San Francisco changed everything for me in my twenties. I spent 7 trips around the sun in the city by the Bay. I felt lucky every day to live in such a stunning and inspiring city. I loved various scenes in the city from hipsters to surfers, from dotcom techies in late 90s to artists and activists. I adored the famous views of the Bay area, Golden Gate Bridge, Embarcadero, Twin Peaks, North beach to name the few.
During those 7 years my Sunday afternoons were at their best at the City Lights bookstore. An independent bookstore founded in 1953 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin located in the North Beach neighborhood. An anti-authoritarian politics continues to be a strong influence in this special place.
I lived in different Victorian homes across the city. Those included the Castro district, Inter Richmond, Mission and the California street neighborhood. The greatest event for me in Castro were the Halloween block parties. It used to be quite festive and would gather huge crowds dressed in miraculous costumes. The Castro Theatre is a famous San Francisco landmark build in 1922.
Moving on to the hipster part of San Francisco, Mission Dolores Park is located a few blocks from Castro and 18th Street. A wonderful place to spend a sunny Saturday after you visited Tartine bakery. The Tartine bakery has remained as my most favorite bakery known for its banana pudding among other stuff. The Mission district is a culinary haven. Many restaurants rate at the top of the class from inexpensive sandwiches to fine dining.
Hayes Valley is probably the closest to my heart. The neighborhood become one of the most desirable spots to live in the city in the last 10 years. Inspired by designers from USA and Europe Lava9 is a must visit boutique. Blue Bottle Coffee Shop is a unique destination in Hayes Valley. It serves the world class expresso drinks.
I most love the people of San Francisco who profoundly care about their life style, who embrace adventures, nature and the arts. Leaving SF stirred different emotions for me, and although, I no longer live there it always feels like home.