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When the party ends – A San Francisco Irish Exit

31 Jul

It’s been strangely muggy this summer. The fog, is of course, a cloud full of water, but usually the air in July has quite a chill, especially when like clockwork, the sea breeze picks up as the sun sets everyday. But as I look out my window today the trees are standing dead still, and sweat is gathering behind my neck.

When I first moved here from Boston seven years ago, I cursed the lack of seasons. Gone were my familiar markers of time, and the days faded into one another. Sun, Fog, Wind. Sun, Fog, Wind. Eventually, I learned to pick up on the subtleties. The freshness of the air in December, not unlike an early fall day in New England. The piles of leaves that gather in the sidewalks between the rainy months, never enough to jump in, or look pretty, but enough to run through with your feet and hear the comforting “Sch, Sch”. Or, the dark mornings of summer, when Karl the Fog hugs the city so tightly that we all want to stay wrapped in our blankets, for just five more minutes.

But now, it seems, that not only is the weather changing, but my life is too.

In a few weeks, I will be packing up our little family and moving to Saint Louis. Yes, you heard that right. Saint Louis, Missouri. Flyover country. The Midwest. A borderline red state. Thousands of miles from an ocean. And the craziest part? I couldn’t be happier about it.

The nitty gritty: We can’t afford SF.




11 Apr

It’s that time of year in San Francisco where we seem to have all four seasons in a day.

In the morning, it’s Spring. I pull a sweater on and drink my morning tea while watching the birds fight among the flowers in my neighbors back yard.


During the afternoon, if we’re lucky, we get a burst of heat. I often go for a walk then, up towards Divis or down the hill to the Mission. Young gay men sun themselves outside at Cafe Flore. Pretty folks stroll down Church street to Dolores Park.

Around 5pm, the dreaded sea breeze begins to pick up. The scarves and sweaters come back on. Commuters wrap their jackets tightly and scurry home out of the chill.

At night, the breeze dies down but the air is even colder. Although I’m very tired of it, it’s still perfectly appropriate to don my wool coat and gigantic knitted scarf.

Since the weather here actually gets colder in June instead of warmer, real summer feels so far away to me. There are sometimes a few magical days in October where we hit 80, but to a girl from St. Louis, that just doesn’t cut it.

Yesterday, I trekked down to the Inner Mission to co-work at my friend Catherine’s house. She currently operates the amazing Woodcut Maps out of her house along with her soon-to-be husband Gabe. I love their maps, and actually have two of them in my apartment so far (one is of Dublin, and the other is of Duboce Triangle!). Everytime I start beating myself up over how long it seems to be taking to get things going for Swipe, she’s a great reminder that it takes time, and a lot of energy to make a great company. Nothing happens overnight.  It was so great to just stretch out in the backyard and work, if only for a few hours before the breeze picked up again. (Sad face)


The week has blown by in a blur of work meetings and social gatherings. This weekend is looking to be just as busy too. A girlfriend of mine is coming down from Seattle for a few days. Another friend, Michael, is also over from Dublin and will staying with us. I’m not sure what adventures we’ll have but a few things are certain though – there will be parks, Guinness, and guitar playing.

Enjoy your weekend!