Portrait of a neighborhood

My neighborhood lies on the western side of San Francisco, just south of Golden Gate Park. We have the most beautiful sunsets in the whole city.

It's a residential neighborhood, though we have our busy streets to be sure. It's heavily Asian—I describe it to people as a mix of Chinatown and a sleepy old beach town. It gets insanely foggy, especially during the summer, which for us can be colder and bleaker than our winter.

Gray sky, gray sea, brilliant sunsets (when we can see the sun), green meeting pavement and plain little brightly-colored houses, the rumble and ringing bell of streetcars...

But most of all, the sea. Every wide east-west street opening onto it, filling up with breeze which may or may not smell of salt, depending on how imaginative you are, and the whole neighborhood a long lovely slope down to our beach. (As a bike ride, it's one of the best things I know in the whole world.)

Mind, our beach is not the kind of place people think of when you say "beach" and "California." It's cold and wild and melancholy-colored a lot of the time. You wouldn't go swimming there, except maybe on the one day a year that San Francisco is actually truly hot. But a visit home for me is never complete until I set foot on its sand and get my feet into the Pacific.


Priya 3/18/2010 8:03 PM  

I love the sunset picture, and the beach is so pretty!

minteva 3/18/2010 8:58 PM  

this is so beautiful, the pictures are gorgeous and your words so evocative of the town. lovely.

Inkgirl 3/18/2010 9:12 PM  

Wow. This is amazing.

Anonymous 3/18/2010 10:07 PM  

The sunset have been really beautiful the past few days and how you describe Sunset is exactly how it is here. I love the picture of sunset with Sunset Cafe in it. One of my favorite places to chill when I have down time.

Danielle 3/18/2010 10:24 PM  


Noël De Vries 3/19/2010 5:53 AM  


gabi dickinson 3/19/2010 7:20 AM  

Absolutely love this!

cuileann 3/19/2010 9:55 AM  

Priya - Thank you thank you. I guess you know about lovely melancholy beaches too, being from the Northwest.

minteva - Thanks, miss. A prelude to you seeing it for yourself sometime, hopefully!

Inkgirl - Why, thank you!

Anonymous - I'm glad another local finds it accurate. :)

Danielle - Good. Then you'd love it in person, so try to get down here sometime soon. :P

Noel - You strike me as the type to love gray romantic seascapes that feel Celtic or Scandinavian...true?

gabi - Thank you, my dear! Someday I will see your own sea!

Erin 3/19/2010 10:10 AM  

I want to come visit you so so much.

pinkapplecore 3/19/2010 5:56 PM  

Ditto, I can't wait to see it first hand!!

Maya Ganesan 3/19/2010 8:34 PM  

That's so cool, so pretty. :)

cuileann 3/20/2010 11:11 AM  

Erin - Uh me too.

pinkapplecore - I wonder if it will be strange for you like your neck of the woods was for me?

Maya - Yes, I do love it. :)

pinkapplecore 3/21/2010 9:08 AM  

Oh yeah I don't doubt it, I'll probably have a crowd moment "Too many people" run away. sigh or I'll never want to leave japantown

cuileann 3/23/2010 10:50 AM  

pinkapplecore - Heh, you'll have to learn to like Japanese food! Jk, I have no doubt that you would like it if you had it from somewhere good.

odessa 3/24/2010 10:25 PM  

love this. when will are you back?

cuileann 3/25/2010 9:04 AM  

odessa - The beginning of May, unless I find work to keep me here for the summer.

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