10 Things I’ll Miss About San Francisco

I decided about a month ago that I’m leaving San Francisco and moving back to Atlanta (where I grew up). It was a very difficult decision – as cities go San Francisco is hard to beat. Still, I’ve just had this gut feeling that I wanted to move back home sometime, and now seems like as convenient of a time as I’ll ever find. I will miss many things about San Francisco, and here are ten of those things. Those of you who still live here, remember to take advantage of them.

10) Food – almost every restaurant I’ve been to in this city is great. I can’t imagine how fierce the competition is in the restaurant business, but it sure is nice to be a customer. Some favorites that I’ll remember fondly are: Andalu, Izzy’s, Tokyo Go Go, Godzilla, Slanted Door, countless cheap high-quality Pho places, Tu Lan, Firefly, La Taqueria, EOS, The Pork Store Cafe, Trattoria Contadina, Burma Super Star, Dragon Well, Firecracker, Giordano Bros., Ozumo, Fog City Diner, In-n-out. The list goes on and on, but I have to stop because I’m getting sad.

9) My Apartment – I’ve moved a lot in the last decade, and prior to my current apartment I’ve felt like all I needed was a place to put my stuff. I still feel like that’s all I need, but it sure is nice to have a place that I love. Thanks to Carrie for convincing me to spend more than I wanted to on rent 🙂 My apartment is a one bedroom loft with 1.5 bathrooms and a back porch where I have a beloved weber gas grill (no, it’s not called a barbecue, silly west-coasters). It’s also located in the heart of Noe Valley, which I will get to shortly. Here are some pics of it when it was naked before I moved in:

Noe Apt 1 sm Noe Apt sm 2

8 ) My Neighborhood – Like I said, I’m in the heart of Noe Valley. I live right next door to a grocery store, and right across the street from a Taqueria and a great Breakfast/Brunch restaurant. I have 3 coffee places, 3 bars, and two bagel places within a one-block radius, and a little farmer’s market on weekends in a nearby parking lot. Sure, it’s true I have to deal with the stroller parades on the weekends, but it’s well worth it. I really feel like Noe Valley is one of the best kept secrets in the city.

7) Walking – I’ll just never do it in Atlanta, and that’s kind of depressing. I know I’ll drive everywhere. I love putting on my headphones and walking around the city. When my unemployment first started, the weather was still beautiful. I’d fire up my iPod and walk to Dolores park, where I would just chill out and read for a few hours. I fear there will be no comparable experience in Atlanta. Then again, hopefully I’ll be employed again shortly so maybe I won’t miss it as much as I think.

6) Wash & Fold – When I lived in NY, really the only option for laundry was to pay for Wash & Fold service. I fell in love instantly, so when I moved to SF and saw that it was offered right down my street (and also discovered that the dryers in my building can’t dry for crap), I was once again hooked. Now, I had to break-up with the first Wash & Fold place because they kept losing socks, changing the color of other socks, and giving me some lady’s underwear (big and not sexy if you were wondering). It looks like the current place is getting sloppy too, but it’s worth enduring ’cause it’s so nice to not have to do laundry myself.

5) My Gym – It’s pretty cool to be able to have Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Yoga all in one place. I also get to train with two phenoms: Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez. If you’re at all curious you should go check out Fairtex. I hope I don’t get fat when I move. Actually, my other MMA/BJJ coach Alex is fighting tonight in Lemoore.

4) Bubble Tea – You’re probably thinking “hey, couldn’t this fit under food?” Well yeah, maybe. But damn, 10 is a lot of things to come up with. Bubble Tea is that Asian delicacy that puts tapioca pearls at the bottom of their milk tea beverages, and gives you a giant straw so you can slurp the pearls through the straw. They are dee-licious (even though the first time you try one you might think it’s weird). I’m kind of a Lactard, and I still think they’re so tasty they’re worth the mild stomach ache!! Quickly is my favorite chain, Thai iced tea is my favorite beverage.

Quickly Thai Iced Tea

3) Live Music – Wow this is a great city to see live music. Every band worth seeing will make it to San Francisco sooner or later, and every venue here has it’s own charm and personality. The Fillmore has a greeter!! That’s probably where Wal Mart got the idea. I’m surprised and tickled every time I see that guy and hear “welcome to the Fillmore” in a booming voice.

The Shows that really left an impression on me: Ray Lamontagne at the Warfield, Spoon at the Fillmore, Feist at Bimbo’s, Wilco at the paramount, Josh Rouse solo at the Swedish Hall, Broken Social Scene at the Grand, The Arcade Fire at the Warfield, The Decemberists (at both the Warfield and the Fillmore), Guns n’ Roses at the Warfield, The Polyphonic Spree at the Great American Music Hall, The New Pornographers at the Warfield. I’ll really miss those venues and the convenience of getting a last minute ticket on Craig’s List.

2) The Mountain Winery – this could fall under the general category of music, but it deserves its own mention. I think it’s my favorite venue ever. First show I saw there was Damien Rice, and I think it was the best. He played past his curfew and they pulled the plug on him – literally. That somehow made it so much cooler. Still I would go see absolutely anyone there just to be there – that venue is very close to heaven.  In the future I can really see myself planning a visit to the area around this concert schedule.

1) The People – All that other stuff is just stuff. It really wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable without good company, and I’ve enjoyed plenty of good company during my time in San Francisco. I look at my friends the same way I look at music. It’s cool to explore a number of different kinds of music and try to understand and appreciate them. I’ve been fortunate to have friends and coworkers from several different “genres” here, and it’s made it a really rich experience. It makes me sad to think that it might be hard to keep in touch with 2,500 miles and 3 hours between us, but luckily most folks in SF are tech-savvy and I know that really helps our chances. Add me on Facebook if you haven’t already!

That’s my list. I think my next post might be about the things I’m looking forward to in Atlanta. Stay tuned.

One Response to “10 Things I’ll Miss About San Francisco”

  1. Gib says:

    SF is quite a place. Still, this is depressing reading for me – I had a similar list of things I loved about Seattle. My list in DC would be considerably shorter. I’m glad to see Walking made the cut – you might want to take that out, and put in “frequenting strip malls” for your Atlanta list.