From San Francisco...

lessons for clara

Dearest Clara,

It’s funny how quickly a week can go by---especially if you find yourself moving from one coast to another.  Last week was New York, but this week is San Francisco.  Luckily, my next flight will bring me home to you, and the one after that will take us on vacation together.  But before we get too excited about sunny summer days, let me share a little of what I’ve learned over my San Francisco visit:

  • Always wear layers . . . Since we’ve returned to the US, I believe we’ve been to California three times, and we’ve ended up having to buy more clothes on two of those times.  This time I finally nailed my packing list!  The weather is not quite as toasty as the one hundred plus degrees I left on the East Coast, and it changes . . . a lot.  First it’s foggy, then its sunny, then its raining . . . then who knows.  And there can always be a chill in the air, especially a night.  Be prepared for all of these situations by wearing layers so that you can put on and takeoff as you need to always stay warm!
  • Don’t underestimate the value of local products . . . I think you can give San Francisco a lot of credit for making Americans proud of American food products---and especially of American wine products: wines, cheeses, produce, fresh breads. This city and the areas around it have gotten so creative (see below) about pushing the envelope of what they put on the table and  they're proud of the fact that they can get it there themselves.  We take it for granted here on the East Coast, but I think this really started right here in San Francisco. It's easy to get caught up in imports, but sometimes, you can find it just as good at home.
  • Choosing healthy is not weird . . . I love this about San Francisco, and about California generally.  I’m not a vegetarian but if I were, it wouldn’t be a problem here.  If you want a healthy option, you can always find it on the menu and no one seems to think less of you for choosing it.  It makes choosing healthy an easy shift and not a production.  Choose what you know is good for you proudly.
  • Everyone could use a little more time outdoors . . . When people move from San Francisco to the East Coast, I know they are always going to miss the outdoors.  Even for people who don’t consider themselves “outdoorsy,” they often appear to be so to us.  Hiking in the hills, camping on the beach, windsurfing on the ocean . . . they may spend a lot of time in the city but people from San Francisco certainly know how to appreciate and protect the areas that surround it.
  • Be creative . . . When I go to New York, I’m always impressed by the pace of life, but when I come to San Francisco, I’m amazed by the creativity.  For example, one cab driver was developing his own app to monitor parking rates, another friend developing a new form of digital photography.  If your heart is in invention, this is the place for you---and we could all use a little inventive spirit in our daily lives.  In San Francisco, just because things used to be a certain way, doesn’t mean they have to stay a certain way. Remember that in anything that you pursue.

Lots of love,