Last fall, I came to the United States of America for the first time in my life to further my studies. I still remember the day I arrived in San Francisco - it was a chilly, misty night, with the moon just above its zenith, disappearing and reappearing amidst the heavy fog that perpetually encompassed the Bay Area. Coming from a country where the climate is hot and humid all year long, the air in San Francisco felt surprisingly refreshing to me.
Over the next couple of months, I spent my time exploring the city of San Francisco. Now you might have heard rumors about San Francisco being inundated by homeless encampments, and although that's true to a certain extent, it still does not discount the city of its beauty. Take the homeless street performers, who busk at Union Square every now and then, for example - the quality of the music that they produce can be astonishingly good at times! To give you some context, here's a picture of my friend jamming on the guitar with a homeless street performer:
If you do come to San Francisco, make sure you do the following:
1. Take the trolley car through the Financial District to Chinatown to Fisherman’s Wharf.
2. Visit the famous swing at Kirby Cove.
3. Walk down the Embarcadero just as the sun is setting. The point is not seeing an awesome sunset; the point is that as light becomes lesser and lesser it shines through the palm trees and on the road and creates a very eerie and relaxing feeling of the place. And, because it’s on the opposite end from the setting sun, instead of getting sharp light it’s the opposite- smooth and nice; hence the feeling.
4. Watch the sunrise at Twin Peaks - no matter how tired you are. Trust me - it's definitely worth it.
5. Skateboard the piers from the Embarcadero to Pier 39 and grab an avocado sushi roll looking over Alcatraz.
6. Walk to Lands End with a couple of friends after stopping by Japantown and eating some delicious food, then watch the sunset at Lands End, eat and drink and talk.
7. Go for a hike at Angel Island.
8. Don’t forget to visit the Holocaust Memorial just outside the Legion of Honor. It’s small but one of the most moving memorials to the Holocaust I’ve ever seen.
9. Of course, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. It's kinda overrated though, so if you're just there for the Insta-worthy picture, I would suggest you go before 4-5 PM cause that's when the sun starts to set and your photo quality starts becoming really shit.
10. Go to Bi-Rite and get a nice cone with your favorite flavors and then go to Mission Dolores Park and kick it with your friends for the day.
This might be a little clichéd, but I have to end this piece with an Oscar Wilde quote:
“It's an odd thing, but anyone who disappears
is said to be seen in San Francisco.
It must be a delightful city and possess
all the attractions of the next world”
If I have one advice for anyone who wants to visit San Francisco, it is this:
"Remember to secure your heart when you come to San Francisco, for you might forget to bring it with you on the way back."