The other day I was thinking back to May of 2004 when I’d arrived at the Bay Area. To that time, still living in Miami, through the Internet, I had rented an apartment at the Bay Area peninsula, close to the office, and arrived there with a huge moving truck packed with all my possessions and the three birds. In a way, it was kind of a home coming after all my time in Los Angeles, and California in a way still gives me this innate feeling of being at “home”.
The first year of my return I didn’t have much time to explore, discover or develop – but I knew that I will stay here , settle down, grow (shallow) roots and integrate myself into local society and create a lifestyle. In 2005, I moved to the West side of San Francisco into a house I liked immediately and I still life exactly there, across the street of the gorgeous Golden Gate Park and two miles away from the beach. I have never lived five years in one place ever since I had left Germany where I still was living with my parents in 1985. Six years in the same geographical area is an eternity but also a good stretch of time to have explored, discovered, created, and developed.
San Francisco is an interesting place and as much as it is a tourist magnet with all the famous landmarks displayed in the touristy Web sites or sightseeing attractions there is a broad range of grey shades to be found and eventually the grey turns into the darkest shades of black. From ultimate glamour to sobering homelessness; from the yuppie success stories of the financial district to despair and anger of the drug addicts in the Tenderloin; where on parts of Market or Mission people rather lay on the street then walk, from the dive bars in the Mission district to downtown’s Palace Hotel. It is nothing short of a well balanced eco-system. Everybody lives with it. It gives the city color and a certain vibe; it makes it interesting and dangerous to the same time; there is excitement and opportunity. It attracts many interesting people and interesting lifestyles. In the six years of my stay, I have seen it (almost) all and the opportunity of meeting new people and discovering new things every day besides enjoying the marvelous outdoors never seizes. It is like a big and never ending party. God only knows how my journey will continue here in San Francisco but for the moment, it is just fine. My freelance lifestyle is contributing and in turn creating – on a daily basis- and is the backbone of personal growth.