All posts tagged: san francisco

Golden Orange Hues

Golden hues filter in through the window As night falls slowly and the air becomes crisp. In the distance, the bridge’s towers gently pierce the tinted sky And the waves roll in, crashing softly, Coming and going, coming and going. A woman sings sweetly Playing gorgeous melodies with her guitar. The travelers listen intently, enraptured. The magic is palpable, created with each song And destroyed once again with each forthcoming silence. The guitar allows itself to be strummed generously, As the darkness outside engulfs everything in its path. The warm lights inside the cafe are cozy and welcoming, Offering a safe space to connect, to write, to dream, To breathe in the beauty of this moment And of this life. Mahalo, soul of mine, For your generous gifts of song, of word, of breathtaking views, And of pure light. Photo by: Belén Alemán

Choosing Not To Choose

Choices. I wrote this word down after a conversation I had at Glide, the place where a few of us volunteer once a week to help serve breakfast to the homeless in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco. We were wondering if there was any way to simplify the process of serving food so that it would be easier both for the staff, as well as for the clients. While casually brainstorming ideas, Brando, the manager of the Free Daily Meals Program, made an interesting comment: those that come to Glide don’t have the privilege of making choices throughout their day. They go about their lives depending on the goodwill of others. “Most of the time, they don’t even get to choose where they go to the bathroom,” he said, and it’s true. A lot of us can walk into a Starbucks to use the restroom, but if any of the people that go to Glide try to do the same, they will be rejected 95% of the time solely based on appearance. This obviously …

Did I Really Just Meet The Real-Life Carrie From “Sex and the City”?

…Yes, yes I did. I’m not kidding. If Carrie hadn’t married Big and wasn’t living in a multi-million dollar New York City apartment, she would be living in San Francisco, have a boyfriend, and would be running her own successful business helping companies craft their stories through creative writing. And she would be THE BOMB. Real-life Carrie worked as a journalist for 15 years, both in newspapers and in magazines; at one time, she was the editor of Elle. Like most women that have lived in NYC, she can rattle off crazy dating stories like it’s her job, and she’s quick to smile and laugh, just like fictional Carrie. They share a subtle similarity in voice tone, and they are both tiny, fit and, simply put, badass. Real-life Carrie has been in San Francisco for 7 years after pausing her career to get an MBA with a focus on sustainability. As a journalist, she discovered she didn’t like the objective gap needed when interviewing others; instead, she wanted to side with the people she met, feel …

On The Run: An Oregon-California Road Trip

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike, and all plans, safeguards, policies and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggles that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” – John Steinbeck A friend and I spontaneously decided to visit Portland, Oregon, over Thanksgiving break because neither of us had ever been, so why not? We bought last minute tickets to fly up on Friday, and decided to drive back down that Sunday. Just like any trip, no matter how well planned, there are always things you cannot control. Although beautiful, Portland turned out to be freezing, and pretty wet: we got rain, snow, and hail. I assume all three were necessary, just for good measure. However, despite not being dressed appropriately for the cold (which goes to show that we’ve become California brats in a few short months, since we saw the 30ºF/-1ºC  forecast, looked at our winter coats, laughed, and thought “Who needs them, right?” WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Thank God for Black Friday and 50% off at …

We Can Do More

“That man is always in a bad mood!” I said, annoyed. Brando smiled back and, with a you-should-know-better-than-to-say-that look, he responded: “Well, I would be, too, if I had to sleep on the pavement every night.” Aaaaand that is how I was promptly and swiftly put. in. my. place. Touché Brando. You win. For the last month, I’ve been volunteering at Glide, a non-profit that, among other things, has one of the biggest free daily meals programs in San Francisco: they serve over 500 people per meal three times a day. Once a week, I join other volunteers and help serve breakfast to poor and low-income residents of the Tenderloin neighborhood. I’ve found it to be very rewarding thus far, which is why I continue to go back, and Brando, the Free Meals Program Manager, and everyone else I’ve met has been wonderful. Glide’s clients, as they are referred to, range from being quiet and distant, to bubbly and outgoing, to pretty aggressive at times. No matter the circumstances or the mood, as a volunteer …

A Big, Fresh Breath of Living

I had to battle a lot of demons in order to get the photo you see at the top of this post. Mood swings can be aggressive… Forget feeling bipolar; I was multi-polar, volatile, and explosive that day. I went for run to get it out of my system. I walked down Bush Street to Polk, where I took off all the way down to Ghirardelli square, past Fort Mason, around Chrissy Field, and onto Fort Point right next to the Golden Gate Bridge, where the only options, once I got there, were either to jump into the water or turn around and head back home. It turned out to be a 10.8 mile, 2.5 hour ordeal, with the wind beating against me. I admit to walking most of the way back after passing Fort Mason again, but I did lunge up the Taylor Street hills, in case that counts for anything. I am obsessed with the Golden Gate, which explains why I take so many pictures of it and why I always tend to …