When I tell people back east that I’m originally from California, they ask what city. When I tell them I’m from San Jose, they usually don’t know where that is. They pretend like they’ve heard of it, then ask if it’s in Southern California (which it’s definitely not). When I explain that it’s a sizable city about an hour south of San Francisco, what they say next is often something about how cool it must be to live near a big city like that, where there’s so much to do and see. They ask if I go there a lot.
I’ve been to San Francisco approximately thirteen times. I’m sure there have been a few more that I can’t recall. They must have been when I was too young to remember.
- College tours with my dad
- Wicked at the Orpheum Theater with my family
- Alcatraz with my family
- Angel Island with my family
- A friend’s 17th (?) birthday party
- DeYoung Museum to see French Impressionist paintings
- Academy of Sciences with my family
- DeYoung Museum to see the King Tut traveling exhibit with my family
- A friend’s high school graduation party on a bay cruise boat for a few hours
- SF Zoo with a friend
- Sightseeing/overnight trip with my boyfriend
- Academy of Sciences with a friend
- The Speakeasy with a group of friends
Like I said, I’m probably forgetting some.
That might seem like a lot of trips for anyone who doesn’t live in the Bay Area. Maybe it is, even for some who do. It’s certainly an effect of certain privileges I have (disposable income and time, access to a car, friends and family to travel with, etc.) that I am able to go to San Francisco with relative ease.
But I never lived in San Francisco. I lived in San Jose, where there was plenty for me to do. If San Francisco didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have felt like I lived in East Podunk Nowheresville. Ain’t nothing’ wrong with either city. But I’m from the one I’m from, not the more notable one an hour away.
San Jose has events, conventions, performances, farmers markets, craft fairs, restaurants, cultural centers, historic sites, parks… the list goes on.
More to follow.