San Francisco

San Francisco is a city of extremes. Today I saw a woman with red lipstick smeared on her face waving her arms while marching down the street, who turned into a man as she got closer. Moments later I passed a group of businessmen in suits complaining about the dust from construction. A homeless man dozes outside a fancy Starbucks where customers line up for the luxury of $4 coffee. Destitute beggars plead for “any change”, while I see headlines about entrepreneurs recieving million-dollar investments. Scarcity is flanked by plenty.

At 2:10 in the morning, I saw a street brawl break out, while — literally across the street — a model and camera crew stood around waiting to start shooting. “You fucking pussies!” shouted a gaunt man after his retreating assailants, who moments ago were pummeling him as he stumbled on the ground. Across the street, the model and her crew got back to work.

A 2011 survey ranked San Francisco as having the second highest quality of living in the United States. It’s also the city with the highest concentration of homeless in the country.

The weather can be warm and sunny, while across town perpetual fog hangs over grid-lined streets.

Tenderloin to Pacific Heights, luxury to dearth, rich to poor, inspiring to heartbreaking, everything to nothing. San Francisco seems to have it all.

And that seems to be part of the charm — or if not charm, at least appeal. There’s something for everyone. The panhandler living off disability checks and change, the college student eating microwave dinners and going clubbing on the weekends, the budding entrepreneur looking for investors, the business executive in a condo with a view. San Francisco, at the end of the day, is simply a great place to call home.