San Francisco

My friend Jerry and I where talking on the telephone and I told him how much I miss living in San Francisco. After we hung our phones up he sent me a text message asking me to blog about why I love and miss San Francisco. This is my humble attempt to explain why I miss and love that city so much.

I moved to San Francisco in 1995. I drove across the country from Pennsylvania. After about 8 days I found myself in this city on the West Coast that brought my imagination to life. I was with my partner at the time. We showed up in SF and shacked up with a couple. They were Joey and Uncle Larry who we lived with for about 3 weeks until we found our own place. I was at first afraid because I had never lived in a city before. But, after a few weeks I got used to it. Uncle Larry was my first teacher in SF, a good guy who made my adjustment an easy one. My partner and myself found a nice little studio apartment at 22 Elgin Park. I got a job at the Wherehouse on Powell St. right next to the cable car turn around. It’s not there anymore. But, it was a place that I felt very comfortable working at. I made some really good friends. I was only making $5.25 an hour. The money didn’t mean as much as the people that I worked with. They were really good people and I still wonder what they are doing to this day.

After that I had different odd jobs in San Francisco which for me was the only way to live. I worked at Williams-Sonoma. University of Phoenix Online., and I lived in many different places while I was in residence there. Me and my partner lived alone for a time. We then lived in a house in Twin Peaks with housemates. That is where we ended our relationship and he moved and I continued my own life in the city.

The life that I started was a life that I would have never thought I’d have had when I was a 16 year old kid living in Lancaster County, PA. I had imagined a different life for myself. My parents have always been supportive people. I could not ask for better parents. They focus on my happiness. They are parents that I see myself being if I ever have children someday. My life in San Francisco at least gave them a place to visit far from the life they know. I’m going on a tangent and will get back to San Francisco.

Back to Jerry~ asking me why I miss and love San Francisco. I miss San Francisco because it was the place that I discovered who I was as a person. I taught myself, with the help of this city to take control of my life and move it forward for the positive. I walked thru Market Street and gave cigarettes to the homeless. I protested at City Hall when I thought that was something I should do. I took Muni to work and was sometimes very uncomfortable because of loud people. I discovered Ethiopian food. I went to gay bars and felt like I was a part of something. I went to the Power Exchange and, did whatever you do at the Power Exchange. I hung out with Michael Stipe at the Hole in the Wall. I meditated in Alamo Square. I went to the ocean and breathed in the scent that only the ocean can give. I met friends that will be friends until the day I drop dead and even after. I cruised in Buena Vista Park. I got so drunk I would take a Taxi and try my best to give them my address. I enjoyed getting pizza at Marcello’s on Castro. I would walk the streets at 4 in the morning and feel perfectly safe. I’d play with dogs in Dolores park. The Lesbians love it when you play with their dogs. I danced in South of Market with glitter on my face. (before all the night clubs closed down.) I made it through the dot commers and the dot come bust. I invited homeless over to my apt. and ordered pizza and chatted with them until the sun came up. I made love to many beautiful people, and some not so beautiful. I volunteered at Glide church and had a wonderful talk with Rev. Cecil. I saw tons of concerts at Shoreline and in Oakland and at The Independent and The Great American Music Hall and The Fillmore. I ate Sushi at the best Sushi House that I’ve ever been to, Aikiko. I met my cat Skeeter who was with me most of the time I was there and was truly one of the loves of my life. I met people who were so different than me. But, so much the same. I would watch the seals at the Wharf and communicate with them. I spent time at Geary and Van Ness talking with and becoming friends with drug dealers who sold crack. I went to many raves. I religiously visited the AIDS grove in Golden Gate park. I drank Humboldt Hemp beer. I became a regular at various places. I danced to Grateful Dead music on Monday nights at Nikki’s. I had a gay doctor, Dr. Sauer. I was a huge supporter of Matt Gonzalez but thought the whole election was stupid because in SF, it was a liberal against a more liberal. I met young and old hippies who talked about “moving forward.” I went to parties and didn’t quite remember everything that happened the next day. I went to Burger King and bought 30 Whoppers and passed them out to people in the Tenderloin. During El Nino, I danced in the rain in the middle of the street with a huge smile on my face. I put myself in very risky situations and survived. I would go to Dolores Park and just look at the beautiful view of the city and cry and consider myself so lucky. I would be on the bus and curse the people who would ask for directions, when i really needed to be somewhere. I would sometimes bitch about the people asking me for a cigarette. I would eat the most amazing tofu dinner. I would sit in my apt. and be way to afraid to deal with the world or the city. I would set my alarm and hit snooze because I thought being up at 9 AM was just too early. I would go to the Crab Shack and have a pound of crab legs even though I was a vegetarian. I got a Jamba Juice every day before work, regardless of where I was working.

Blah blah blah. This is why I miss San Francisco Jerry. I miss it because it brought me life. It brought me vibration. I felt whole when I was there. I’m not there anymore. I’m in a different place. The place I’m in now also brings me life. It doesn’t matter where you are physically. But, the state of mind you are in. Rehoboth Beach is not very different than San Francisco. It’s something else. I may cry because I miss being in San Francisco. But, I will also smile because i’m not in San Francisco. Someone once said, “Wherever you go, there you are.” That makes sense to me.


2 Responses to “San Francisco”

  1. jerry rivas ordillas Says:

    dude, my friend, i will say this again even if it’s cheesey or if it’s too sentimental cos who gives a fuck if it is or not…cos i truly think that you are beautiful and i fuckin’ miss the hell outta you, god damn it. and cry and laugh and be all you want out there. cos it’s all real. geezus…
    i love you, mister Todd Frisbie.

  2. Thanks,
    You are a wonderful man.
    I feel blessed that you shared this with me.

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