Barely twenty minutes after arriving San Francisco was already starting to work it’s magic.
The sun was getting it’s pyjamas on. There was a chill in the air. We’d gasped as we went on the guided tour of our friend’s new flat in Nob Hill – apparently, the equivalent of Mayfair – squealing with excitement at the sight of dogs and their owners convening in the nearby park.
I’m no Michael Palin. Even I can’t make out that I instinctively know about San Francisco having gone on a short trot around the block and a trip down to a recommended restaurant.
But I know how I feel when I wander around somewhere like this, looking up and down roads beaming at the horizon in each view. In a country we visit, it’s the preconceptions in our minds which make the subsequent reality seem like a miracle.
Oh, hang on. I have just spent seven days in Vegas. That’s surely going to have had an impact on my senses. We’ve gone from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Maybe that’s why on only this short excursion I’ve found nearly everything around me tantalisingly. Hills provide contrast, the buildings on them illustrate both individual personality and collective style. Everything fits together perfectly.
It’s the doorways to those buildings which catch the eye. After seven days of flat fronted buildings, I realise I’ve underestimated the value of porchways. Never again will I overlook steps and porchways.
And then, when you stop and look around at all the other houses in the vicinity and stop to consider those grills and those porchways, you begin to realise that at some point in the past a great many people have taken a great deal of time and pleasure designing a wide variety of visually engaging security features.
I couldn’t help but reach for my camera, delaying everyone else I was with en route to the restaurant.
I haven’t seen anywhere enough of San Francisco to truly justify what I’m about to say. No matter. Superlatives are the cheats way out.
I love San Francisco. I love it loads.
I love that wherever I look I see a picture. Or some words. Or some joy. That Pacific Rim chill refreshes the mind, breathing a much-needed air of positivity right through me.
Stories. People. Things to describe.
San Francisco. I love you.