The Character of a City

The kind of cold that you feel in the city chills you through two layers of sweaters and down to the bone. As they say, it gets under your skin. (Ha. Ha. Ha.)

Like a wisp of smoke, the sensations of Singapore disappeared without a trace, blown away by the sights, sounds, and feelings of the Foggy City.

What is it about this place that makes it so different from Singapore? I mean, besides the climate? San Francisco, like any other tourist destination, is bustling with souls; layers upon layers of people stacked atop one another to form towers in the classic, modern, and whimsical shapes to create the distinctive city skyline. A Uniqlo store opened not too long ago on Powell Street, just off Union Square. Non-native flora pop out of concrete blocks, and the atmosphere is a cacophony of engine rumbles and people’s chatter, laughter, and arguments.

But these concrete and brick walls shudder under your fingertips. No, it’s not an earthquake – it’s the spirit of a city with a history and certain wisdom. It does not cave to the imagined pressure or influence of the world to please the masses, like a child would by his peers. San Francisco welcomes all with open arms, but does not miss you when you leave and will not ask you to return. I think that’s what a city should be – self-assured, not desperate to please.

Which might be why, cat-pee-smelling hallway and kitchen-occupying mice aside, I feel so much more at home here than in Singapore. I’ve also begun writing FOR REALZ, as you can see. God, it feels so good.

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