Living in San Francisco, I often feel like I belong to a special club. It is such a beautiful place with amazing people and so many things to do, that I hand over my exorbitant rent each month just happy they let me stay a member. I chat up tourists on the bus about places to visit in my city, provide detailed recommendations to anyone new in town and am basically a goodwill ambassador for this unique corner of the world.
The last few weeks as we weathered day after day of torrential rain, my love for San Francisco never waned. I made my way to work in the sideways rain and hail, jockeyed my way onto one overcrowded bus after another, and huddled under my covers to keep warm every frigid morning. I suffered sleep deprivation every night when my little dog, Sadie, grew increasingly anxious as the wind howled, the rain beat against the window and tree branches pounded our building. I protested in a downpour at City Hall, assured volunteers that we would be there rain or shine and passed out soggy flyers to anyone brave enough to cross the flood zone in Civic Center.
Four years ago when I moved here, I traded in my beloved summers for this beautiful city on the bay and never looked back. I can still commiserate with tourists who come to California each June, optimistically sporting shirt sleeves and shorts, only to snatch up the first San Francisco embroidered sweatshirt they see to fight off the inevitable chill. Before our wedding in July last summer, I tried to warn the guests that although the calendar said summer, most likely the temperatures would hover around 58 degrees with a cold breeze. Some people willfully ignored these instructions and shivered throughout the ceremony, sheepishly mumbling in disbelief at the fog blanketing Golden Gate Park. Even the comfort of our guests was sacrificed to celebrate our nuptials in our favorite city and we smiled through every chilly moment.
The reasons SFists continue to pay astronomical rents, ride out the seemingly endless season of fog, and sacrifice summers, is all for days like today. The sky is a brilliant blue, nary a cloud in sight, the breeze just cool enough to refresh, and songbirds fill the air with their nosy chatter. Residents flood the street, basking in the sun on every imaginable surface and soak up the weather with gusto. At the park across the street from my house, dogs frolic on the cool green grass, a few homeless people are stretched out on the bench wiggling their toes and smartly dressed corporate drones eat their lunches on the steps, all in utter bliss.
We all delight in the weather together. The barista at my local coffee hop leans forward and whispers confidentially, “How about this weather?!” My coworkers and I swap secrets for the ultimate place to spend a sunny SF afternoon. Every outdoor cafe, restaurant and bar is packed with smiling people looking like they just won the lottery. The beaches are packed with pasty limbs, parrot colored umbrellas and people, kids and dogs giddy with relief from the never ending fog.
A San Francisco day such as this is rare and therefore, appreciated. We love this city despite her weather- related flaws and when she gives us a rare reprieve, we are thankful. SFists didn’t move here from around the world for the weather, but rather, in spite of it. Many of us have stayed here because of the sun filled, magical promise of days like today that can pop up all year round. Whether it be July, October or March, we squeeze every moment of enjoyment out of it, because we don’t know when it’s coming again.
Today, this San Francisco resident will lounge in the park with her dog and take a long, ambling walk in the park, thankful these days only come around once so often. The rarity of these days protect us from even more people clamoring to live here, without fully appreciating our city’s charm. All those fog filled, dreary days make today feel like a gift and the enjoyment of it is that much sweeter.