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Return of the Native

Today we took residence of our really-good-deal San Francisco rental. This places me back in my home town for the first time since August, 1979, when I took off for New York City to begin my junior year in college, following two years in which I saved up money by working as a records clerk at San Francisco’s “Juvy.”

I don’t know whether we will be in San Francisco in five years. Or four, or two. We will definitely be in California, because I’m never leaving. But the housing market may eventually nudge us into the East Bay, particularly if we end up buying again in the area. (A wise woman–Sandy, actually–said of our relocation back to the Bay Area, “This will not be our last move.” With that, we redoubled efforts to Toss Stuff.)

So the question becomes, how much fun can we have in San Francisco in our first year back in the Golden State? How can we squeeze every bit of joy from the experience?

We are going to plan a year (to immediately answer that question) where every week we do something special.

Some weeks it may be something as simple as rediscovering the Alemany farmers’ market. Yes, the Ferry Market is lovely and fun, but the Alemany market is sincere and full of good value.

Other weeks it may be doing those touristy things not yet crossed off our lists: Alcatraz. Angel Island. Or even some we’ve done before, like having tea in the Japanese Tea Garden and walking over those teensy bridges.

Then there are city walking tours. I love these (Sandy, not so much); it’s my favorite tourism activity (well, next to eating).

How many years has it been since I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge? Have we ever chased a kite on Crissy Field? And the film festival awaits us.

Or the special event of the week may be as simple as driving to Ocean Beach and sitting in the car with hot tea, watching the waves crashing. Or spending a day riding every streetcar line from start to finish. Or visiting the Rhododendron Dell. Or joy-riding up and down Taraval Street–oh wait, we just did that!

Our new home is on the line for the 6 Parnassus, which opens up a world of possibilities… in fact, taking the 6 for a grand tour might be an excellent way to begin.

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