I’ve been in San Francisco for two days. I’ve been doing a lot of walking. Like miles and miles and hours and hours of walking to the point of exhaustion. Yet, I’ve only explored a fraction of the city covering the top left quarter including Golden Gate Park, The Presidio, the Castro neighborhood, and areas in between. Oddly, I’ve avoided the waterfront areas having not seen the Western beaches, the Golden Gate bridge (though I was only a mile away), and downtown (really anything east of Van Ness Ave).
The Avenues is where I’m parked, mostly residential area. There’s a bustling Asian neighborhood on Irving Street running parallel to Golden Gate Park. I’ve heard there’s a Chinatown and Japantown also. Man, there’s a lot of Asians here. More Asians than I ever imagined any US city having. It’s jarring to be in a train car and notice there’s always more Asians than anyone else. But I should have known considering how close we are to Asia.
Some stray observations:
– There are indeed a lot of gay folks in SF especially in the Castro. A lot of hand holding between men that I haven’t seen anywhere else. I lived in Orlando for several months, supposedly the second most gay city in the US, but it’s not even close.
– SF is all about money. I’ve seen more Porsche cars here than anywhere else
– Parking is horrendous. I’ve spent the majority of my time just spying out the possible parking places.
– 24 Hour Fitness sucks. They refused to give me a guest pass because I’m not “local”. I guess this prevents free loading parasites who use the gym and pay nothing. Then again, the vast majority of gym members don’t actually go to the gym, and there’s a higher likelihood I would join if I had the guest pass rather than being rejected. I mean really, what the hell.
– RV Living in SF is really nice. The weather is absolutely perfect. I actually went to sleep and woke up feeling cold. And it’s like this year round.
– RV Living in SF is really bad. Parking is scarce. There’s a good number of hills. Sprint 4G is surprisingly really poor. Dump sites and good mechanics are far away.
– I meet Tynan over tea, his blog originally planted the seed of buying my Rialta motorhome as well as a dozen others. Having looked at his mug for years on his website, I didn’t originally recognize him with his overgrown beard and hair. After meeting both Tynan and Tom, I feel motivated to really kick some butt and wonder why aren’t I doing just as well as them. But I know why, and I know I can and will.
– Portland and SF both have this “honor” system of public transit. In Portland, you’re suppose to buy a transit card yet there’s no scanners on their metro trains. Likewise, there’s a scanner on the SF trains, but you could just board without scanning. For example, I purchased the SF “City Pass” which gives me free use of the public transit, but I don’t have anything to swipe or scan. Compare this honor system to Boston’s Greenline streetcars where they only opened the front door by the conductor for entry/exit to make sure everyone paid (and caused considerable delay).
– SF Citypass costs $70 for 7 days allowing entry to top attractions. I’ll probably spend my weekdays doing these tourist traps.
– After being robbed, I’m free of a lot of junk. I still wish I had my dress shoes, my student id cards, and my external hard drive. But I don’t really “need” them right now. I can carry (and have been) almost everything in my Aeronaut backpack:
- – Clothing (including super light weight winter coat and rain/wind shell)
- – Laptop
- – Kindle
- – Digital Camera
- – Flipflops
- – Barefeet shoes / regular shoes
- – Chargers
- – VOIP Phone for Work
I don’t take all my clothes around with me, but if anyone dares rob me again, they won’t find much. If I do keep this RV, I’ve been thinking about adding metal pieces to my cabinets so I can put a padlock on them. Short of picking the lock or hammering the compartment in, that should keep everything safe and a lot cheaper than buying and welding a safe.
– The biggest inconvenience is lack of shower and using the bathroom. I haven’t showered since I left Oregon on Friday. I wanted my gym pass so I could shower but I might just stay at a hostel instead and also make friends along the way. I don’t mind pissing in the RV, but I’ve yet to shit in it and would prefer to keep it that way. So far so good. Unfortunately, I’m parked in a pretty isolated area. I’ll probably be moving soon.
– I got a wheel alignment on the way to SF since the RV was dragging to the right and was causing uneven wear on the tires. I might be getting new tires this week too though.
– I’ve been getting better gas mileage in the 16-18 range. Perhaps because I’m driving slower, new transmission, wheel alignment, and/or going up and down mountains.
– SF is huge. After Chicago, I was just used to smaller metro areas. Denver, Portland, and Seattle. They’re large but nowhere in comparison to SF metro area. I thought Berkeley was initially SF. It’s also quite beautiful here from the homes to the hills and the fog.
– I sense a partial change in identity and also how others are reacting to me. Which is strange considering I haven’t really done anything beyond drive a RV around. In a sense, I guess I completed a vision I had for several years now. I lived up to my word. Now, I can conquer other goals.