[16 September, 2010]


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Three of my 5.5 work days I spend all the way in the Outer Richmond area of San Francisco. It takes me nearly two hours to commute to this distant neighborhood by climbing various hills and riding various buses and metro systems. Although I am generally surrounded by water, it used to be a rarity that I saw the Pacific Ocean. The Richmond is known for some of the worst weather in the city, which is also known to be worse than Berkeley. And usually, when people say "bad San Francisco weather"--meaning cold and misty, I translate it into "pleasantly cool and refreshing". Except in the Richmond. There, the rolling fog from the ocean never lifts above the tree line and the whole neighborhood feels like a dry ice incubator. So I take four hours of my day to transport from the sunny land of tie-dye shirts and Birkenstocks to the North Pole of the Bay Area. All to help immigrants adjust to their lives in the US, among other things.

It's a dang good thing I love my work. And the clients better be worth it; it's all I'm saying.

It is stunning out there though. Once I adjust to having to wear an extra sweater, and perhaps a hat, I'll fully appreciate the beautiful views and character of this neighborhood. The Outer Richmond is raised a bit on a hill, so as you turn in a circle from any one point, you go from gazing at the ocean to the Golden Gate Bridge to the sparkling downtown skyline to the forest of the Golden Gate Park. But because of how far this area is (with a commute of 1-1.5 hrs to anywhere within the city even), it remains rather unpopular by general hipsters San Franciscans. This leaves it quiet, peaceful, and undisturbed. There isn't even a Starbucks out there, and all the small businesses are locally owned by the Russians, the Vietnamese, the Chinese, and Thai people. It is enough removed from the hustle and bustle of inner city life, but still maintains an urban atmosphere. Yeah, I could even see myself living out there someday.

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