Happy International Women’s Day! I hope you’re all able to celebrate the women in your lives every day, but especially so today. If you’re anything like me, you dug out your LRD and toasted the fab females you’re lucky to love 😉
- Shannon’s visiting!: Hot off the heels of my former roomie’s visit, my cousin Shannon arrives tomorrow! It’ll be her first trip to California and I hope to make it a memorable one. She always brings out the big kid in me, and I always… well, I always entertain her with my impatience for tourists. Just look at those mischievous smirks — it should be a hoot!
- Beach Blanket Babylon: As much as I don’t love tourists or touristy things, I will happily see this campy, historical revue in SF anytime! I took Erica last week and am excited to return tomorrow night with Shannon. The hats and humor are outrageous, the songs are fantastic and it truly is a can’t-miss experience.
- JLSF March Madness Kickoff Party: As Provisional (AKA first-year) members of the Junior League of San Francisco, we put on a fundraiser for the League. Our March Madness Kickoff Party is next Thursday, March 16, and is sure to be a success. We’ll have a silent auction, wine pull, photo booth and games — what’s not to love? Get your tickets (or make a donation) here.
- “Girls” – Beyoncé: This isn’t my fave of Beyoncé’s body of work, but there is arguably no better female anthem than this. Top five, at least. I heard it blasting in my barre class this morning, on my Chariot ride to work (props to Maria for the lady power!), and am pumping it now for good vibes only. Who run this mother?
You know what I’ve found to be the best way to deal with post-election depression? A sample of the steps I’ve taken since last Tuesday:
- Delete my Facebook app — I can’t deactivate because of too many organizations that use it religiously for events, but this has been a HUGE help.
- Pour myself some wine — even if I only have red wine on hand and made fish for dinner. I think Jesus would understand.
- Throw myself into volunteer opportunities — because it always feels good to give back.
- Surround myself with people who make me laugh — and make me think in a constructive way.
With that said, let’s get to it!
- AIDS Memorial Grove: I had the pleasure of volunteering here on Sunday, and what a powerful day it was. We heard numerous stories, talked about the ongoing fight for AIDS education and prevention, and we helped set the stage for a candlelight ceremony on November 30. Doesn’t get much better than that.
- Tonga Room: I met up with my sorority alumnae group recently at this iconic SF establishment. The tiki vibe is easy to poke fun at, but it truly has some of the tastiest cocktails and most entertaining live performances. I recommend a front-row table, if you can snag one, to enjoy the show without an obstructed view.
- My IMDb Debut: A college friend and his brother will soon open their grilled-cheese storefront, and lucky ol’ me attended their tasting and taping for an upcoming Food Network show. All nerves aside, I delighted in the creative creations and inventive flavors. Naturally, I should create my IMDb page sooner than later 😉
- “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”: I recently discovered I have a Netflix app through Comcast, which almost justifies the $$$ monthly price tag. Almost. And yes, I’ve been too stubborn to buy a damn Chromecast, Apple TV or Roku. I’m also late to this game, but the eternally optimistic Kimmy Schmidt makes for a binge-worthy show with an infectious earworm of a theme song. Dammit!
Today marks my second San Franniversary, so I thought I’d share some of the lessons I’ve learned since moving here. Bonus: It’s apparently (and arbitrarily) San Francisco Appreciation Week! If I’m missing anything, I’m sure you’ll all let me know 😉
1. Never, ever, EVER call it “San Fran.”
I realize I broke this cardinal rule in the very title of this post, but I believe a pun makes it OK. (I haven’t gotten an eye-roll yet in my empty apartment, at least.) For some reason, SF residents absolutely cannot stand calling their beloved city “San Fran.” It’s “SF” (pronounced “ess eff”) or “The City” (though I still save that for NYC). And I’m guilty of the hatred toward “Saaan Fraaan,” too. It strikes a nerve, sounds sooo country and feels like a betrayal to the Bay Area. Even worse: “Frisco.” *shudders*
2. There won’t be a heat wave in August.
It goes against everything you’ve ever been taught, but bring sweaters and jeans if you visit SF in August. With an average temperature this year of 58°F, you’ll thank me later. Easiest way to spot tourists here each August? They’re wearing overpriced Golden Gate Bridge sweatshirts from Fisherman’s Wharf, because they figured it’d be hot like everywhere else. On the flip side, September and October are our warmest months. I don’t make the rules; I’m just sharing them.
3. NorCal is very different from SoCal.
I haven’t personally experienced Southern California yet, but I’ve heard enough comparisons to feel confident in this lesson. NorCal is bourgie and techy, chilly and pretentious — while SoCal is beachy and sprawling, warm and pretentious in a different way. Also: Don’t expect me to “pop down” to San Diego or LA while you’re there on a weekday, since they’re 400+ miles away. I still love you, though 🙂
4. We work smarter, not harder.
Work/life balance is a constant topic of conversation here, almost to a fault. I haven’t worked in the smallest of startups — so there is some variation — but for the most part I believe SFers find efficiencies in their work, suggest changes to organizations’ processes and don’t have to prove their worth by how many hours they work. We value getting in, getting shit done and getting out to live life away from office walls.
