This year has taken me far South, far North and back to the Heart of It All, but after all of life's twists and turns the road inevitably led West again. The great bivalve mollusc that is the World swallowed me whole and spit me out in San Francisco - The City by The Bay, the "golden handcuff with the key thrown away," and "the most cordial and sociable city in the Union."
I resisted the City's lure for ten months and then finally gave in to its charms, packed my Honda with all of my things and hit the road. How could I let a silly thing like not having much money or not having a job lined up prevent me from reigniting my love affair? After all, hadn't I made it work the first time, when I was starting from scratch?
I immediately moved into an apartment in the Lower Haight with some friends of a friend - four guys, as it goes - who are, so far, quirky, bright and lovable. That they keep a clean apartment with maps all over the walls is probably enough for me, but I can certainly appreciate the distinct personalities as well: the vegan, entrepreneurial sweetheart; the hippie with crystals in his dreadlocks who loves drawing brainstorming webs on his over-sized whiteboard; the excitable grad student; and the has-his-shit-together business professional who gets off on camping and literature.
The apartment was not the only thing that fell into place; a job did as well. A mere three days into my SF renaissance, I was hired as a barista at Mojo Bicycle Shop & Cafe. And so, as my dear friend Alice said, I was "back into the SF groove," and boy did it feel good.