Category Archives: San Francisco

So long, and thanks for all the friends

In less than twenty four hours, I’ll be on the road headed back to the East Coast.  I’ve spent the last week or so wrapping up things here in San Francisco: Crossing things off my bucket list, Saying goodbye to friends, and preparing for my cross-country drive back to the East Coast. This is going to be my fourth long distance move and it’s by far the hardest (and for good reason).

To me, San Francisco has become synonymous with transformation. When I moved up to San Francisco from the South Bay area, my life was in complete disarray. I was going through a separation, I was on short-term disability with Pancreatitis, and I knew only a handful of people. For the first two months after moving to the city, I sick and confined to my apartment — leaving only to make quick trips to Walgreens or Target to pick up more “Boost” — my beverage of choice for the feeding tube.

When I was finally cleared to return to work,  I felt as though I had a new lease on life and was ready to take San Francisco head-on.

One of my closest friends, Sceeter, has been here in the city with me during this time. He’s gone through just as much transformation as I have — and it’s been great to watch eachother grow and change over the past few years. When I returned to society in November 0f 2009, I remember him telling me: “We meet so many people all the time! At the rate we’re going, we’re going to know the whole city in no time at all.” And it’s true. I’ve met so many great people through Sceeter and am so blessed to have gotten to spend so much quality time with him and his friends over the past few years in San Francisco. Sceeter introduced me to the NY Ex-Pat group, also known as White Leather Boots, and I’ve enjoyed hanging out and getting to know all of you. You guys are fantastic! I think I am going to have to create a NY-Ex-Ex-Pat group when I get there.

In April of 2010, I joined a kickball team known as the High Rollers (IMHO, San Francisco’s longest-running kickball franchise) through some great friends that I met on JamCruise earlier that year. The Rollers are a great group of people and I will miss them dearly. I play my last game this evening and am hoping to start an east coast chapter upon my arrival in Brooklyn.

Ah, Thanksgiving. Nick, Carmen, Joe, Camille, Chris, Tanya, and everyone else that participated in the annual harvest festival — you’ve been my family the past few years. It’s been a blast and I highly doubt that I’ll find YouTube Karaoke at a Thanksgiving event any time soon. Thanks for making the holiday feel like home.

How could I forget my adventure that I embarked on last Feburary, that I will candidly call the most amazing journey of my life — the Yoga Tree Teacher Training program. Through that program I learned so much about myself as well as met so many people that are part of the Yoga community in San Francisco. It’s been amazing practicing, teaching and assisting with all of you.

For the past few years, I’ve been camping with the greatest group of party animals in Big Meadow at the High Sierra Music festival. Sadly I have to miss High Sierra this year, but I’ll miss camp Cock Awe even more.  I know where to find you guys at every show and it just won’t be the same in New York. I’ll be back next year for sure, so please keep those wickets crispy for me.

I’ll miss the entire music community here in San Francisco. There’s so many people that I’ve come to expect to see at every show, be at at the Boom Boom Room, Fillmore or Independent — the music scene here is amazing. I know that New York will be fun, too, but it’s the California culture that makes music here so much more fun. The shows in NY won’t be nearly as much fun without you guys — and I’m sure I’ll be hard-pressed to find a music venue in New York that gives out Red Delicious apples at every show.

My work friends — you guys rock. From the people I met back in my Mountain View days to the SBO Folk — you guys are awesome and I’ll definitely see you around in New York, MTV, SBO or somewhere in between.

There’s so many amazing people that I’ve come to know and love over the past 3 years, it really blows my mind. I didn’t know anyone when I moved here and now I have such an amazing group of friends, it’s really hard to say goodbye. I can’t believe how much has changed since I moved here in 2009. My life is completely different.

So here I am, sitting on an air mattress in my vacant apartment in Noe Valley. On the precipice of my cross-country road trip out to New York — ready to start a new chapter of my life. I know that Brooklyn is going to be awesome. I have such great friends there already —  I can’t wait to hang out with all of them again. I’ve also got so many new people to meet — New York is a big place. But, most importantly, I can’t wait to be closer to the woman I love.

So, here’s to San Francisco and to everyone that has made this place so great. Thank you.

Eastbound (and not down)

I cannot believe I am doing this. I thought I would live in California forever. When I moved up to San Francisco from the Silicon Valley in 2009, I told myself that I’d never move back to the East Coast… but I am. And when I cut through all of the sadness of leaving my friends, I’m excited about it.

