Tag Archives: san francisco

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