First, I’d just like to say that I love having this much time on my hands. Since I quit my job to travel, I get to take naps, make my own schedule, loaf around town, and work on my blog! Can I be retired yet? PUH-LEEZE?
Now, on to my new relationship with San Francisco. This city has been making me a better person – both actively and passively – and it has been making me absolutely glow!
1. Walking is amped up – dem hills, man.
Whew, buddy! These hills are bitches – holy moly! I do my share of walking in Chicago, but when you add a huge incline it’s a whole new game. At one point, I had to stop and pretend to read a restaurant menu so that I could get a breather.
I was so wrapped into looking like I was very interested in ordering, that I didn’t notice the restaurant was out of business! Derp derp derp.
I’m not hating on the endorphins though! I’m feeling more energetic, challenged, and proud of how strong my body is. My two shitty knees “San” and “Fran” are getting better at the daily climbing of the four flights of stairs to my apartment. Also, I’m sleeping soooo much better.
2. Eating healthier – farmer’s market and produce stands abound!
When you spot a fruit stand or a farmer’s market, it’s hard to pass up the chance to stop and look at their wares. Often times, the food is healthier and cheaper! Also, you get to meet the caretakers of your cauliflower and oranges. Due to the year round lovely weather, these stands are very common throughout the city, making it so convenient to buy fresh every day!
This also makes healthy snacking much more convenient – I’ve been picking up tangerines for $.25 and enjoying them on the road. I’m eating a lot of tomatoes and roasted vegetables too – love, love, love! Not that I didn’t eat roasted vegetables in Chicago (my roommate Rachel and I made them a staple), but getting off the bus, shopping, then waiting for the next bus in the semi-chilly rain or wind is so much better than the scorching heat or freezing cold.
3. Going green – public composting and pet waste bins.
San Francisco takes their waste disposal very seriously. All over town you’ll see anywhere from three to four different trashcans. Trash, recycling, compost and pet waste disposal.
In the household of a Sanfranciscian, it’s common to have multiple trashcans and assumed that you know how to compost – I admit I didn’t know. I had to Google “what is compostable” (this adds a little respectability to my Google search history). Luckily, the little compost trashcan has images on it for those of us who would throw pizza into composting. THE PICTURE SAYS IT’S ACCEPTABLE!
I’m also getting a nice warm glowing feeling about being able to see my trash in this way. We have composting, regular trash, and recycling. You’ll notice that so far all of my waste is going to be recycled or composted. I admit that I’ve never recycled or composted in my life. First, I just wasn’t raised with it and secondly, I never thought I would make that much of a difference.
Seeing these results though, it’s undeniable that just one person can make a difference.
Do you recycle and/or compost? What about in cities that don’t offer it as a service? For example, Chicago doesn’t compost. Maybe we could learn a little something from San Francisco.
4. I’m more aware of nature.
This is one of the most enjoyable for me so far. Not that Chicago doesn’t have good parks or green spots, but, due to the weather in San Francisco, flowers are rocking here. Chicago had snow a few days ago!
San Francisco seems to be more colorful in general. Trees, flowers, the houses – everything. You guys know how much I love color!
5. I’m nicer/less resting bitch face.
Everyone that I’ve talked to has been super friendly. This includes strangers in Walgreens, on the MUNI, at the airport – everywhere. I would describe everyone as very chill, artistic, expressive and open minded. Maybe it’s because of the huge concentration of burners here, maybe it’s the legal weed or maybe it’s all the vitamin D pouring into our systems. Whatever it is – no worries man!
The slower pace of San Francisco is really helping me unwind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s keeping the big city feel – but just so much more laid back. While San Francisco has its problems, they are more drug related than gang related. I haven’t seen anyone who is probably packing and I’m actually approached less here than in Chicago – including my last visit where I stayed in the Tenderloin. I do prefer tweakers to gangbangers.
Do you have a city that makes you a better person? If so, how? I’d love to hear from you!