For the next few days I will be in the San Francisco Bay Area. My focus will be spending time with family and friends. Its the holiday season and its important to spend time with loved ones. If I am slow to respond that is the reason why, I ma busy with family. This blog hopes you have a Merry Christmas and a good holiday season.
“If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco. If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life.”
Trans-America Building in San Francisco
As l write this from San Francisco, California l am coming to grips on what appears to be the start of a new tradition in my life. That is spending Christmas in the San Francisco Bay Area. With my parents in Fresno now deceased and relatives in the Bay area the holidays have shifted from Fresno to San Francisco. How do you replace a loving mother or a kind father? How do you start anew? I have weird feelings going through me as l process all these changes.
And yet aside from the grief and mourning there is another factor that brings me joy. What brings a smile to my face is to be a native Californian and to be back in my home state. California is where l was born and raised. It’s the state that l identify with as l grew up here and know its culture and its way of life. I proudly wear some of my California t-shirts when I go about life on the East Coast. But as I begin to re-acquaint myself with San Francisco I am stunned by how much has changed. Yesterday I took BART into downtown and got off at Montgomery Street. Lunch took place in Chinatown and then I walked around and explored. Climbed up to Coit Tower and got some good exercise walking up a number of San Francisco’s hills. The view from Coit Tower of not only San Francisco’s skyline but also the bay was breathtaking. Today I went back into the city and walked around. What I did was to get off at Embarcadero station and walk down Mission Street eventually. I looked at the Trans-Bay Center and went into one of the newest skyscrapers in the United States the Salesforce Tower. It is the second tallest building west of the Mississippi River. The building has an observation deck but the list is booked until October of 2020. So I am putting my name down for next December when I come back. Across the street is the infamous Millennium Tower which consists of condominiums. This is the infamous building that had construction issues and today is leaning and tilting. Its been the subject of news, lawsuits and discussion from the Bay Area to Europe. But the growth of San Francisco stunned me. This city has become much more international and the boom here is stunning to consider. Landmarks such as the Trans-America Building are being overtaken by new skyscrapers. San Francisco which has a lot of opportunity also has its challenges. The homeless on the street are aggressive and some neighborhoods have Twitter accounts that call on the city to deal with its homeless problem better. Plus you have the high cost of living and housing issues.
Afterward I walked down to the San Francisco Ferry Terminal building and looked at all the foods, coffee shops and displays that were available. Then I found myself at Pier 39. It was nice to see so much life, families and smiling kids. I spent about an hour looking at the Aquarium of the Bay and enjoyed the displays and the shark tank. I grabbed some lunch and then picked up a t-shirt and sweat shirt advertising San Francisco. I had a coffee and then as the dark descended I watched the Christmas tree have a light show to Mannheim Steamroller. Amidst all this it was nice to be back in California.
Christmas Holiday and Next Few Days
Most of my time the next few days will be spent with family and friends. I have some friends connecting with me and scheduling time to meet with people. And while I have a lot in the pipeline I think its important to spend time with family and friends. For me life should be balanced and my loved ones come first. That said there is more to write about in the days to come or when I am back in Washington, D.C.
If I could wish you one thing its that you would have an amazing Christmas season. Here is hoping you spend quality time with your family and friends. And for those of you suffering due to pain and loss let me say that you are not alone. I am grieving my parents deaths and am still working through that event. Death has been one of the harder subjects that have been faced. But I hope during this Christmas season you have friends and loved ones to spend time with. That is what makes the holiday so special, and for those experiencing loss so hard. But have a Merry Christmas and a good holiday.