pic credit: Markus Wandel
The day is finally here. My car is packed, path mapped out, tank gassed up and cat properly tranquilized for the trip.
11 years ago, I arrived in San Francisco fresh off the boat from the Midwest and if you would have told me three years ago that I'd be moving east I would have slapped you first and cut you second. But the San Francisco I live in (at least until today) is not the San Francisco I fell in love with over a decade ago, it is not the place I called my only home and it is not the place that I want to say I live anymore.
The parking gestapo circle the streets like bloodthirsty sharks and it's a combination of the anti-car mentality in this town and City Hall's desire to fund their political payoffs that found me some months shelling out as much as $350 a month to the DPT for tickets. Curb protection money I call it and after 11 years of on-again-off-again car ownership in this town I am over it. Let them keep their bike lanes and filthy Muni buses, I'm done.
Bright-eyed Midwesterners wander out here (much like I did at 18) and suddenly forget where they came from (and the manners they should have been programmed with), turning into snooty, swill-sipping hipster bastards taptaptapping away on identical iPhones. Fuck that, I've been out of the bar scene for quite some time and even when I was in it I couldn't stand some of these pricks. You're from Kansas, get over yourself. You think you're better than your friends back home because you can afford $2400 a month for a closet apartment in a crackhead-infested hood? They pay $350 for a 3 bedroom on the fringes of the "hip" side of town with a coffeeshop and bookstore - who is the moron now?
I also blame Nancy Pelosi for my departure. I'm sick of being affiliated with my location simply because I choose to remain here. Being a capitalist pig libertarian in San Francisco is about as easy as being a cucumber in a women's prison (or at least what I imagine that is like) and it gets hostile when you're the only one. This didn't matter to me when I was 19 and still wet behind the ears with my blue state programming but it's gotten to the point now that I feel my reputation is somehow tainted simply because I live in Pelosi's territory, as if I must be in cahoots with them if I can tolerate being surrounded by them.
It's also the state's fault. IOUs, tax hikes, public transportation hikes, state office closures... the list goes on and on and on. Filed under: absolutely fucking sick of this shit. A driver's license costs nearly twice as much now as it did when I hopped off the boat. Sales tax is nearly 10% in San Francisco. It costs $2 to park for half an hour at a meter. Muni is $2 a ride. Rents aren't getting any more realistic. The homeless problem in San Francisco is not going away. So at what point does the Californian pack her shit and head somewhere - anywhere - but here?
Today. And on this particular day, I get to be that Californian.
I am completely open to coming back and hope, in fact, that California gets its shit together so one day I can come home again and actually feel proud to say it's mine.
I'll take some of the blame. Maybe I didn't appreciate where I got to spend the last 11 years of my life. There's a reason tourism is San Francisco's greatest strength ("great to visit, not to live") and there's something to be said for finding breathtaking views waiting for you on even the simplest errand. People pay a lot of money to hang out (and live) here and I just don't feel like I am getting the ROI I once did.
You can only go to Pier 39 or the Mission so many times.
Thanks for a great run, San Francisco.