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Back from San Francisco

July 31, 2006

I apologize for the silence on my blog all last week, but I have the perfect excuse: vacation in San Francisco.  Who could blame me?  I had the chance to escape for five days last week, and it was really time for a break.  I didn’t even check my email for nearly a week – probably a first – and now I’m feeling well rested and even happy to be back to the grind here in Portland.

I love San Francisco, and I’ve always claimed that I would live there if I could simply afford it.  When I was in college years ago I dreamed of working there at one of the many international nonprofits like the Earth Island Institute or Global Exchange, and being a radical social change agent with everyone else smart enough to live in San Francisco.

For a bunch of good reasons I’ve remained tethered to my (mostly) hometown of Portland, and I don’t regret it.  While I think San Francisco is wonderful and generally lives up to its reputation as the activist/social change capital of the U.S., I would venture to say that Portland positions itself as a close contender to all things that make San Francisco a great city. 

What distinguishes San Francisco from Portland is indubitably its cosmopolitan stature and its rich history.  San Francisco is a destination; the SF Guardian reported last week that it is the biggest tourist attraction in the United States – which really surprised me.  In 2005, over 15.7 million people visited the Bay and dropped almost 8 billion dollars.  One among many, I was a tourist for a week too.

I still prefer Portland, if only because I care so much about this city and feel as though it is within my reach.  I love the accessibility of Portland – politically, socially, and physically – and I appreciate more than ever its mellow and calm atmosphere.

But I’ll never pass up on a chance to visit the City by the Bay.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Eric permalink
    August 10, 2006 11:22 am

    I found your blog of interest because I am a SF resident that is contemplating a Portland move. We are currently living in a hovel and can’t afford an upgrade here. But how much anti-Californian/Bay Arean sentiment is there up there?

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