Owning a home in San Francisco wasn’t going to happen. I loved from being from San Francisco, when ever I told someone I was from San Francisco people would smile and tell me the city was the place they always wanted to visit.
San Francisco is a beautul city, with vistas from all sides and the views never get old. Even today, the views from the Bay Bridge are fantastic, giving the visitor a preview of things to come. San Franciscans are nice but not warm. Its a densely populated city (second only to New York) where people compete for every square inch of the city. While tourism is the number one or number two industry in San Francisco, a lot of locals are indifferent to tourist, who walk slow, drive slower, teriffied of the hills and bring congestion to an already congested place. Yes, Yes, Yes, its a beautiful place, now get out!
New Yorkers are immensely proud of the City, people are more defined by their neighborhoods than San Francisco and Sacramento Unlike San Francisco, New Yorkers love having tourist and the locals are nicer. If your a tourist in San Francisco locals may ignore you, in New York, they are willing to help, but timing is everything. Should you ask questions as the Subway Train or buses is arriving, your likely to be ignored and even scream at. However, if you need help before they arrive, someone will help you. Both cities aren’t for the faint of heart. You can’t be afraid of speaking up or of a little push or shove. If you wait to get on you will miss the bus.
Sacramento wasn’t my first choice. I wanted to relocate to the Pacific Northwest, Portland or Seattle. I’m a Cityfella, and I didn’t see Sacramento, Las Vegas and Phoenix as traditional cities. My wife wanted to live near family so Sacramento here we are.
Looking for a home here was a major culture shock. There were twenty somethings buying a second home. In cities like San Francisco and in Manhattan twenty something dont dream of owning a home. All the women in “Sex in the City” rented accept Charlotte who inhereated a flat via divorce. Not only were these twenty somethings in Sacramento buying a second home, but some had toys, boats, Trucks and the like. In New York, I had to sigh over the title to my car to the parking garage.
Living in New York and San Francisco you are always aware. Sacramentians are genuinely nice and kind. Shortly after moving here, I remember running out of gas at Truxel and West El Camino, two men, jumped out of a van and started walking towards my minivan, expecting to be attacked, I looked around for a weapon. The two men pushed me out of traffic and one of the men ran across the street and bought gas at the Shell station.
A lot of people who were born and raised in Sacramento have little appreciation for the city and many question why anyone would want to move here. When I moved here, Sac was a perfect place to raise a family but not the place for the CityFella. I knew deep in my heart, the moment my kids were grown I was going to go back to a real city.
Overtime, I grew to appreciate the natural beauty here. The two rivers and the location. 90 minutes to the mountians and 90 minutes to ocean. Most of all I love the people here. There are people of many colors, backgrounds and ideologies who get along here. South Natomas, was a perfect fit for our family. Not only where there many mixed raced familes like mine, it had gay community.
In New York, the races aren’t as harmonious as Sacramento’s*****. The lines are deeply drawn. crossing a street one could encounter a complete different world. I have black friends who have no white friends and prefer it that way. I have white friends who may work with people of color but do not socialize outside their circle or with people of color.
***** This my experience, while I frequently travel to New York, I haven’t lived there in forty years.
In San Francisco, my friends came from every background, and nearly every hue. I see color, and they see me, like most friendships they begin genericlly with a smile or a hi.
While Sacramento is racially diverse, it’s a bubble. When I venture into Placer County I feel my skin color, in I haven’t encountered open hostility as I have in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Chicago or Atlanta.
Through the years, I have met people from other corners of the world. We survived the challenges of culture and these wonderful people have added to my growth.
In New York, I was adopted by fantatic familes. These relationships have lasted decades. In New York, I’m black, and part Italian, Jewish, Salvadorian and Greek. These are the familes who watched over me, when I was a kid, wanting to become a Major Singer, Actor in New York. They knew my family was in Cailfornia, they also knew that I was living hand to mouth, so they would send food with my friends to my roach infected apartment. They protected me like family.
Today,my children are all grown. Through they years, a lot my friends from San Francisco and the Bay have moved to Sacramento or Nevada. The Dot ecomony has rinsed a lot of color and flavor from San Francosco and I have no desire to return.
New York has a big place in my heart. Like San Francisco, most of my remaining friends have left the city for places south of the state. Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas.
I often think about New York. When I was young, the roaches and the stairs added character. Today, it would would be a major obstical. I can’t imagine running up six flights of stairs and killing roaches with my palm. So I would need a couple of bucks. (The Powerball)
I love Sacramento. Yes, some of the locals still call it a cow town. But there has been a large influx of youth to the city from different parts of the country who really like the city. There is new urban energy downtown, you can feel it on 16th Street and R Street. Large groups of skaters and bicyclists with loud music make me smile. I’ve recently discoved a sweet cherry liqueur at a Russian/Urkranin store.
There are new refugees from the Bay and L.A. discoving Sacramento’s galleries and Resturants. Covid has altered are lives. We sit further apart at parks. I’m impatiently awaiting for twenty plus story condominiums. I’m disappointed with the poliferation of generic master planned communities.
Everyday I pass a group of street possibly homeless people at the park. We exchange smiles and waves. It’s the little things……..I really like Sacramento.