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Coming Back Home

 

San Francisco was the first city I learned to love on my own. It was a love that wasn’t inherited by family circumstance or history, it was a love I sought out on my own and held close all for my own reasons. I moved to San Francisco when I was 18, never having spent a night anywhere else but my parent’s house. San Francisco gave me a second family and a second home. My love for SF happened instantly. Probably spurred like a lot of young love, by the fact my parents never saw the beauty or the appeal of it in the same way I saw it.

However, in these three years since I’ve moved back to L.A., that love has shifted and changed to something new and my life in San Francisco has grown hazier in my memories. Replaced by new and shiny experiences. Crowded trains replaced with long car rides. Foggy mornings and a vacant sun replaced with sweaty and overbearing heat. A tiny overpriced one bedroom apartment replaced with a spacious rent-free suburban home.

It was an amicable split, but like any split…it’s healthy to take some time apart and focus on your new love. That lovelorn feeling had all but been lost, but this weekend I was able to capture a little of that magic.

San Fogcisco

This weekend, we walked around our old neighborhood. Strolling to old neighborhood favorites, reminiscing over what looks familiar and noticing all that’s different. Bound without the constant, meter-filling worry of a car, it felt like old times. We hopped from neighborhood to neighborhood like we never left. The city was as it always was beautiful.

Comparing  my SF experiences to my new life is futile. The way I love now is with the lens of foresight and maturity, it’s well-thought and intentional. The love I felt for SF was instant and fueled by an environment where I was allowed to make mistakes and grow as a person. It was young love and although that same love can never be captured, it’s nice to know that I can occasionally visit those same streets and feel like I’m home.

 

-Sandi

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For the Love of L.A.

l.a.

I grew up with L.A. as a constant, not something I repped or something I felt that needed defending. It was the backdrop for all my experiences and a supporting character in the grander story of how my parents entered this country as refugees to eventual American citizens. All of this was something I never thought about growing up. It was my home and nothing more. I took it for granted.

It wasn’t until I moved to San Francisco to go to college that I started developing a longing and love for my hometown. San Franciscans are zealous and boisterous about their love for their city. That love is palpable in the energy that keeps the city moving. San Francisco is easy to love though. It’s beautiful, filled with rolling hills and clean air and gorgeous bay views. Los Angeles is big and hard to locate, it’s dirty and often the true view is blocked by the facade of a lewd industry. There’s traffic, dirty air and lots of people who have no interest in really getting to know anyone.

San Francisco is full of people in love with San Francisco, albeit complaining about rent but that’s always followed by, “but it’s worth it to live here.” Los Angeles is full of people complaining first and then mentioning the weather second as a small silver lining. I constantly hear people that are not from the Greater L.A. area complaining and talking about my hometown like they have it figured out. I usually say nothing though, because I’ve come to realize that a love and appreciating for this town has to come from your own perspective. It’s something you have to come to on your own, and that a lot of people never do. I’ll let people have their own relationship and hope that they get to a place where they can find their love for it. I just know that my love has grown from something I took for granted to something I appreciate and am grateful for.

A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness. It all depends on where you sit and what your own private score is. – Raymond Chandler

Los Angeles is the place where my parents became who they are. The time I feel most connected is when I’m driving around with them and they tell me all the important, happy and sad moments that happened on L.A. streets. They can point to the first restaurant in mid-City where they had their first American meal. They can point to our tiny Hollywood apartment near a freeway where I came home to after I was born. My dad can point to the street where he had to run home because he had gotten off late and downtown was still dangerous, not yet trendy. It’s a love that can be appreciated in L.A.’s constant companion – your car.

L.A. will never be this pristine thing, it’s big and it’s dirty and it’s tough to find your place in it but I’ll always be proud. There’s lots of great pictures of L.A., bright sunny and shiny…but this is how I want to always remember L.A., nondescript and a little hazy letting you make it what you want it to be.

dtla

 

 

-Sandi

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weekend warriors

Weekend Warriors: San Francisco for 40 Hours

Weekend Recap: October 4-5, 2014


Bluegrass Music. San Francisco. Waterfalls. Golden Gate Park. Caribbean Food. Bernal Heights. North Beach. Pimms Cup. Lots of Driving. Photo Booths. Brunch. Beer. Mimosas. Rooftop Bars.

This weekend was…eventful.

baybridge

It started Friday night when my best friend picked me up and we headed 6 hours north to San Francisco. It’s been over a year and half since we moved to the L.A. area, and honestly I’m always down to go visit the Bay Area… so when my friend asked if I would accompany her on a road trip to a free music festival in Golden Gate Park, I said…”Yes please!”

We were lucky enough to stay at her friend’s super cute apartment in Bernal Heights that had the nicest garden. I just had to take some pictures, especially since the weather was so sunny and bright (which is a rarity in SF, although when we came the city was experiencing a heat wave, but heat wave in SF means 85 degrees not the 110 that it means in L.A.).

bhgarden

We had brunch on Saturday at a little cafe on Dolores street in the Mission District. I took a pic of my food because it was pretty and I’m lame and feel inclined to take pics of all pretty things, including eggs.

brunch

We had some mimosas, grabbed our backpacks and were on our way to the park.

bluegrass

Now I’ll be honest…I know little to nothing about bluegrass music. I’ll tell you what I know…I’ve heard some Sara Watkins and I really love everything I’ve heard, I know some Johnny Cash (that’s bluegrass adjacent, I think?), and I know it involves…guitars, fiddles, banjos and other more complicated instruments I’ve never heard of. So with all that impressive knowledge, I went to the park to listen to bluegrass all day with my best friend who knows all the things about the bluegrass. Minus the blistering sun and hoards of people, it was a lot of fun. We had beer, snacks and laid in the park.

picnicblanket

When it ended we made our way east to the Haight district where we ate some yummy Caribbean food, on the way there we spotted a waterfall. Crazy right!

waterfall

From there we met up with some of old friends from my college days at S.F. State where we drank some more beer, danced and had a really fun (and sweaty) time at a local bar. After we practically sweated through our clothes, we made our way to North Beach to drink tasty drinks at 15 Romolo and take ridiculous photo booth pics that don’t need to be published online in case one of us runs for president one day.

It was a busy Saturday to say the least. Sunday we had brunch at a rooftop spot with one of my bestest friends. We caught up, drank more mimosas, my bff had the bloody mary she’d been craving all weekend, paid too much for eggs benedicts, took some pics and were on our way back to Southern California.

rooftop

bloodymary

This weekend was exhausting, fun, eventful and amazing. I loved spending so much time with my best friend, and I’d do it all again if I could. Today I was able to go to work without falling asleep at my desk, so it was a success. Now to go back to pretending I’m an adult for a week. Until next weekend!

 

xoxo

Sandi

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