Wednesday, 10 November 2010

San Francisco Days 2010

Ugh, I was so tired today - my first day back at work after my long weekend in San Francisco. I rushed in because I thought I had a meeting with a new client - new to me anyway, not to the agency - from 8am-1pm, so I was up at 6am - well 5am actually, because our clocks went back this weekend when I was on the west coast and for the most part my gadgets take care of themselves, except for my old fashioned style alarm clock, which I've returned to using after reading this New York Times article about how it's a v v bad idea to use your Blackberry as an alarm as you immediately check your email on waking when you do that - so true - and don't get sufficient mental downtime. Unfortunately the old fashioned alarm clocks don't align themselves with the stars - or whatever technical sorcery it is that the new fangled gadgets use to automatically set themselves to the appropriate time twice a year - so I forgot to turn it back an hour and was up at 5am and pottering around for 15minutes or so, which felt a little like being up at 3am as I was semi on West Coast time, until I realised and happily flopped back into bed for an extra 30more minutes, except it wasn't a useful extra 30minutes, because my brain was nattering about sleeping through the alarm clock, so all I did was lay there and fret about not waking up in time to be in work for my 8am client meeting, which....wasn't at 8am at all, but in fact at 11am.


It didn't occur to me when I accepted the reschedule notice that arrived on Monday that my BB was on Pacific time - I had to change the time zone for the Google map directions to work with the timing for SF public transport - and that the meeting was still from 11am-4pm, so I was up with the larks, jumped into a cab, ran into Starbucks a couple of blocks from work for an egg white wrap and a latte because I assumed an early morning meeting would mean breakfast would be served, which would mean pastries and I am trying hard to be healthy, and then hot footed it into work to read my emails and prep for the meeting, which is when I realised what had happened. Duh!!

SF was fun anyway. I spent a lot of time wondering if I could live there and to be honest there are things about SF that I love: the more relaxed way of life, the crisp ocean air, the manly Monday night bartender at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant Wine Bar. Helloooooo. I was sat there innocently reading my book - Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, I highly recommend it - and my eyes kept trying to escape outside of my head to ogle him in his well fitting jeans. Good Lord he was attractive. Actually there were lots of very attractive men out there, seemingly straight ones too), and of course things that I don't love so much like the fact that often the city seems a bit deserted. It struck me last night that I encountered more people crossing the street to my local corner deli in New York - for ice cream, it's woman's week, chocolate Hagen Daaz is a medical necessity. Sorry TMI? - than we ever came across when going out for dinner in San Francisco. I easily encountered a dozen people crossing the street last night, but in SF we got off the bus in the Mission on Saturday night for an 8.45pm dinner reservation at restaurant of the moment, Flour + Water, and in the 6 blocks we walked from Potrero Avenue to Harrison St we only came across 3 people. THREE!! It was a similar story when we were leaving, walking along Folsom St for the BART train back to Union Square, although the restaurant was heaving, so I don't know where everyone came from. There were plenty of people partaking in the vino too, so I can't imagine they were all drinking and driving, but perhaps I am wrong on that score. Anyway that's definitely one thing I would struggle to get used to, I'm also not a massive fan of the whole homeless situation in SF, in particular the one that invited me to sit on his face as I explored solo on Monday after my travel buddy, Sarala, had flown back to NYC, and the fact that I don't know anyone out there - although so many people at work have said they would be interested in living in SF too, Sarala for one, so perhaps that wouldn't be as big of an issue as I think. I also think it would do me good to get out of my NYC comfort zone and my gut tells me that I need a change, so we'll see. I may procrastinate a while longer, but I think I would like to live there at some point, at least for a short time.


Kitty said...


glad you had some time off elsewhere, Fish. A friend of mine visited SF last year and said it was deserted too. She thinks it was much harder hit by the economy than NYC.

I think the love/hate affair with ny is typical for those who live here. It's not an easy place to be. Don't get Mark started with the driving situation - rude drivers, double parked cars, trying to find parking spaces.

Hooray for manly bartenders!!! ;-)

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Kitty,

Perhaps you are right about SF being harder hit by the economy, I was reading recently about there being a glut of housing for sale there at the moment and how you can find a relative bargain, so it certainly seems to be the case that the city suffered. I think I just need some time away from NYC. My head of department had told us that after 10years service we were entitled to a paid sabbatical. I was thrilled as I hit the 10year mark in about 4months. Unfortunately one of my co-workers checked with HR and apparently that's not the case. Grrrrrr!!! It really pisses me off when Senior Managers just make shit up without checking the facts first.

Definite hooray for manly bartenders ;-)

Kitty said...

wow. I'm surprised you don't get anything. Many places have a graded scale so your vacation time increases after so many years of service!!!

would it bad to mention to your head that s/he was mistaken? Maybe they would take the hint and give you the vacation time?

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Kitty,

Our vacation time increases with tenure and seniority, they are actually very generous with vacation time, but our head of department told us about 3months ago that after 10years of service employees qualified for a paid month long sabbatical. Except some checking with HR found that isn't the case at all, it's true in some of the European offices, but would tell us it as fact without actually checking first. He has some very disappointed and disgruntled long tenured employees now.

Amel said...

Oh dear about the time's always tricky, isn't it? When I went back to Indo last year and then it was time for me to fly back to Finland, I stopped by in HK and 'coz I had to wait for 11 hours during the nite, I decided to go to a nearby hotel to have a good rest. I almost set my alarm wrongly, though, 'coz it was late at night and my brain wasn't working well. Good thing I rechecked and recounted a few times until I realized I had almost made a mistake. Phew!!!