On Broadway above the tunnel
Russian Hill

Friday noon

I moved to San Francisco a little over a year ago after living in Austin, Texas for a year. Before that I lived in New York City for 10 years, and before that Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine.

I am a New Englander at heart and sometimes I have trouble relating to San Franciscans, especially those who are are into really new-agey kinds of things, or who feel the need to parade the streets in costume for every little holiday, or who sit in trees for 21 months in protest. There are general things I don’t like about this place, like the pale foggy light, the washed out building colors, and chilly weather which means I can never go out at night without a winter jacket. Coming directly from Austin, I was used to pretty much perfect, warm, sunny weather year-round and the climate in San Francisco was definitely a disappointment.

But there are some things that I really do like: super-fresh produce, awesome thrift stores, and most of all the fact that I never feel in a rush to go anywhere. Living in New York City, there were so many people around all the time that I always felt in a hurry and my day-to-day stress level was high enough to feel like I was having a panic attack sometimes.

Life in San Francisco is pretty much completely hassle-free. I have a friend who described living here as ‘being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it’ (like sit in a tree for 21 months). Because of this aspect, I’ve been able to open a dance studio and shoe store here. This is something I don’t think would have been possible had I stayed in NYC. The rents there are too high and the hoops you need to jump through to get a lease are just crazy. Here, we have our own stable business (where we can do whatever we want, whenever we want to do it), it’s just a block from where we live so it’s insanely convenient, and I have everything I need right here within walking distance. I am able to keep a car here, so I have the freedom that provides.

Also, San Francisco probably has the biggest and best tango community in the United States. There is a lot of business here for us, and I always have fun when I go out dancing. Sometimes I think about moving somewhere that is closer to my family and life-long friends, but every time I do, San Francisco gives me something else that makes me want to stay. The longer I am here, the
more I like it.

And I’ve started wearing a puffy vest and sensible hill-climbing shoes, so I guess I am slowly but surely assimilating.


The rest of Jennifer’s photo shoot is here, also pictured with her partner, Ney.

Jennifer’s website:


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