On Being Black in San Francisco: A Snapshot

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Photo cr: massiveselector.com

Photo cr: massiveselector.com

Last night, my sister, my friend “Mercy” and I were on the bus returning from Oakland’s First Music Festival (a blast!). We were exhaustedly babbling, trying to figure out what to do for dinner (sleep sounded like a great option!) when a young guy behind us interjected:

“Excuse me ladies…”

Oh lord. Don’t let this be some lame line. I am too tired.

“Excuse me ladies, but I just have to tell you how refreshing it is to see three African-American women on this bus. On any bus here really.”

Oh. Well…yeah. 

We all nodded laughed knowingly. We get it. There are so few of us here – particularly the young and upwardly mobile. You get so used to being the only one on the daily. It’s like we’re unicorns, aliens or endangered species; so, when you see another, it makes an imprint.

We chatted with him for a little while (he did, not-so-subtly, but charmingly, try to get one of our phone numbers indiscriminately) about the festival and his job at one of the museums in the City.

No numbers were exchanged, no wondrous epiphanies had, just a pleasant and notable encounter among strangers on a bus.

Side note: I’ve visited Oakland four or five times in the 11 months I’ve been living in San Francisco and I gotta say, Oakland just might be cooler than San Francisco. *Ducking flying objects*

6 Comments
  • Robby King
    November 2, 2013

    I hate to admit it, but if you’re new to the Bay Area, Oakland probably is cooler. If you’ve lived in the city for a while you have friends, rent control, your regular spots, rent control, etc., but otherwise most of the city probably seems overpriced and difficult to navigate.

    I love San Francisco, but it’s going through a lot of the same hard times it went though during the last tech boom. Fortunately all the bros will leave once the tech money’s gone, but in the mean time it’s pretty rough.

    • thegirlnextdoorisblack
      November 5, 2013

      You actually make a very good point. The SF new people know may be very different than the one longer residing SF residents experience.

  • Laura
    September 23, 2013

    Hahaha! Katrina has been TRYING to tell you that for a year! But I’m glad you had a good time!

  • Heidi
    September 22, 2013

    I thought Oakland was cooler when I was there. 🙂

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