Scenes from an Old Haunt

What I always find interesting about visiting a city where you once lived, is that it inevitably feels the same. There may be new buildings, old landmarks may have disappeared, but no place evolves so rapidly that it is rendered unrecognizable. There is a persistent familiarity that stamps out all the nostalgic crabgrass that's grown up around your rememberings. Nostalgia can only really take root when it's filling in for something that's gone forever.

But when you're walking on the same street, hearing the same sounds, smelling the same smells, essentially experiencing a place just as you did hundreds of times before, there's no romanticizing it. It is as it always was.

This week I'm re-experiencing San Francisco; one of the many cities that's let me reside in it for a spell. I left its foggy views and steep streets for LA exactly two years ago. Though I've been back since, this is the first time my return is the result of following a newly discovered thread, rather than the usual wrestling with loose ends. Yet even though I'm here for strangely different reasons, San Francisco still feels the same.

Yesterday I made a pilgrimage to my old neighborhood, simply because I'm sentimental about things like that.

I felt silly taking pictures of things I saw every day as I lived here. I did it mostly for my sestra, since it'd once been her neighborhood too, and I knew she'd like some current images to put with her wistful memories.

And after my departure, so will I.

View from the top. My once-upon-a-time flat.

Kasey and I've actually sprinted portions of this hill. It's amazing what you're capable of when you're desperate not to miss the #1 bus.

Whole Foods, how I miss thee, let me count the ways.

I think the park near Grace Cathedral may be the only place in SF where a person can feel perfectly safe on a swing in the middle of the night.

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