First Impressions of San Francisco

by Kevin

People smoke weed everywhere

I knew weed was prevalent out here, but I didn’t realize people just smoked it everywhere. Bar with a patio? People getting high. Walking down the street when a few people open their car doors? Clouds of weed smoke in the street. Sitting in a coffee shop at 10am on a Tuesday in the middle of the financial district? Coffee shop smells like weed.

There are a lot of crazy people

Big cities have crazy people. But San Francisco seems to have more than usual. I like to think these are the smarter of the crazy people, because at least they made it to a city with a stable, above-freezing temperature. So far, the crazy people are OK with me. The other day there was a guy playing a hell of a drum solo in the middle of the road, but he could have used some help with the vocals. Screaming at the sky really took away from his drumming skills.

Hills….there are hills

I thought I knew how to drive a manual transmission before I got here. But you don’t know if you can really drive a stick until you are stopped at a red light, facing up a hill with a 10% grade, with a shiny BMW sitting 2 feet from your back bumper. Some of these hills give me the same feeling of taking off in an airplane. The ridiculous part is that before I arrived, I was aware there were some big hills. But looking at a map somehow flattened them out in my mind. Then I got here and realized that they are legit.


If you ask people about different neighborhoods, they will tell you that the weather changes a lot from place to place. “Microclimates”, is the explanation. Or sometimes you get, “I assume you know about the microclimates”. In reality, I think people really just like to say the word microclimates. It sounds smart and stuff. Like you are a serious weather professional. But really, the weather changes a lot because there’s a bunch of hills between two big bodies of water.

Weirdness is the Norm

We have been in SF for 2 weeks, and I’ve already gotten used to the natural state of things being weird. Driving to see an apartment, we drove past a grown woman dressed in a fairy outfit, pulling a cart full of fairy stuff. I went to go see an apartment and when I asked the landlord how his day was, he replied, “Great! I’ve already been to Mars and back.” He turned out to be a NASA scientist who runs Mars spacecraft simulations, but still, who says that?

And that’s pretty much par for the course. Moments like these seem to happen all the time around here, and that’s exactly what I like about it. We have only been here for 2 weeks, but so far I can see why people love it. So far so good for us.