Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Big City, Small Town

San Francisco has always been the number one city in my life.  I was born in Oakland, but my early memories are all of San Francisco.  We lived in Bernal Heights, a place that many San Franciscan's don't even know exists.  All I have to do is say, the hill with the telephone stuff on top and they know exactly where I mean.

Bernal Heights, like the rest of San Francisco, is a small town in a large city.  My neighborhood was Courtland Avenue.  Similarly, as a newly minted adult, I lived on Telegraph Hill and my neighborhood was North Beach or upper Grant Avenue.  Later, as a growing family, we moved to the Marina District and our neighborhood was Union Street.

When you live in a neighborhood you come to know everyone around you.  You know your neighbors, the little corner grocer, the newspaper seller on the corner, the banker and even the homeless person who walks endlessly up and down the streets.  This is your community.  You know and are known.  You feel like you have a place in this world.

Now I live in a suburb of Sacramento.  I have less community here, in this smaller town, than I did in the big city.  I think it is cars - they cut us off from meeting our neighbors.  Feet are good!

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