Keys to the Kingdom


Tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the corner of Folsom and 22nd and hand off will happen.  Cash money will be exchanged for the keys to the gate, the keys to the room, the key to my own room.

It is finally about to happen.


I requested off the end of the day at work tomorrow to negotiate the hand off.  I will leave work by 4:30 p.m. and walk to Folsom and 22nd.  I am debating whether I should go to the bank in the morning or go on the way over.  Odds are that the Bank of America on 23rd and Mission will have a line out the door on a Friday afternoon.

I will stop at the bank on my way into work.  That way there is no stress.  Just the self-imposed kind that I inherently place on myself.  Like what if I could magically manifest an extra day to move in my stuff?  What if I got to move in on Friday?

Oh slow down, child.

Really, the couch surfing, albeit not the most comfortable way to fly, has not been too bad.  It hasn’t been the best, but it hasn’t been too bad.  And it has been a way for me to get some awesome perspective on what I like and what I don’t like.

Despite what some friends have said about the Mission, I adore it.  I love it.  It is home.  It has been home since my first days in the city.  I was not always comfortable with it, I got lost sometimes, I got  turned around going the wrong direction on the BART between 16ht and 24th street stops, but every corner seems to have a little memory for me.

Some of them are not such fond memories, but an awful lot of them are.  I had two bad years in the Mission.  The following seven years I have had more awesome moments in the Mission than I have anywhere else in the city.

As I have said elsewhere, the prodigal daughter is returning home.

Nob Hill is lovely and meant to be enjoyed with a vehicle.  I don’t recommend a car, the parking is ass.  But a scooter will do you quite well.  China Town is fun for a walk about, but no way would I want to live there, the smell and the foot traffic would mow me down.  North Beach is a treat once in a while, but I always feel like a tourist there.  I do aspire however, to get more clothes from Grant street, there are some amazing tailors there.

The SOMA can be sexy, but unless I’m living in South Park, I’m not so interested in the SOMA–it’s still too industrial and not developed enough.  Same goes for Mission Bay.  The Dog Patch could be fun on a budget, but again, the amenities are scarce.  Potrero Hill has never quite done it for me.  Yeah, the views are stellar, but it never felt like home, although being close to the Mission was a bonus.

The Financial District and Down Town also do not hold a lot of appeal to me.  I really dig some of the buildings, but the tourists, the over pricing to gouge the tourists, not so much.

Pacific Heights?  It demands money and wheels.  Marina?  No. Never want to live there, don’t like hanging out there, or shopping there, or eating there.  It can be fun to walk about Crissy Field, it can be fun to ride through, but that’s all I want to do in the Marina, ride through it (usually as fast as possible).

The Avenues, the Sunset, and the Western Addition all seem too far away.  I don’t know why that is, but the effort to get there seems so much greater than the effort I want to put into it-why, I almost liken it to Oakland.  Although, I will admit, I have had moments of desiring to live in the outer Sunset, at the edge of the world to be close to Ocean Beach.  I like the idea of living that close to the ocean.  I don’t know how much I would like the idea of living in the fog bank though.  I would be at Java Beach Cafe every day of the week and probably out surfing as much as humanely possible.

But I don’t surf.

Haight and the Castro.  Oh, I have flirted with the both of you, but nothing ever seemed to pan out.  I do, however, feel an afinity with both those neighborhoods and should another move transpire, they are always options that I leave on the table.  Not to say that I am looking to move, I am not.

The Excelsior feels like Daly City, and what’s the point of living in Daly City?  No thank you.

Portola seems sweet, but too far away.  The same goes for the Presidio.  I like both areas and both have some gorgeous landscaping, but neither seem like home.

Nope, it’s to the Mission I go.  It was love at first sight.  Maybe it was dancing at the Elbow Room to Vivendo do Pao the first time I visited the city.  Or the first time I had a quesadilla suiza with carne asada from El Farolito.  Perhaps it was the first time I had a Philz coffee made by Phil himself that seduced me over to the dark side.  Or the sunshine.  The first time I saw the down town skyline from the top of Dolores Park did not hurt either.

I may never know.  I don’t need to honestly, I can feel the weight of the keys in my hands already.

It’s almost time to go home.

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