I set out this morning pretending to be a tourist in my own city. I wanted to see how we treat tourists, people with cameras, in our city. I wanted to see if we smiled at visitors.
Camera in hand and sneakers on my feet, I walked from Fort Mason through Fisherman’s Wharf, all the way to Ferry Plaza for the Tuesday farmer’s market and back.
There’s a reason why 16 million people visit our city annually.
People did, in fact, smile at me even as I got in the way of their morning run to photograph the bridge. At the Tuesday farmer’s market, they smiled and offered slices of organic citrus to try and tastes of artisanal chocolate and honey. They said yes when I asked if I could take their picture and smiled for me as I clicked away.
I hope you love your city as much as I love mine.
Maybe it’s just that all the people I love most share these streets with me. Or, maybe it’s just that the sky is blue and it’s almost warm enough for shirt sleeves…in January.
It’s all of that but there’s this, too – we are kind and not just to each other.
People, all of us, travel because we are looking for something. Some of us wander pretty far off the tourist grid to find it. I hope you find it, whatever you are looking for in this city I love. At the very least, I’ll try not to get in your way.
So, if you are coming to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. And, send me a message. I will tell you about all my favorite secret places and treat you to a cup of the best coffee on earth.