Nope, it’s not the name of a mustachioed quartet taking the country by storm with its emo serenades. It’s the phrase that sums up my often conflicted feelings toward San Francisco.
Since moving to San Francisco from the East Bay this past summer, I’ve spent a lot of time getting accustomed to city life, from running in Golden Gate Park, to becoming a regular at Motown Mondays, to eating and drinking my way through every restaurant with a Yelp rating of 3 1/2 stars and above. But still, after over two and a half years in California, I’m struggling with the idea of San Francisco as home. This weekend, I think it became a bit more clear why.
Despite a less than stellar performance on the softball diamond Saturday morning (*cough* grounded into two double plays and let a grounder go through my legs *cough*), I was incredibly excited for a day free of obligations — the first one in far too long. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and I decided to take the long way home.
I stopped at Hot Cookie to pick up a chocolate-covered macaroon, then popped into the specialty beer, bourbon, and hummus shop (yeah, it’s a thing) to grab a few goodies. I browsed the quirky kitchenware shop and tried on some sunglasses at a local boutique. Then, before heading to my pedicure appointment, I got a breakfast burrito — because, honestly, what’s a weekend without a breakfast burrito?
I couldn’t help but think how lovely a day I was having — that botched softball game fading from memory. In my adopted city, I’m constantly surrounded by amazing arts and culture and delicious food and drink. It’s sunny and (relatively) warm in late January. The architecture around me is endlessly eye-catching. I had plans to go to wine country the next day. Things are pretty awesome. And just as that thought crescendoed in my head, a hipster playing a ukelele walked past me.
He wasn’t stopped on the sidewalk playing, nor was he merely carrying it for later use. Neither of these things would have irked me so. What bothered me so much was the fact that while walking down the street, talking to friends, he felt the need to be strumming his ukelele. Really? I mean, come on…
And so it’s that moment right there, that represents my feelings toward San Francisco. Every time I feel that East Coast cynicism lifting off of me — it comes roaring back in the form of a sunglass-shaded strummer, and makes me wonder, “Is this really my city?”
The debate will most definitely continue, but for now I’m off. Let’s see how many stringed instruments await me on the bus this morning.