prices for property;
– > heaven for foodies and coffee addicts;
– > one of the best places to own a pet;
– > city of IT, fashion, design and merchandising;
– > it offers so much, that every weekend is busy;
– > you leave San Francisco and realize what’s changed is you.
We were glad to live San Francisco; despite all the warm feelings we had, we were just ready for a new chapter and couldn’t wait to start it in new city.