236 San Francisco, CA: Home

My day ended the way it began, with a San Franciscan opening her home to me. My friend Bonnie worked as a city planner for a suburb across the bay. Because of San Francisco's expensive real estate, she also rented to boarders and worked weekends in a specialty food store to afford the mortgage on her condo.

"People here are isolated," she admitted when I asked her, "but they are coming to terms with it. They are not afraid to be alone. San Francisco attracts loners. San Francisco has a lot of transplants. They want to live life differently than where they're from. Somebody once told me that they keep moving west in search of something, then they hit the ocean and this is where they have to stop. A lot of people here think very differently than people in the rest of the country, and do things before the rest of the country gets it. They're really out-of-the-box thinkers. They have made it into a positive energy. But it kind of cuts both ways. Out-of-towners like I was when I arrived have a harder time overcoming isolation here."

As I fell asleep at Bonnie's, I felt like a Hopper character: a traveler in temporary lodging, even if it was someone else's home.

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