Living in San Francisco (why I love Minneapolis)

I recently returned from a visit to Minneapolis and, as often happens, going some away taught me some things about where I live.

My first couple of days I had a horrible migraine, and my Rumi was under the weather too, so we spent them just hanging around, commiserating, talking, complaining together. It was great. I mean, I love my Rumi and I underestimated how much I missed her, as I have in the past. As you might have read, I’m eating in my own specialized way, so a trip to the store for my sweet potatoes was necessary in those first few days, too.

I discovered, to my dismay, that specialized, organic food, while always costly, seemed even more so in Minnesota. I realized how very lucky I’ve been to be living in San Francisco while on a limited income. I’ve relied heavily on CSA’s since 2008.

In Minnesota and later Massachusetts, this ensured that I could eat fresh, organic produce relatively inexpensively, for about 9 months out of the year (22 to 26 weeks of deliveries, and the rest frozen or canned – mostly frozen). When I went away for my internship, I knew I’d have a tiny stipend, so I bought my farm share (from Farmer Dave’s) in advance for most of the year (CSA’s in parts of the country where the growing season is, well, a season rather than year-round, members of CSA’s purchase all the weeks in advance, as a way to support the farm at the beginning of the season, before there is any actual produce).

One of my earliest CSA shares

One of my earliest CSA shares

When I moved to San Francisco, I quickly realized that my postdoc wages weren’t going to get me far with organic produce, so I went back to a farm share (in CA many farm shares are available to purchase by the week). I was thrilled to see artichokes, avocados and Romanesco in my boxes. Once I got to know the area a bit better, I started going to the farmer’s market and went down to just once a month on my farm share. Know what I spend on food each week? Most weeks, 20 bucks. That’s it. It’s true that I make a Costco run about every other month, but I buy the bulk of my food for about $80 a month.



And San Francisco feels good to me, I feel comfortable here. I love the way the sidewalks fill with people, and the variety of people where ever you look. I love that there is a street fair somewhere damn near every weekend (or so it seems). There are free concerts and parks and beautiful views. There are beaches and hills and dogs in the stores.

Just one beautiful vista

Just one beautiful vista

And in my neighborhood, it’s sunny. A lot of the time, it’s sunny. The weather is great for me (although co-workers who moved from L.A. think it’s too cold). It’s warm to cool all year round. I love my job and where I live. I’m making connections to community these days and that’s all great too. I’m singing in a community chorus, too.

And yet, coming home from Minneapolis, it’s hard not to notice what San Francisco is missing. It’s missing my very best friend and her family. It’s missing my kid. It’s missing the best women’s choir I’ve ever known (TCWC), and the many connections I have there. It’s missing the Ladies from Spades. It’s missing the camaraderie of ridiculously cold weather and potholes big enough to break your axle.

One last snow - for me!

One last snow – for me!

Living in San Francisco is great. And now, I love Minneapolis, too.



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