I was born and raised in San Francisco. Although I often have Wanderlust and love to travel, San Francisco really is a very special place to live. For example, there is something called Sunday City Streets.
About once a month different neighborhood streets are closed to cars and vendors and groups can come out to share information, sell goods, and encourage San Francisco residents to explore and become active in their city and communities.
One of the downsides to San Francisco is that the city has grown less tolerant of kids. Schools have closed and when there are events they are usually not kid-friendly or have very little activities for children. When there are activities for children, they’re usually very expensive.
So when one of my BFF’s invited us to tag along with her. At first I was reluctant to go figuring that it would cost a small fortune for the kids to have any fun, or would be centered around buying things.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to spending money to have a good time but we often do things that cost money and kids are very into being consumers at such a young age that I like to try to do things that aren’t specifically “buy me, buy me” related. I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that good times = $.
To my surprise, there was so much FREE stuff to do.
There was a carnival area with a jumper and games that were all free, including cotton cotton candy, popcorn and pizza for the kids! We passed on the pizza and took some cotton candy but didn’t end up eating it.
(And, yes, that’s soda with artificial coloring and processed sugars, but sometimes you gotta live a little!)
We learned about kinetic energy and rode a bike to help power speakers. There were live bands playing music and DJ’s slapping dope beats.
We hoola-hooped and played games. We drew on the ground in colored chalk.
We ran into three different sets of friends from our school. We chased bubbles from a bubble machine, and truly appreciated the city. And the way it felt like community and the way it should always feel.
People were smiling and saying hello for no reason in particular. People were not rushing to and fro, angry or stressed out. People were enjoying the moment, and living in the moment.
Because, you see, too often we’re so busy doing that we forget about the moment. And that in that moment we are living and that moment is our life.
Sometimes we’re too busy doing and going that we forget to live.
I lost my head in San Francisco
Waiting for the fog to roll out
But I found it in a rain cloud
It was smiling down
Do you feel the love? I feel the love
C’mon c’mon, lets start it up!
Let it pour out of your soul
– The Mowgli’s “San Francisco”
But not that Sunday. That Sunday it felt like San Francisco. Like the city people think it is. Like the songs people write about it.
Days like that Sunday, I am reminded why I still live here. Even though every other day I say I want to move and I’m often suffering from a case of Wanderlust there’s just no place like home.
By the end of the day we were so happy and had such a great time that we literally almost got carried away by a huge thing of balloons that a stranger gave us.
What’s your favorite thing about your city?