The other weekend I wanted to make cake. So I did. Two, in fact, but neither was good enough for me to offer a recipe for. I’ll just have to keep working on that.
And on Saturday Scott reminded me that it was the 10 year anniversary of us packing our stuff into a truck and driving from Cleveland to San Francisco. We didn’t have an apartment ready to move into, it was the year 2000, dot coms ruled the world and everything was crazy and exciting. So we put ten candles on the cake to mark the anniversary.
A few months after we arrived the dot com bust happened and suddenly nobody had jobs.
I never liked living in San Francisco.
Nobody ever seemed happy. Muni left us stranded far too many times. The city had a way of feeling too crowded and creepily deserted on the same day. A trip to the grocery store shouldn’t have been as challenging as it was.
Ages ago Megnut put a story on her old site about finding a parking spot for her car that she didn’t need to move out of for a while. She went back to check on her car every few days but didn’t drive it. One day she found a nasty note left on her windshield accusing her of parking too close to another car, a car that the person leaving the note had actually parked near her car. I nodded my head when I read it. San Francisco was like that.
Of course there were circumstances that made our time there gloomy. The dot com party was over. September 11th happened while we were there. The Ferry Building was under construction and all I ever knew it as was of a boarded up, deserted seeming place on the water. (It was two blocks from the office I used to work in and when I think of all the glorious lunches I didn’t have there I cry a little inside.) We were subletting our apartment and needed to keep off the radar of the building managers, which made doing laundry a covert operation*. The retail area of the city I walked through each day on my way home was rapidly closing up and I watched it decline bit by bit. Once we tried to take a visiting friend to lunch and couldn’t find a place that didn’t have a two hour wait, we drove around the city hungry and embarrassed. Nothing seemed good or easy, nothing ever clicked, I never experienced any moments where things simply went right.
I feel like San Francisco didn’t want me to stay, and I’m glad we didn’t try. I love Seattle.
All this said, San Francisco is an awful lot of fun to visit these days. The Ferry Building is filled with yum, that block of deserted building I used to walk past every day on my way home from work is now a very nice mall with a Bloomingdale’s and a Beard Papa’s. Miette has two charming shops that I wish I could visit daily. There is more and more good coffee, fabric and yarn. It’s like the city was sleeping while we were there but has since woken up and found itself having a really good hair day.
* (I did run into one of the building managers once and couldn’t escape a little chat. I ended up having to tell her I was the apartment renter’s girlfriend, something he had requested I do. It was awkward because the building manager knew that he had recently gotten married. I’m nearly ready to recategorize this as one of those memories that is funny.)