Slow Motion

This town encourages defection, at least of my high-powered, ambitious friends. In the last three years, I have lost two friends to Dallas, one to Florida, one to L.A. and, as of this morning, two to London. They have all left to move on with their lives, lives which were in sleepy limbo while in San Francisco.

I know that there are many defenders of San Francisco, but none that I have met are ambitious. Some are opportunistic (there is money here, after all, if you are willing to wait for it) and some are energetic, but none are ambitious. This city is the geographical equivalent of molasses. If you are seeking a place away from the madding crowd because you want to recover, raise a family, write a book without interruption or are a student, a stoner or a surfer, or even because you are famous and want to hide out, this is the place for you.

Nothing will push you here. The customer service is slow. The traffic is cautious. Even the ubiquitous homeless are slow-moving and under-motivated. It is a city that hopes for sun, basking when it’s out, huddling in restaurants when it’s not. It hikes and hangs out, it skis and sips wine, but it does not drive for the finish line. It’s about changing the world through hemp rather than heft. It encourages contemplation – yoga, therapy, knitting, Buddhism, hallucinogenic drugs – but it does not have any particular aim in mind besides live and let live, man.

It is a city of slow principles and slow growth and slow change. This is no place for those on a mission and moving fast. Hence the defectors. Someday, I will be among them. This town is no place for a New Yorker. For now, I’m running as lightly as I can over the surface of the molasses. Come visit for the views but don’t stay for the ambition.

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Categories: San Francisco (here)

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2 Comments on “Slow Motion”

  1. Erica
    April 21, 2006 at 7:41 pm #

    This defected friend misses you!! Am thinking about you trapezing over the molasses…..

  2. Lyndsey
    November 16, 2006 at 5:07 am #

    I am not a defect!

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