I have mixed feelings about leaving Boston. There are things about being here that I like. Of course, when I’m here I am always missing something about San Francisco. And when I am in San Francisco there are things (fewer things, but things all the same) that I miss about being in Boston.
People are fickle. I am a bundle of contradictions. What can I say?
Most of what I appreciate about Boston is not necessarily particular to the place, but particular to my circumstances; the stops and routines of my life here. I have gotten used to it, and now I must make changes.
-I will miss having 3 coffee shops within a block of my apartment. There are certainly 3 coffee shops in my neighborhood in San Francisco — more than that, actually, but they are not within a block, and there is a hill involved in at least one direction. But that’s not to say I prefer one place over the other; each neighborhood has its perks, and my routine adjusts to each. I will not miss slogging through ankle-deep slush to get to a coffee shop, for example. But I will miss going to Carberry’s, an independent café here in Central Square where I have gotten a tremendous amount of writing done (and consumed a lot of chocolate chocolate-chip cookies, coffee, and mint tea). The place possesses all of the attributes I look for in a writing location: coffee, cookies, a bathroom that doesn’t require a key, sandwiches and juice (for when the writing session runs long), space between tables (I hate being right up next to someone when I am trying to write) and complete indifference to customers who stay for hours on one cup of coffee.
-I will of course miss the friends I have made here. I’ve gotten close to several women whom I meet – often on a whim – for beer, coffee, crepes, sushi, tapas, movies, etc., and it’s nice to live a) close to them and b)be comfortable enough to meet up without having every interaction be a stressful ordeal or planned weeks in advance.
-Eastern time. It’s nice to be able to call friends and family in the evenings without having to worry about whether they are asleep already because of the time difference. (On the other hand, I won’t miss forcing myself to stay awake so that I can talk to Billy on nights when he has gotten home late in CA.)
-The weather. I know it’s ridiculous, but I will miss the changeable moods of Boston’s weather. That’s not to say that I always enjoy those moods, but I can’t say that the climate here isn’t interesting. I never know what is going to happen when I wake up in the morning. Snow, rain, hail, sun, wind… Sometimes all in one day. I will miss seeing the snow, though I won’t miss getting around in it. I’ll also miss the mild temperatures of (some) spring days and the heat of the summer. I love hot weather, and let’s face it, San Francisco is decidedly lacking in that.
-There are other silly things, like the neighborhood bar/restaurant less than a block from my apartment that serves the best fried mozzarella (it’s fresh mozzarella, not that processed tasteless stuff, and it’s served in a creamy tomato basil sauce). Or having a 7-11 just steps from my door. It’s amazing how often I visited the Sev at 11 o’clock at night to pick up some ice cream or bread or half and half or something like that. It’s been nice to have Hollywood Express just downstairs too, for sudden decisions to watch movies, and for an excellent selection of foreign films.
And there are small details, like brick sidewalks, packs of fat squirrels roaming the Common, the swoon-worthy stationer’s shop in Harvard Square, the number of excellent bookstores within 15 minutes (foot or train) of my apartment (at least 10), buying clothes sales-tax free, everyone’s spirited support of the Red Sox, Boston accents, and the fact that sometimes, when I am crossing the Charles on the T, the architecture and the trees and the repetition of bridges over the river make me think that I could be in Europe.