I hate you, San Francisco. (Only not really.)

It’s happening again. It seems I’m having anxiety attack after panic attack after fear attack after lie in bed and sweat and freak out attack. Why does this happen to me? Is it because I’m flying back east on Thursday? Is it because once that’s over, I have to come back here? Is it because I placed myself years ago, much further beyond where I am now at 30? Am I just like this?

So what does one do when they feel down and angry and alienated? They blame everyone else but themselves. Yay! Great idea! That said, please try and forgive me for this post ahead of time.

Things were going well out here for a while. I guess. If you were to lay everything out before you, like pieces making up some grand puzzle, to the eye things probably seem just fine. Especially since we all know that others have it much worse. As a matter of fact, one might tell me to stop my whining and that I’m consistently over-reacting. And that this sort of rant is getting old and that I’m a total bore. Hell, I bore myself. And should someone say all of this to me, they’d probably be right. And I would probably agree with them.

Things aren’t going well again. I want to leave. I want to head back east for good. I want to live everywhere and nowhere. I want a porch and a house and I want to be able to afford it. Period. I want to be able to afford to have a baby. I want to FINALLY relax and free myself of debt and worry and anxiety and fear. I want to sleep at night. The ENTIRE night through. I really want some fucking health insurance.

About two weeks ago, Toby and I were invited to join an online (private) forum. It is filled with friends of ours from way back when – from back when we lived in NYC. It’s sort of nice to be in contact with them again, even if it is only online. I have been doing a lot of ranting over there, getting a feel for what the past three years have done for others. And unlike many online communities, this one doesn’t seem to turn into a total scream fest where people are told they’re stupid and that their views mean nothing. And since I have ZERO friends here, (outside of TobyJoe and three really awesome cats) I enjoy their company, even if it is only PHP. On Saturday, I was on there ranting about the San Francisco Underground (yes, again). And a few people chimed in. Basically, the conversation began light and then, eventually, it turned into some kind of San Francisco BASH FEST and all I wanted to do was get the hell out of here. If you could have moved me that night. I would have done so instantly. I’m that kid at the slumber party who is picked up in the middle of the night because he or she misses their mommy.

Now, I realize that I’m out of line for saying an ENTIRE city sucks. I know this is just my way of making my possible failure out here NOT about me but something intangible and absent. I realize I’m the weak one. Should I turn the fingers back around on me, I will surely lose my grip entirely and probably just start screaming, (sort of like Homer did when he uncovered something dark from his childhood).

I’m just not “getting it” I guess. I am tired of hearing people talk about how Lucy’s nanny is going to teach her spanish. I am sick of hearing about what so-and-so created and how many awards it’s won. I am sick of hearing about the weather and the fog and the ocean and the hills. I have no car, I can’t get there. And I have all but given up on the MUNI, it fails us constantly. I don’t understand how someone can get a ticket for NOT having a hand break on a track bike, but no one here needs to wear a helmet. (Are people that stupid?! Well, I guess someone voted for Arnold.) I don’t understand why houses that totally suck cost 750 thousand dollars. I don’t understand why I can’t just relax here.

(I just don’t think she likes me.)

And please, don’t hold this post against me. I know that I might change my mind tomorrow. The unedited version of this post, the one I wrote for myself, is far more harsh. The unedited version features the ENTIRE thread from that online community. But that’s just so much to read. At the time it felt like the only way I knew how to make myself feel better after giving up an entire night’s sleep to a genuine fear and anxiety of my not fitting in.

I want to find home. And I want to leave my hatred on its front porch.

I’m asking for forgiveness for feeling so hateful. I’m not normally like this. I just want some good old fashion shade and maybe an iced tea.


  1. State College has nice weather, eh?


  2. To increase the somewhat blanket statementing:

    Why do NYers (more specifically recently transplanted NYC residents) bitch/consider everything else that is non-NY as it “sucks”? I don’t get it. Can’t this group see it for what it is: different. It has it’s own merits & it’s own drawbacks.

    To San Francisco’s* defense. some of the items you listed as “not getting it”, can be easily attributed to NYC: tired of hearing Williamsburg hipsters talk about which 70’s shlock rock LP they just scored; tired of listened to whatevr ex-Razorfish employees/wannbes spew on what latest buzz firm/client they just landed, etc.

    Disclaimer: I do not live, not have ever visited San Francisco. So I am no way swayed in my defense of the said city.


  3. We left Brooklyn, in part, for the mentioned reasons. Michele and I are picky. We want a nice big house with a yard in the middle of all the action but with total quiet.


