Updated: Apr 8, 2022
How is it February already? That means roughly 1/12 of the year is over. Tax season is upon us. Spring is near. Although with high winds and atmospheric rivers and bare tree limbs, it looks kind of like fall out there. That's the Bay Area for ya. Microclimates everywhere. A stark contrast to when I lived in LA. It got cold at times, but for the most part, they were fleeting moments.
A friend asked for recommendations for dumplings in SF, because she wanted a local's opinion. I'm not sure I even consider myself a local anymore. Sure I grew up here and lived most of my life here, but the majority of the last 5-6 years, I inadvertently hopped around before finding my way back to SF again. I guess I did leave my heart here after all. I never considered myself a local in any of the other places I lived.
I begin to reflect on where was I this time last year, and the year before that, and before that.
This past January, I had the pleasure of wandering around the walker's paradise that is in SF, a unique trait that is hard to find.
Last year, I was a South Bay resident. For some reason, I got used to living there, but it didn't feel like home to me. In some areas, there's a lot of wide open space, like this:
When I started living in SJ, I made an effort to explore pockets of activity, and see what it had to offer in the arts.
Here's a photo from a series of sketches in an exhibit on the Vietnam War.
I was beginning my last semester in LA and wasn't sure yet what the future held for me. I didn't know if I would continue living there after graduation, so I stepped up the effort to see more of LA.
Of course everyone's already seen the LACMA lights already.
I did my fair share of hiking in LA, and that is probably more hiking I did than anywhere else I have ever lived. Some views are nice, but to be honest, after a while most views look the same, sunny and overlooking the freeway.
I don't have photos, but this was also the semester I took a mindfulness class. Originally I was just looking for a lighter course load, but looking back, learning to be introspective did me more good than I realized at the time. During this time, I went to a float spa and had a Thai massage as some of the assignments. The objective was to be alone in your thoughts and also focus on meditation, forcing yourself to be absent of thoughts. Go figure, right?
I had moved to LA only a few months prior and was quickly learning that outdoor spaces are very beloved in the warm climate, especially outdoor shopping plazas.
I was living in NYC at the time. It was the coldest winter of my life, but I loved it anyway. NYC is one of those places that are great to visit, but hard to live in. Still it's hard not to be swept up by how cool it is.
Tim got free tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters from work.
I used to get free admission to museums from work, and I took advantage as often as I could. The architecture at the Guggenheim is cool, but you want to see what's inside, right? During this visit, I learned about the subtleties of white art. It looks like a blank canvas until you take a moment to look closer, and see the 3D images almost demanding your attention. Plus, who doesn't like looking at French landscapes?
This was the first snow of the season, and I intentionally took a walk to be in it. I can probably count on one hand the number of times in my life that I touched snow.
Before I left SF, I spent quite a few weekends biking around Golden Gate Park on weekends.
I went to Hawaii with Tim, my then boyfriend, and his family. It was such a brand new experience for me, because I had never been on a family vacation with a significant other's family before. We had been together for a few years at this point. I was getting used to the idea of becoming part of their family and that is a nice feeling.
I aimed to follow precautions and not go beyond the wall, but as you can see, some people were clearly more adventurous than I was.
My sister-in-law and I got spray on tattoos together. I got the tribal looking treble clef, and she got a flower that looks like plumeria to me. Hers washed away in the ocean shortly afterwards.
This was probably the first work trip I ever went on. Vegas in January is cold and wind is definitely not fun. We stayed at the Bellagio for an event. I was able to get a nice view of it from Paris across the street.
Most of us have probably seen the lobby decked out in all its glory, but I thought it was more interesting to observe them putting it together. There's an ominous looking dragon head before they set it up to be coiled around a column.
Moving out was such a wonderful time of my life. This was when we first started touring apartments and ultimately decided to rent this place. The clincher was the closet space. If you are really in a pinch, you could fit another bed in here.
I used to take the train quite often. I enjoyed my solitude when I rode alone and would sometimes get pensive watching the view pass by. I took this with a Sony DSCW50 point and shoot.
One thing is for sure. As I roll back the years, the quality of the photos is telling.
Reflecting on the past and seeing how different things are now is enjoyable to me. Sometimes events feels like yesterday. Others feel like so so so long ago.