5. We take our wine and our sports seriously.
This should come as no surprise, given electric playoff seasons from the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants,and San Jose Sharks — plus the recent resurgence of the Oakland Raiders. Even the 49ers and A’s fans are fiercely loyal. And while wine and sports don’t necessarily go hand in hand, you can’t be just south of Wine Country and not have a strong appreciation for vino. Cheers to that.
6. Oakland is SF’s cooler cousin — and kinda too cool for me.
I haven’t explored nearly as much of Oakland as I’d like to, but what I have seen has been mostly awesome. The Fox Theater is a phenomenal concert venue, there are awesome restaurants and bars to try all over Downtown, Lake Merritt and more. Get comfortable with the BART map first, though, as I’ve gotten turned around and spent way more time on the train than is ever necessary for one human.
7. Trolleys are not the same as cable cars.
This is a lesson I’m still learning, as anyone within earshot is quick to correct me when I mistakenly identify a trolley (or streetcar) as a cable car. The key difference is how they’re propelled, which is exactly why I can’t seem to keep them straight. All I really know is, both types are adorable and strangely efficient forms of transportation — provided you avoid the stops at each end of the cable car lines.
8. Public transportation is laughable.
Ask me two years ago, and I’d say I would never, ever miss the MTA. But being out here, I miss the subway nearly every damn day. MUNI is inefficient, dealing with traffic and breakdowns and shitty people who refuse to follow the rules. BART is a hot mess of its own. And while I understand this city wasn’t built for the massive influx of people, it’s frustrating to feel like there aren’t any major changes in sight for affordable, efficient, reliable public transportation.
9. Uber, Lyft and Chariot are godsends… mostly.
It’s no wonder, then, we freaking love rideshare and shuttle services. Since Uber and Lyft were founded here, we’re often a test market for new features (and promos!) before they’re rolled out nationwide. I relied heavily on UberPool with my last job, since my 2.5-mile commute would take more than 50 minutes on MUNI. I’m now blessed with transportation reimbursement from my employer, so a shuttle service like Chariot (also founded in SF) makes commuting and getting around SF a breeze.
10. SF is a fantastic place to live.
There are plenty of challenges living in a big city with rich history and recent gentrification. It’s easy to take it for granted, but it’s truly become my favorite home. Whether making jokes about Karl the Fog; braving tourists on Golden Gate Bridge; or enjoying the quirky, eclectic local vibes, SF will always have a special place in my heart.
I had a blast hosting one of my best friends for the past few days. We’ve known each other for 12 years, and he was truly my savior while living in NYC — so it was the least I could do to show him a little bit of my new life in SF.
At the risk of getting way too sentimental on you all, let’s just distract all the feels with these picks, instead:
- The Oscars: The dresses, the drama, the divine NPH … Sunday’s 87th Annual Academy Awards were certainly abuzz all over the social stratosphere. I personally wasn’t surprised by many of the wins, but I’m still itching to see “Boyhood” and was sad it wasn’t recognized more.
- Picaro: This tapas restaurant in The Mission features fresh and fruity sangria alongside a million (or so) small plates. The service was great, the food was fantastic and the drinks never stopped flowing. ¡Olé!
- Dolores Park: Also in The Mission, this iconic park is the place to be on a sunny day in SF. My friend Mike and I mostly judged all the hipster-hippy hybrids, but it sure was a beautiful place to do it.
- Chloe’s Side Eye: Speaking of judgment, “Chloe’s side eye” was the recurring theme for Mike’s visit. Now, I would have shared Xtina’s incredible performance on The Tonight Show, but it has 18 million views and you’ve already watched it 100 times with me. Plus, there’s nothing quite like seeing shade thrown by a 3-year-old.
Ffwd to 2 minutes in for the best of it.
I’m completely smitten with my new city, which is saying a lot for me because I had an emergency dental issue and STILL don’t have furniture for my apartment. Must be something in the water!
- UberPOOL: I just recently obsessed over the parent app, but this specific feature is especially exciting. Split fares with people heading to the same area. Today, I got a FREE ride to work because my ‘hood was part of a promotion! What’s not to love?
- Nob Hill Dental: My aforementioned emergency dental issue was thankfully fixed in record time because of this practice. Dr. Pham is kind, thorough and keeps her practice open on Saturdays — a lifesaver for busy professionals and accident-prone peeps.
- The Bold Italic’s Microhood: This SF-based site has great content and exciting events, the latter of which is coming to my area! Tomorrow’s Microhood in Cow Hollow features lots of local businesses and giveaways, and I’m hoping to meet even more friendly neighbors.
- “On Top of the World” – Imagine Dragons: Cheesy, yes. But I can’t help feeling like I’m exactly where I want to be. The past few weeks have had plenty of ups and downs, but I’m absolutely ecstatic with the choices I’ve made to get here 🙂