A friend of mine had told me a long time ago, "You've got to get out to San Francisco. You'd love it." After hearing some of the recent reports of ultra-gentrification and busloads moving young techies from the city into Silicon Valley, I became concerned that I wouldn't have the right historical context to enjoy the city as I had hoped.
I had begun to realize that I had lost the stomach for the metropolis life and despite San Francisco being the most beautiful American city I'd ever seen, I was still craving the arid, vined hills of Sonoma from where I had just come as well as the gargantuan trees from that prehistoric forest where I enjoyed feeling small and inconsequential.
It was here where I learned that there is no longer a place for me in the big cities. I was preferring the vast vineyards with rows of vine that go up and down the arid hill; the West Coast domain of Bacchus, that craven of wine who sang the strong, loud song of debauchery bellowed from deep red-tinted lips from the old world where the marriage of agriculture and pleasure was consecrated. I was starting to appreciate, more than ever, the life of the villager or the small townie or the forest-bound hermit.
The beaches in San Francisco wasn't expected nor the beautiful vistas from hills where I could, on one side, see fog slowly reveal the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge and, on the other, houses edging nearly off the bluffs from which the ocean seemed to run to the end of the world. Out there, Japan, a long current separating continents but yet, despite the drama, there are parts of San Francisco that are quaint and private such as the pet cemetery beneath the 101 or the woods near Baker Beach.
After my first day there, I stayed in Berkley and desired nothing else but to leave cities once again to head south toward Santa Monica, and beyond that, one of the great deserts of North America.