Unlike the apropos Marina and the Diamond’s song, Blue –– in which the singer laments, “I don’t wanna feel blue anymore, gimme gimme, anything but blue” –– my summer has so far been positively packed with hues of the sky and sea. Sun is a rare commodity in the city (especially if you life in the Sunset like I do), so every time the opportunity arises, I can’t help but spend every clear, warm day at a park or beach. Void of clouds enveloping the surroundings, San Francisco only becomes brighter and more alive. From high-up hills, to art installations and tourist destinations, being blue in the City by the Bay is nothing short of breathtaking.
1. Ahhh Chinatown, my home away from home. Hours of my childhood were spent along Grant Street, shopping for trinkets, waiting in line for steaming hot bao, eating fresh fortune cookies and trying new restaurants at the insistence of my adventurous grandfather (who is still somewhat a popular and personable face around Chinatown). Despite the area being somewhat of a tourist trap for white visitors looking to try something “ethnic,” Chinatown still has the same heart and importance that’s empowered and acted as a community for my family of generations past.
2. My first few days in the city, I enjoyed being in my own house again a little too much. After being stuck in a dimly-lit, closet-sized dorm room for months, I couldn’t stop staring at the sharp angles of my all white house when I got back. The natural light that filled each room through the skylights made me feel revitalized in a way that I hadn’t for too long. I knew I missed the obvious about San Francisco –– my friends, family, favorite places, etc –– but I never considered little details like this to contribute to the unforgettable comforts of home.
3. For being a lactose intolerant person, I sure do crave absurd amounts of ice cream. So when I noticed that C.R.E.A.M on Valencia offered a soy version of my favorite flavors, I nearly died and when to dairy heaven. My favorite dessert sandwich, but without the pain and suffering that lactose reaps upon my digestive system? I’ll take two please. Pictured here is the mouthwatering combo of their double chocolate cookie and soy mint chocolate chip ice cream. Now excuse me while I simultaneously cry and mentally relive this food moment.
4. The week I took this picture, I had already gone to the beach three days in a row, and this happened to be number four. At seven p.m, the lowering sun hit the Pacific in a way that made it look as clear as a freshly Windex-ed glass coffee table –– a water-side sight I’d never had the pleasure of experiencing before. And with that, it’s safe to say that I made it to trip number five that week.
5. Following a full day of retail job hunting, I figured I deserved something deliciously unhealthy. My answer was found in the form of Greek frozen yogurt, topped with a decadent baklava filling and honey, from Souvla in Hayes Valley. Despite how my order might look like hot, dog vomit (not to be confused with “hotdog” vomit) in this photo, I swear that the contents inside the cup were anything but. It should be noted that I was also way too over excited to see the yogurt being served in an iconic, “Anthora” New York Coffee cup. Another day, another picture of a cute dessert I suppose.
6. The Transamerica Pyramid has forever been one of my favorite buildings in existence. Even before I recognized my love of overly-geometric architecture, there was always something about the structure that felt special and quintessentially San Francisco to me. I’m not even afraid to admit that every single time I’m traveling through North Beach and begin see the clear view of the entire Pyramid in the distance, my ice cold heart gets the slightest bit warm and fluttery.
7. As y’all probably know by now, I’m downright obsessed with neon signage. So when I saw this gem of a work at the Asian Art Museum’s “28 Chinese” exhibit, I couldn’t resist taking a million and one photos of it. Considering the cute font, calming blue hue and large scale of the work, I could honestly and probably live inside of this piece if that wouldn’t be so uncomfortable.
8. Remember in my first post of this series, where I documented the struggles of trying to look cute after a hike up Turtle Hill? Well this photo shows the result of my physical labor from that day. The views from this Golden Gate getaway were utterly stunning from any angle and –– as much as a I hate to admit it –– worth the sweat and sore muscles.
9. I’ve reiterated this a million times before, but I always question how I lived an arms reach away from the beach (that may be a slight hyperbole) for 18 years and yet, managed to hardly ever go. This time around, I’m making up for lost opportunities by visiting the coast whenever possible. From mini field trips with the Wavers, to full afternoons spent at Ocean Beach (where this photo was taken), one can only hope there’ll be enough of a tan and some salt-water waves in my hair to last the whole summer.
Words and images by Campbell Gee.