What is San Francisco's feeling

Why I love San Francisco so much

I remember as if it had only been yesterday: 2011, a warm late summer day and this city shone on me like no other before. Warm, inviting, charming, and before I know it - boom, bang! - I fell head over heels in love with San Francisco.

It was love at first sight. Over the years and with each subsequent visit, “San Fran”, as I always affectionately call it, developed into a great longing and a second home that never suffered even under the distance of twelve hours by flight and a good 9,000 kilometers.

To this day, many cannot understand my weakness and my euphoria for “San Fran”. Too cold, too unspectacular ... I tell you: There are a million reasons why this place in northern California causes butterflies in the stomach of some - and a whole swarm of butterflies in me.

But one thing after the other: The city with a good 800,000 inhabitants is manageable in size, so I can actually reach everything on foot or by bike - and I don't feel like having to stroll around the world to reach the next hip café or restaurant . Unimaginable in many American cities, Google Maps is just a casual friend that I hardly need in San Francisco.

That's exactly how I find undiscovered areas every time and am amazed at every street corner when I suddenly stand in front of one of the numerous hilly streets again. The paths meander up and down like long slides through the city, where colorful (and quite narrow) houses from the Victorian era are lined up.

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One city, a thousand facets

No matter where I end up here: There is a separate district for every personality, which cannot be different and more unique. A dreamy but chic neighborhood right on the bay of "San Fran", which is one of my absolute favorite districts, is the Marina District. Strolling through chic and detailed boutiques, cute cafes and restaurants couldn't be nicer anywhere.

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Which well-known district in "San Fran" should not be missing? Exactly: Chinatown! Absolutely worth seeing, no question about it. But I think Japantown is much better. High-quality restaurants, small Japanese grocery stores and bookstores are simply worth EVERY VISIT. The (beauty of) cherry blossom is celebrated here every spring according to Japanese tradition.

Not to be forgotten is the trendy district “The Castro”, which is mainly known as a lesbian and gay district. The flags and crossings in the well-known rainbow colors can be seen from afar.

In general: A trip with the popular cable cars takes me to the most beautiful corners. The real charm and a journey back in time to the nineties "full house" era is guaranteed thanks to the open hanging trams. Fortunately, I can hide the numerous tourists who wildly pull out their cameras during the journey.

The typical city bustle is barely noticeable when I stroll from the Ferry Building to Pier 39 with a coffee to go. Even if around 18 million tourists visit the city every year. It's always a great feeling when I grab a blanket and lie down with a book in Dolores Park or Baker Beach, where locals usually spend their afternoons.

More and more often I notice that my heart beats faster not only for the city itself, but also for its people. They are much more tolerant, relaxed, somehow not clichéd American-conservative. In "San Fran" everyone can walk around as they like - even stark naked (oh yes, no joke ... I ran into quite a few) - and nobody cares.

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Establishing contacts quickly is not difficult here. Most of the residents come from all over the world to work in Silicon Valley. So everyone is looking for new acquaintances and very sociable. I have already spoken to many directly and am always surprised that it is so easy. But maybe I'm just too dogged in Germany, who knows.

Splendor and misery at the same time

"San Fran" has not only developed into my great love over the years, but also into a true model city in the USA. Thanks to a very good density of charging stations, electric cars are nothing unusual. The recycling system is also well thought out, and solar panels are even mandatory on the numerous flat roofs. You will also find more people in fancy sports outfits and organic restaurants than round and overweight Americans in well-known fast food chains.

Okay, of course my love for San Francisco isn't always pink. I also became aware of the downsides during my travels: An unbelievably high homeless rate and enormous cost of living make one particularly feel the gap between rich and poor in the entire Bay Area.

Drug use, and by that I do not mean smoking marijuana, which is legal in California anyway, but cocaine and ecstasy use, is not uncommon at parties or in the afternoon in the park.

But which city or love is perfect? For me, one thing is certain: San Francisco is and will remain one of the most beautiful cities in the world and nothing will be able to separate us that quickly.