Leaving Neverland

My wife says that blogs are “over” and nobody reads them anymore. Which may be true. All people have time for these days–I am actually old enough to say that!–is scrolling quickly through photos and watching You Tube videos. I admit that I myself don’t read blogs on a regular basis–though there are a few that I like and will check in with periodically. Regardless, I felt compelled to start a new one now, as my wife Diana and I are also starting a new phase in life, and moving cross-country from San Francisco to New Jersey. I’ll try to keep my posts short with lots of pictures. This is a medium I’d like to use to express and share this journey and I hope people enjoy reading.

This move comes after 12 years living in Neverland (aka: SF, The City by the Bay, The City – nobody calls it Frisco, sometimes San Fran might be acceptable). As a “transplant” (not a native, born and raised San Franciscan), my opinions and experiences are probably very different from those who grew up here and their families who are still in the area. I read an article in The Bold Italic recently about the exodus of people leaving SF because of the extreme rising (and rising) housing costs, and why the author of the article decided to leave as well.  Someone commented that transplants come to the city in their twenties, then move out in their thirties when they realize they want a back yard. And, yeah, I want a backyard. I also want to pay a reasonable price for one!

We have decided to live in our parent’s basement to attempt to “grow up”. I realize how bad that probably sounds to some people, as I’m not in my late twenties, but late thirties. Here in Neverland, having roommates is crucial to survival, so it still feels like we are just in an extension of college life, but with “real” jobs.

Living in SF is (to me), like living on a large adult playground within a giant 7×7 square foot mile bubble. People can come here to escape reality, and to find themselves along the way. I am so in love with the magic of this city, and I’m grateful for the last twelve years I’ve been able to play here. It hasn’t been easy living 2,000 miles away from family and only seeing them once or twice a year (I’m one of those people who actually like and enjoy my family). I’ve created a second family here, though, and leaving all of them now will be just as hard.

I’m having growing pains as the reality hits me. We will no longer walk 3 blocks up the hill to Philz coffee on a Saturday morning, meeting up with friends at Dolores park in the afternoon and dinner at Firefly in the evening. Driving to work, I won’t have stunning views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge just over the hill where I park. No more hearing the ding of cable cars rolling through narrow streets, seeing Coit tower illuminated like a beacon against a black sky. Time to say good-bye to Karl the fog, floating down from the outside in, reaching our neighborhood in Noe Valley and the Mission area last, with only the tip of Sutro tower popping out the top. Having somewhere new to go and explore any day of the week, and still being surprised at finding a hidden forest right in the middle of the city, usually with the intoxicating scent of eucalyptus. Concerts in Golden Gate Park, museums and art galleries to explore, I could go on and on.

Most of all, living in San Francisco–especially one neighborhood over from the Castro, where gay pride is a daily, not annual event–I can pretty much be open about who I am as a queer femme (and I don’t have to explain what that means).

I am inspired by Ellen Page’s Gaycation series, playing now on Viceland–please go watch, especially U.S. episode; but maybe not if you are a Ted Cruz supporter. In the series she travels across the world, exploring what it is like to be gay in different parts of the world (and close to home, as in the U.S. episode).

I admit that it is a bit nerve-wracking not knowing exactly how people may treat us as we make our way down the oh, so friendly southern states that have such open and accepting discrimination policies. More than likely, we will look like good friends traveling together to the clueless and hopefully we can find the best places to let our freak flag fly in true SF fashion.

I promised to keep this short…stay tuned–up next, trading the bay views for canyons.

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