  4. I don’t know. I have no answer there. I don’t believe that people see everything that is non-NY as it “sucks” I, myself miss the east coast entirely, not NY specifically. I miss storms and trees and the ability to pop form one major city to another without a car. I also become very disgruntled when I look towards real estate in any city. Lately, we’ve actually been considering an entirely different route and heading for something very suburban. I’m ranting. I guess people make any city SEEM much more worthy than it is. That might explain the cost of living in a city like this or NY.


  5. By no means do I think NY is the end all be all, for the record. As a matter of fact, many of the reasons we LEFT that city were for the same reasons we wish to leave this one. I miss parts of MYSELF from back then. I realize this is a no-win situation. I can chase a memory all over the US and never gain solace or relaxation. I think I am mainly upset and in throws with my own self, realizing that I need to give up the idea of “action” and look more towards the idea of settling down and understanding what it is that truly makes me happy.


  6. Not to seem like I’m the insensitive type who does not offer a helping hand to someone who’s not in a good place:

    Check out Jane’s Diary: http://www.livejournal.com/users/janehex/ She’s a fellow San-Franian, who’s a designer, is car-less, does (did) yoga, & used to write one my favorite Punk Planet columns, Jane Hex. She paints the Bay area cool enough that I seriously consdiered moving out there.


  7. god, i cant believe i missed this post. i feel i have to comment….

    first off: ill be your friend! secondly: i have a love/hate relationship with this city too. sometimes I HATE IT probably as much as you do. i hate the pretension. i hate the politics. i hate going dancing – i hate that whole scene. my husband and i looked for a condo in SF for A YEAR and found nothing outside of the ghetto for less than a half a million. give me a break. this all is probably not helping at all. but sometimes i love it too. i love it more now that i have a yard and a 3 (THREE!) car garage. if you have to live out here (b/c of toby’s job or something) you should move out to the east bay. its fun out here too!

    oh…and a car really really helps.

    feel better….you are not alone out here, some of us notice all that is wrong with this place. (maybe we are just the only ones not on e?)


  8. I’ve lived in San Francisco for 9 years now and I still sometimes get a hankering to move back to old blighty. Whenever I go back to the UK, however, I’m reminded why I left. It’s not like the movies which constantly reinforce a glamorous image of the place I left behind. For me, a movie like “Love Actually” makes London in the winter, even when the shopping districts are most packed with Christmas shoppers, look romantic. I begin to think ‘Why did I ever leave?’ Then I visit and find a place even more congested than the Bay Area, where for half the year you can’t run unless it’s indoors on a treadmill, a place that still hasn’t heard of service or water pressure.

    Nowhere is perfect but let me address a few issues on behalf of the city (I’m trying not to be overly defensive);

    The weather is clement – we don’t have many big storms or extremes of hot or cold which you could say was boring but I think lots of rain is glamorous for a cut away shot in a movie but not so much fun to be in for days on end. The positive side of our boring climate is that you can run most days of the year in shorts and a t-shirt, you don’t have to deal with freezing fog or digging out your car unless you want to. Rent a Jeep and a cabin in Tahoe in the ski season for a winter experience. Rent a convertible and cruise up or down the coast to see the sun. Both experiences come with dramatic scenery at no extra cost.

    Pretension – seems to be a bi-product for over education in some. Having an over-educated population seems to have more positives than negatives. Another bi-product seems to be a liberal slant to the political leanings of the area. The overly PC attitude can get tiring but it is nice to live in such a tolerant community that fully embraces sexual and racial diversity.

    It’s a visually beautiful city – that’s hard to deny – it has a big city feel on a scale that’s not overwhelming.

    on the downside, for such a educated city we have the worst papers in the country and a weak live theater scene. We do, however have a pretty good literary and live music scene, plenty of art cinemas and great food.

    A previous commenter suggested checking out the East Bay – that seems like a great suggestion if you want a house with a yard and a porch as it is quite a bit more affordable. The weather is better there too – SF is still easily reachable but the East Bay has it’s own great entertainment and culture (as long as you don’t go too East).

    I think you’d hear less about how “Lucy’s nanny is going to teach her Spanish.” outside of Noe Valley, the Marina and Pacific Heights. There are other, less visible neighborhoods that are much more down to earth than that.

    Making new friends is hard anywhere. When you have time you and Toby should come over and have dinner with my wife and I. We’re old farts but we both know what you’re going through.


  9. When we moved here from Scotland 8 years ago I had many, many, many of the same feelings (especially MUNI and taxis.)

    But rememeber, everywhere you go you take yourself with you.


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