December 12, 2008

new places, new faces

At 17, I was proposed to by the Turkish cab driver as I filtered into San Francisco. I turned down the proposal, a certain way for him to remain in the U.S.

That long weekend, I fell in love with a big city. The smog, tall buildings, water and massive bridge. The crush of people surrounding me. Chinese folk peddling fish and jade. Little Italy, Sausolito, the bay and the city. The shopping buildings were huge. Even living just minutes from the Mall of America, I was awed by the multi-level Old Navy, by Jessica McClintock's large store, by Nike Town.

We hiked through Muir Woods, a gorgeous display of red wood trees in their ginormous mightiness surrounded us. We ventured to Carmel and Pebble Beach, wandering around the celebrity-frequented streets. I climbed on rocks portruding from the ocean. With my parents large and expensive camera, I snapped off a plethora of photographs to document my visit.

A birthday dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. Far from friends, but memorable in its own right. Gheradelli chocolates made their way into my heart that weekend, too. Non-perils will forever remind me of that long-ago, escape of a weekend.

I'm sentimentally attached to that city. Maybe because it was the first time I flew alone. Maybe because I got to spend the weekend doing whatever I wanted, with my parents. Maybe it was the big city, the greatness of nature and urban sprawl surrounding me. Maybe it was my first trip that was really my own. Whatever it is, the time is burned into my memory. San Francisco will forever be melted into my heart. A place with bums holding signs "Not gonna lie, it's for beer." The trip I broke the very expensive camera lens (and almost my dad's knees). My photographs of seals and crashing waves and mighty red woods. A canister of non-perils, a limo ride, an obscenely expensive birthday dinner. Sometimes I long to return. Sometimes I wonder if my love for San Francisco is a mixture of youth and hazy reflections.

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