5 Reasons I’ll Never Live in San Francisco (but maybe you should)
For my birthday weekend Cory and I treated ourselves to five days in San Francisco, a city neither of us had visited before but had heard about through friends. We stayed three nights at the fancy Mark Hopkins on Nobb Hill and then two nights at The Argonaut by The Wharf. At the Mark Hopkins we were upgraded to a corner suite because the hotel erred in reserving our room, er, I mean because it was “my birthday.” At The Argonaut we splurged and upgraded ourselves (how could turn back from the life of luxury, right?) So needless to say our accommodations were outstanding. During our short time in San Fran we went to a Giants game, visited the Modern Musuem of Art, made our way through China Town, took a ferry to Alcatraz, strolled through the Golden Gate Park, drove down the infamous Lombard Street, shopped along Haight and Ashbury, took pictures of the Painted Ladies and exhausted ourselves exploring the streets and eating at local restaurants. After five days, the city’s terrain took a toll on our bodies. And while I’ll admit I loved visiting San Francisco there’s no way I could live there. Here’s why:
While the infamous hills of San Francisco provide for scenic views of the city, they are not friendly to those of us who use wheelchairs (and also those who might drive stick shift). And I use the term hills loosely. The San Francisco hills are actually more like cliffs, with cars and people clinging to them for survival. Not once while in the city did I see someone using a push wheelchair. That’s probably because they all have ended up in the bay somewhere between Alcatraz and Oakland, the result of losing traction while trying to cross a street. The streets are so steep Cory stood in front of me with his hands out on the way down, just in case I flew out of my chair. If there were just a couple of steep streets like this it may be something to avoid, but the inclines are inescapable and at nearly every street corner, ultimately the reason why only young, fit people live there.
If I lived in San Francisco I would not be allowed to have any friends. Scratch that. If I lived in San Francisco I would never be able to go into any of my friend’s houses, which would cause a huge barrier in our friendship, much distance, and ultimately leave me to lead a lonely life with cats, Riley and Cory. Except for a few new condos, all the housing in San Francisco has stoops. Steps. A staircase. A barrier to prevent me from options. An insolvable problem. And let’s be real, how could I become friends with someone without seeing his/her house? That’s how people end up missing on Dateline.
Too Much Baggage
The weather in San Francisco can be unpredictable. During our stay we experienced a range of climates that included below fifty degrees with chilly gusts of wind to tank top weather. And on one particular day the temperature changed from one to the other within hours. In my purse I was forced to carry a hat, a scarf and an extra jacket. Everyone in San Fran layers up, which clearly is too much work for this Florida girl. I enjoy my days at 75-degrees and donning one outfit per diem.
Cory Fears Bridges
While they make pretty backdrops in photos, driving on bridges gives Cory anxiety. White knuckled and with his hands on 10 and 2, he explained to me while crossing the bridge that he feels like there is no where for him to go if a neighboring car spirals out of control (but down into the ocean). Clearly he has seen too many action movies. Still, since San Francisco is only accessible by bridges I fear his anxiety would eventually become a problem.
San Francisco is a gorgeous city in the case you come across it when the sky is clear and the sun is shining. The city has more parks than downtown LA has homeless people (which is a lot). And every time we thought we had come across the best scenic view of the city, we would turn a corner, see another park and discover the same (but different) beautiful scene all over again. The problem is, from what I’ve gathered, these warm, cloudless days come in few and far between. The other problem is that with so many beautiful parts of San Francisco it would be very difficult to commit to a particular neighborhood. With so much always happening, I’d always feel like I might be missing out on something on the other side of town.
The good news is many of you don’t depend on a wheelchair and so San Francisco may be the city for you. The food, the people and the art certainly make the city worth visiting. Just be prepared for the cost of beauty. While most people claim to have left their hearts in San Francisco, Cory and I agreed we left our wallets. We also agreed it money well spent.