I have a real antipathy towards cities, too many of then degenerate into the same grey rectangular blobs with citizens rushing from building to building. Change the names of the roads and the language on the transport system and many of them are interchangeable.
It is very rare that I will go to a city where I feel I could live, I could never reside in London and there is still a small amount of trepidation about New York. The only metropolis I have ever felt a yearning to become part of is the foggy and earthquake prone San Francisco.
At that statement I can hear the east coaster in Mrs G snort in derision. I subscribe to the wise words of Baz Luhrman’s Sunscreen that you should “live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft”. This is a place that refuses to be confined to the direct path. That’s how you end up with Lombard Street.
I want to move there so badly, and would if it wasn’t going to blow the mind of New York raised Mrs G. I guess it’s like trying to get a Yorkshiremen to live in London. It also confuses the hell out of Papa G.
I never felt rushed, even as the cable cars would hurtle past, it seemed to be on a permanent stroll. I may have missed the everyday commuters racing to get to work in the financial centre but it never felt like there was a daily rush hour. Then again why would you rush, if you did you’d most likely stumble and roll down the steep hills.
Maybe it was the inner hippy, the relaxed Californian coming out, but I could handle this west coast living. Stopping at the Cannery for beers or eating in the many fish restaurants or having a burger, chilling out in Golden Gate Park. There is no hourly burly, no Times Square with its multitude of tourists coming to Disney NY.
Then there is the Golden Gate Bridge, the most glorious piece of architecture I have ever seen. It stands like a sentinel to the whole bay and just grows and grows as you approach it. How happy I could be if every morning I could wake up and see it looming over the hillsides.
That is as long as it wasn’t foggy.
Which it normally is.