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Posted by Ted on Nov 16, 2009 in Memories

I was in Boston a year ago, having just voted in the most important election of my 36 year lifetime and being excited for the future. I’d just had a small birthday/election celebration party, and had no idea that in a year I would be living on the other side of the country.

Yesterday I watched a dirigible land and take off again as I passed the Oakland airport just before sunset. This was after going to the Fruitvale farmers market (every Thursday and Sunday, year round), and an East Bay Bicycle Coalition appreciation BBQ, where I may have volunteered to help promote the building of a bike/pedestrian path across the western span of the Bay Bridge. Saturday, we drove down to Glen Park for brunch, and then made our way up to the Sutro Baths to walk around and through the cliffs overlooking the Pacific, watching a huge cargo ship come out of the horizon, probably from China, and most likely bound for the Port of Oakland, the fourth busiest container port in the United States. Then we met some of Liz’ school friends for Burmese dinner in the Richmond district, before heading back across the bay to Fruitvale, where we enjoy being a minority in a latino neighborhood with at least a dozen taco trucks within a mile radius.

Everywhere we go, we discover new nooks of the Bay Area that make us fall in love again and again. There is so much good food to be had, both in the groceries and farmers markets, and at thousands of restaurants of every nationality. I’m sure we could never eat in the same place twice for years if we wanted to. The geography continues to take our breaths away, from the majestic redwoods to the expansive Pacific and the sometimes rolling, sometimes leaping hills that permeate the bay area. There are 7 regional parks in Oakland alone, 51 in the bay area, and 280 in the state of California. We love it here.

We miss our friends and family in Boston and New York more than any of them probably realize. We left a vibrant community, closely-knit and deep-rooted, to pursue our dreams to head west. The ache we feel in being so far away is often palpable, and yet this has very quickly become our home. It’s been reminding me lately of my first burn. After the culture shock wore off, I felt completely at home in less than a day. There is a very good reason that Burning Man evolved out of San Francisco; we have everything here, it seems. Great local food, stunning scenery, and more going on than you’ll ever be able to go to. We have schools like the Crucible and Trapeze Arts, festivals like the Fire Arts Festival, Fleet Week, and Folsom Street Fair. We have blooming flowers in November, and a palm tree in our back yard.

I wonder when the honeymoon will wear off?

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An adventurer at heart, Ted Beatie is at his happiest when he’s off the beaten path. His deepest passion is sharing the world through photography and writing, found at The Pocket Explorer. He is also managing editor for Rolf Potts' Vagabonding, where he curates a Case Study series. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

1 Comment

Randomness
Nov 16, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Yup. The Bay Area’s a second home to me.

The biggest annoyance about the place for me is that it’s a bit too far to drive to any other worthwhile area. LA is 6 hours, but you’d have to consider that a worthwhile destination. :) And the Pacific Northwest is too far for a weekend drive.

Secondary annoyance is that it sprawls too much. My friends are in the East Bay, on the Peninsula, down in Santa Cruz, and up in Sonoma, as well as the ones actually in the City. Socializing is harder when your friends are that spread out. And you really have to choose carefully when figuring out where to live and work because of the mountain chains and the water so you don’t have to pass through one of the choke points (hello, Bay Bridge closure) regularly.

All that having been said I love the fact that I can often choose my day’s temperature by my distance from the ocean. Also, hours closer to Asia. Definitely a win there.

Best of luck! I’m glad you’re enjoying it so much.


 

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