I read recently in my newly favorite urban newspaper, The Bold Italic, that cities are like an onion or an artichoke.
“You have to peel back the layers to get to the good stuff. You have to peel back the tourist traps, the Starbucks, the chain staples – to discover the oddball visionaries, lesser-known histories and unconventional destination spots that arguably make up the meat of the city’s beloved urban heart.”
I agree. You fall in love with a city because of its dive bars, Italian pizzerias and family owned corner delis. But as for San Francisco, there’s two more layers to this city that you have to peel through to get its heart: a layer of fur and a layer of fog.
If you’re walking, running, shopping or happy hour-ing anywhere in this city, you’ll find more dogs than children and more spoiled dogs than most kids.
San Francisco has the 3rd most dog parks of any city in the U.S. It’s ranked second nationally for walkability. Dog-friendly watering holes dole out free popcorn during Yappy Hour. And even dogs are allowed on trolley cars and on Bay area ferries, if crated.
If you’re living anywhere in San Francisco –– from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Marina to SOMA to the very edge of Twin Peaks –– you will still find fog.
At the same usual time every day, in the same usual creeping, mysterious way, hitting the same usual micro-hoods first and then moving inwards and dissipating by sunset.
Today was no different. At 3:00ish PM, it rolled in off Bay like a creeping cat waiting to ambush its prey. By 4:00ish PM, it started settling and blanketing the city like it needed protection. In the span of an hour, the sunshine was gone along with my sundress weather. By 5:30ish PM, the fog cover was lifting, giving way to evening moonlight. By dinner time around 7:00ish PM, it disappeared and went back into mysterious hiding.
All in all, there’s two things I wish someone told me when I moved here. If you want a better quality of life in San Francisco, live west of the Divisadero (it’s sunnier, less foggy and more urbanized). And get a dog.