Saturday, 26 October 2013

San Francisco

I've come to the end of my week in San Francisco, and I have to admit to feeling a little ambivalent about this city. I think I am subject to the same sense of disappointment that some people express when visiting Paris...I had long wanted to visit here and fully expected to love this city, but instead I am feeling a little bemused.

I've had a productive week at work, and enjoyed the bits and pieces of sight-seeing that I squeezed in. I can't really put my finger on what it is about SF that has not lived up to my expectations. I think it is partly due to a sense of concern at the significant number of homeless people in and around the city. I'm not so ignorant as to not understand that all large cities have a proportion of marginalised and disadvantaged people who end up homeless or rough sleepers - it just seemed a much more widespread and evident issue here (certainly far greater than London, and more evident than any other US city I've been to). It was also saddening to see so many of the homeless population living with evident disabilities. In light if the arguments currently raging in the US media with regards to the Affordable Care Act, I am grateful that I live in a country in which health and disability services are easily accessible for all sectors of the population who need them.

But there is no doubt, that San Francisco is a vibrant and popular city. Here are some of my favourite elements...

And finally, I thought that my numerous attempts to see the Golden Gate Bridge were going to be in vain thanks to the notorious fog in San Francisco Bay.
My first attempt....completely obscured.
My second attempt....the tip of one end was briefly visible...

My third attempt....nothing, totally obscured.

Then finally, this afternoon on the ferry across to Sausalito I was rewarded with this view...

Off to Boston tomorrow for the final leg of my trip - I'm hoping that some beautiful foliage colour may still be there to be appreciated...



  1. Hi Annie ~ Sorry to hear that San Francisco did not live up to your expectations. The significant amount of homeless and disabled people would be distressing for sure and I can see why this left you disheartened. Your photographs are so pretty. Hoping you get the beautiful foliage you are seeking in Boston. I have never been but we go to Maine quite a bit in the summer and I have many friends who insist that I should visit Boston since it is beautiful. Have fun! :)

  2. What lovely photos! I'm really keen on visiting SF because a dear expat friend I met here in London moved there. But yes, I can see why you were moved by the amount of homeless people. My company is working with the Big Issue Foundation here in London and they said they are expecting a sharp rise in homelessness in the near future as a delayed reaction to the crises in Greece, Portugal and Spain.