Quake

Living on the Edge … of the Country …

May 3, 2018|Posted in: Uncategorized

I love, love, love San Francisco. I’ve lived a number of places all over the country before I ended up here, but this is home. It felt right just driving into town the first time. SanFran isn’t just a city, it’s an entire way of life.

Having said that, it’s also not always the easiest place to live, for many reasons. Housing costs are out of this world: a couple months ago, a 1,000-square-foot home–with non-working plumbing and decomposing mattresses piled in the kitchen–sold for over half a million dollars.

One thousand square feet? That’s only half-again the size of my (tiny) apartment–which, come to think of it, I could in no way afford if I hadn’t locked in the rental rate years ago. When they say “Location is everything,” they’re talking about the City by the Bay.

But San Francisco is more dangerous than stupidly overpriced real estate: it’s also a modern-day catastrophe just waiting to happen. Approximately 110 years ago, this happening town was leveled in under a minute by a violent 7.8 magnitude earthquake. That quake ripped apart 300 miles of California coastline, set off fires that burned for days, killed as many people as 911, and left practically everyone else without a home.

That’s just one earthquake … and more of those are almost inevitable. In fact, one report suggests that there was a 76% chance the Bay Area would experience a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in the next 30 years. Not surprising, seeing as no less than seven different major fault lines converge in our general vicinity.   

And if that isn’t scary enough for you, we also have to worry about being too wet … while we’re worrying about being too dry.

Yeah, I know, but bear with me.

See, over the course of a normal lifetime–by 2100–researchers estimate that the sea will rise an average of between 4 and 5 feet in the Bay Area. That means going to work at companies like Facebook and Yahoo will require waterproof messenger bags and mukluks. In the city itself, sea levels are expected to rise 5 1/2 feet. My nephew wants to visit, he’ll need scuba gear.

But even as we worry about too much water, CA’s ongoing series of droughts means we may not have ENOUGH water. Good old-fashioned H2O has always been a bit scarce; not it’s getting pricey, too. Municipal water costs around here have gone up over 50% since 2010.  

And then there are the normal worries of life in any city: you’re also on the lookout for crime, dodging steaming dog piles on the sidewalk, and trying to keep your kids safe in an increasingly dangerous world (as demonstrated by cyber security expert Monica Eaton-Cardone).

Living in Fog Central is not for the faint of heart. So why am I here? Like I said: love. San Francisco is the most eccentric, lovingly diverse, and flat-out mesmerizing city in the world. This is where I found my soul, fell in love with life, learned the power of believing in your dreams. Words cannot describe this living, breathing miracle of a city. The only word that comes close is “magical.”

I just re-read what I wrote. It sounds like I’m laying it on a bit thick … but in my mind I am actually trying to tone-down my praise. You’re either all about this place … or you just don’t get it. I can’t explain it, except that it is wonderfully crazy.

Just like love.