In September of last year, I started dating an amazing girl that lives in Northern Virginia by the name of Hillary. We met on Jam Cruise in January of 2011 and kept in touch throughout the year. In September, we both met up in New York City for a weekend of music and adventure, and I think we both knew that we were on the verge of something very exciting.

This past January, we decided that this East Coast-West Coast relationship was just too difficult and we needed to do something if we wanted to try to make this work… Enter New York City.

I’ve spent the last week in New York finalizing one of the most critical components of my upcoming relocation, the apartment. I’ve found an amazing 1++ bedroom in Park Slope, Brooklyn and just need to coordinate the physical move. Work has been incredibly flexible about the entire thing, especially considering that half of the team that I manage is based in the NY office.

I’ve done three long-distance moves in my life and this move is very different. This is the first time where I actually have a lot of feelings for the city I’m leaving and will be very sad to say Goodbye to the West Coast and the incredible people and city of San Francisco. Since re-starting my life in SF in 2009, I’ve met so many awesome people through work, kickball, the music scene, yoga and life. The transition is going to be tough, but I know I’m making the right decision. I love Hillary and I know this is right. It’s just the adaptation back to the east coast lifestyle is going to take a lot of getting used to.

So here I am.. on an airplane back to San Francisco for the very last time as a California resident.  My plan is to leave San Francisco after Memorial Day and drive out to New York. Fortunately, there’s enough going on the next few weeks to keep my mind off of the sadness of leaving California… but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

I’ll definitely miss this place.. I’m just happy to know that I have someone as wonderful and loving as Hillary to be there on the other end to help make this whole thing worth it.

An apology

Dear San Francisco:

I am writing to you because I have come to realize that I owe you an apology.

While I have spent the last four years living in the bay area, the majority of that time I spent living down in the Silicon Valley. While living there, I think we both know that I said some pretty mean things about you, but before I start begging for forgiveness let me take a moment to explain.

Coming from the south bay, where the sun is always shining and the temperatures can be nearly 30 degrees warmer, it was always frustrating to leave that climate to come up to visit when I would always need to pack warm clothes, especially in the summer months when the rest of the country is experiencing those warm summer nights. Throughout the past year, however, I realized that these weather patterns are very relative. When you live in this climate all year, it’s actually quite comforting and the number of sunny days are much more frequent than what a visitor might experience.

I also remember coming up and being frequently harassed by your overly aggressive homeless population. I think this can be attributed in large part to the places that I visited when I would come to visit — especially those work conferences at The Hilton near the Tenderloin.

Parking and navigating the city was also a challenge and was quite frustrating at times. Even though the city is “laid out in a grid,” the diagonal cut by Market street was always very confusing and I specifically remember a number of times where taking a left was damn near impossible. Fortunately a lot of that has changed and I have become more familiar with the routes and parking spots around the city. It took a bit of time, but I have come to appreciate your crooked streets and go-with-the-flow traffic style, similar to Boston.

Lastly, I always felt public transportation was a bitch. It still is.

All that aside, however, there are some amazing things that you don’t get to really experience unless you live here. The lifestyle and culture of the various neighborhoods, the wacky events and festivities held each year, the welcoming sight of a hillside full of candlelit windows as you come home from work, the incredibly friendly people, and the laid-back style that is San Francisco.

I must say that I do feel pretty terrible about some of the things I said about you, but I’ve realized just how great of a city you really are — and i could actually see myself spending many years (if not the rest of my life) living here.

So Thank You, San Francisco, for giving me a second chance to get to know the real you and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

Forever and Always,

brandon

Now this is what I meant to say..

Ok, so this guy gets it. My buddy Pete sent me this amazing blog post on RocketShoes.com entitled “A Love Letter to the San Francisco Giants.” This is basically what I’m trying to say, but he did so much more eloquently.

I was in Boston for the 2004 World Series, the first time the S won it in 86 years. They won 7 games in a row, coming back from a 3-1 deficit against the Yankees and then sweeping the Cardinals in four straight.  Granted, the Cardinals never walked four straight batters in a row (3 of which on 4 straight pitches).

And with that as my baseline for a city’s energy level during a world series, I have to say that San Francisco is even more excited going on 56 years. The main difference is that everyone in Boston was so pessimistic — always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Here, it’s the exact opposite. Everyone has known all year long, this team was special. I’ve loved watching these guys — they’ve been a hoot!

The sox were so injury plagued this year, I never felt like I knew the team — especially being that it’s hard to catch the games out here on the left coast… In any event, I loved what this guy had to say.. it’s true every word and you can feel it in the air.