San Francisco

I lived and/or worked in San Francisco from 1976 to 1984. And very much considered myself a San Franciscan. Proudly so. And I read Herb Caen in the morning like everybody else. Caen was like the number one cheerleader for San Francisco and he endlessly reminded us that we were very special people who lived in this very special place (everybody say: “Well isn’t that special!”). A notion we eagerly ate up. It felt like being a member of this very cool club. And, needless to say, we NEVER said “Frisco.”

But now it’s been 25 years since I really visited the place. I keep telling myself I gotta go back there one of these days and check out all of my old haunts. But for some reason I never get around to doing it. And I wonder if part of it is that I’m afraid to see what’s happened to the San Francisco of my youth. . .

An interviewer asked longtime San Francisco denizen, Ginger Coyote, if she missed San Francisco. She moved to Los Angeles 20 years ago after all the tenants in the apartment building where she lived got evicted to turn it upscale (typical). She said: “No I don’t miss it. All the people I used to know are gone. And most of the places, too. So the San Francisco I used to know doesn’t even exist anymore.”

San Francisco is an unusual town with a unique history. It was well ahead of the curve in a lot of ways, back when I used to hang out there in the ’70s and ’80s. We all thought so, that’s for sure. Though I’m not sure exactly where it fits in now in the pantheon of America 2022. . . Someone once quipped: “Nobody in their right minds would have built a city on all those hills.” Which may explain the enduring mentality of the place, both for good and bad.


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