Friday, April 25, 2014

Hayes Valley Love


How is it Friday already?! Wow, this week flew by.  I've got several posts that aren't anywhere near done sitting in my drafts folder, awaiting critical elements like words or photos (ha) but I've been stunningly unproductive, blog wise, this entire week. It's not just that I've been busy, to be perfectly honest. It's that my life is really complicated and emotional these days, and all of the topics I want to discuss frequently have those "tough to write about" elements to them. So then I think, "Oh, well, I'll just do something else and write it later, since I know it's going to be hard to write." And then nothing ever gets written. I am having trouble thinking of non-heavy things to write about. Either that, or I've not taken photos of my food. You know what I'm saying here? I just go round and round.

But there's one thing I keep thinking about that's positive and really easy to write about: just how much I am really enjoying my new neighborhood, Hayes Valley.

I'd only previously lived in one neighborhood in San Francisco, South Beach/Mission Bay. And while I really loved it there, what I see now is that it is not necessarily a good microcosm of SF's personality. I mean, it's certainly a part of it, but it has a completely different vibe than where I'm at now. And I'm really not dissing my old neighborhood here. Living there for 10 years was amazing, and the proximity to the water, in particular, along with endless parks by the water, is something I actively miss.

But that said: I'm enjoying living in another neighborhood way more than I thought I would.

My new neighborhood really feels like a community.

I really, really love it.

Why? Well, here are a few reasons. It seems small, nestled in between several other neighborhoods, and that adds to the quaint feel of it, along with that sense of community. It's adorable. It has unique shops owned by people who give back to their community and know each other, along with the people in the neighborhood. There's a lot of open space, a park, a German beer garden, an ice cream shop, tiny coffee shops and incredible amounts of culture right there (the symphony, ballet, Asian Art Museum, SF Zen Center and city hall are within just a few blocks). There's a ton of great food, and much of it is actually affordable. And the neighborhood draws in a diverse group of people, a group of people who typically keep it classy. The only real downside is the lack of proximity to a large grocery store. I'm within easy walking distance of many of the music venues I shoot at, which feels like a ridiculous luxury, and my commute to work in NW Berkeley is actually shorter now.

Here's one of my favorite things: I love walking up Hayes Street on a weekend morning, on my way to get coffee or wherever else I might be going, with sun poking through the trees, or the fog, and hearing the birds chirping around me. It's pretty deserted at that point in the day, and it's so beautiful. So calm. I am in love with this little neighborhood -- and I can't wait to go back to it each day. I know there's so much more to discover (food, drinks, a community garden, the yoga studio I've been yearning to go back to).

Here are some of the many snaps I've taken in Hayes Valley, tagged with #instahayes on Instagram.













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