Jay

In front of Congregation Adath Israel
Outer Sunset
Sunday afternoon

***

Places don’t mean much. “Home is where the heart is,” right? Well, my heart is in my chest, and home is where I am. I’m happy here; I’m happy there. Don’t get me wrong; there are places I dislike. It’s taken me over a decade to warm up to the idea of going back to Central America. I still don’t think I’ll ever go back to the “Former Yugoslavia.” My best memories of early 1996 involve those rare and delicious nights I had a truck to sleep under.

I came here for work. I live in the Sunset because I’m within walking distance of an Orthodox synagogue. Practical. Utilitarian. The place meets my needs so the place is fine. I tell my friends I live in the Long Island of San Francisco. It’s affordable and plain and well-suited for a family of three. The commute isn’t great, but it’s not like I’m one of the B&T crowd. My geographic cachet is inversely proportional to how much someone knows about San Francisco.

There’s this serendipity that got under my skin, though. San Francisco is the largest neighborhood in the world. Walking around the corner, I see a friend. My daughter’s teacher walks into the restaurant. I go to the same small store and share my same small stories with the proprietor. That girl that just started in the office? I lived two floors directly below her when I moved here. That guy? It turns out that he lives at the end of the hallway in my old apartment. Everyone knows the same places; everyone has been everywhere. San Francisco is a shared experience where we’re all on the inside.

***


You can follow Jay on twitter at http://twitter.com/meangrape
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