On San Francisco

I first lived in San Francisco in the Fall of 2019 for an internship, I’d never been to the Bay Area before that. I rented an apartment in Nob Hill and walked to Market Street every day on my way to work. I fondly reflect on my time in SF eavesdropping on technology-related conversations (though this got old fast), walking the steep hills, and eating mission burritos.

In Fall of 2021, I returned to San Francisco for my first post-pandemic visit and it was a ghost town. I walked along Market Street, one of the main streets in SF that I used to work on, and it was barren. Most storefronts were boarded up or vandalized, and I barely saw anyone walking except the occasional homeless person or city worker. From a distance, I’ve read the news that most shops near Union Square, which I used to live near, closed down. Westfield Mall, which I used to visit often, was vacating the city. It hurt to see a beautiful place like San Francisco in decline.

Today, I’ve returned to San Francisco for a week-long trip. Visiting a city you used to live in is like visiting an old friend: you reminisce on old times, catch up on how things have been, and see how you both have changed. I’ve changed a lot since I last visited SF and I’m curious to see how SF has changed too.

December 3, 2023

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