Leaving my heart in San Francisco…

Want the truth?

It is dangerously easy to fall in love with this city…

I had the teensiest of legs up coming to San Francisco for the Dance/USA conference in that I was born in the area and had family I could stay with.  Because we’d often come back to visit, I’ve seen the major sites already: The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, Ghiradelli Square, Lombard Street, and the list goes on.

So, knowing I had limited time outside of a conference room during my three days here I didn’t want to revisit things I’ve already seen.

I chose, instead, to just walk.

Even though I’ve been here a countless number of times, this is the first time I’ve visited as an adult.  I was surprisingly disoriented, being used to a really strict grid system, but SF is quite small by comparison to Chicago and after I got my bearings I really started to enjoy my walking tours and trips on the BART.

Produce market in The Mission

Without any goals or preconceived destinations, I feel like I got to walk among San Franciscans as if I was one of them, and, I gotta tell you, I could get used to that.  In both neighborhoods I visited (Union Square and The Mission) I found happy accidents such as live music performances, farmers markets, and fantastic murals to gaze at.  Not to mention the fantastic weather and interesting mix of Victorian and Spanish Colonial architecture.

In most cities I feel like I have to squeeze it all in. I have to see as much as possible in a limited amount of time, and take the city by storm.  Rarely do you get the opportunity to sink in and go at a normal pace, and maybe it’s for that reason that you start to miss home or feel like “it’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there”.

San Francisco was dangerously different.  I never felt like a tourist (even when I was wearing a big conference name tag).  I fit right in.  I didn’t feel like walking the bridge or hitting the nightlife; I felt like shopping for deli meat and bananas.  It felt like home.

Does San Francisco have this effect on everyone, or is it just me?

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Lauren

Lauren Warnecke is a freelance writer and editor, focused on dance and cultural criticism in Chicago and across the Midwest. Lauren is the dance critic for the Chicago Tribune, editor of See Chicago Dance, and founder/editor of Art Intercepts, with bylines in Chicago Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Media publications, among others. Holding degrees in dance and kinesiology, Lauren is an instructor of dance and exercise science at Loyola University Chicago.

3 thoughts on “Leaving my heart in San Francisco…”

  1. So glad you love our city as much as we do! And there are over 100 dance companies in the Bay Area!! Hope you’ll have a longer stay next time.
    Diablo Ballet

    1. Dan, me too! I came home to a gross 100+ degrees and wanted to promptly turn back around. Thank you for your gracious hospitality in your fantastic city. Hopefully I can return the favor some time if you’re able to come my way!

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