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San Francisco

San Francisco, I Think I’m Over You

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I’m kind of back to not liking living in San Francisco.

Part of my disenchantment is probably my fault. I arrived here with big dreams I’ve yet to see realized. For one, I thought I’d fall into a good group of friends. Instead, someone I considered a good friend ghosted on me. Though I have made a few good friends whom I am grateful for, they’re from disparate circles. My social life is unrecognizable to me.[/dropcap]

Alleys and Alleys of Murals in San Francisco

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Like many cities in the US, San Francisco is experiencing a wave of gentrification that is welcomed by some residents and the subject of much derision for others. Often central to the debate is the Mission District, an eclectic enclave whose formerly large working- and middle-class Latino population moves further south as the gentrifiers roll in by the dozens: well-paid, largely young, white, male, and employed by tech companies. Their presence brings higher rents, priced-out renters, long waits and lines at a growing number of trendy restaurants and cafes, and a fear of cultural and historical erasure.[/dropcap]

Scenes from the 2014 Treasure Island Music Festival

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]When my friend asked if I’d go with her to the Treasure Island Music Festival, I surprised myself when I said, “Yes.” After my one and only experience at the Coachella Music Festival a few years ago, I all but swore off large-scale music festivals. Between the heat, the parades of douchery, the posers (people who literally seem as though they are just there to pose), the flower headbands, the Native headdresses on non-Natives, the spilled beer, sloppy drunken fools, the long lines to get just about anything and my general dislike of unruly crowds, I must have temporarily lost my memory to agree to this. Of course, it didn’t hurt that my friend’s face lit up as she gushed about how much she loves André 3000 of Outkast, one of the headliners of the two-day concert.[/dropcap]

Walk on the Right!

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]”I no longer have road rage, I have walk rage,” I explained to my friends at breakfast recently, about one of the ways which my life has changed since leaving Los Angeles.

“We’re in the city. People walk, take public transportation, taxis, Uber. We’re trying to get somewhere, not take leisurely strolls through the streets.”

Traffic, horrendously douchey driving and my resulting road rage which became way to commonplace for my liking (I don’t think it’s healthy to regularly wish…[/dropcap]

So, I Killed a Bee

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]It flew into my home one afternoon, using my screenless window as it’s portal. When it zoomed into my living room, my favorite cat did absolutely nothing. His feeble, half-assed attempts to catch it evolved into a game of his design, a cat-and-bee chase, only the bee was unaware of its participation and I became very concerned about getting stung.[/dropcap]

Simple Tips for Hosting a Fabulous Girls’ Night In

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]1. My personal life was like, “Hey girl, where you been?” My days seemed to consist of either being at work, thinking about work or recovering from the exhaustion of an intense workweek that left me so spent all I want nothing more than to recline on the couch, watching cartoon movies and other non-mentally taxing fare. In addition to that, most Thursday nights in the winter I played kickball with the company team. “I need to get a life!”[/dropcap]

Potty-Mouthed Street Kids & Other Tales of Harassment

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]A couple of weeks ago, seated with a girlfriend outside Philz Coffee, a random, late middle-age man passing by, grabbed my foot and shook it. He didn’t say anything, just shook my foot and continued walking.

What the hell?!

My friend and I looked at each other, puzzled. I didn’t say much and publicly shrugged it off. It happened so fast I didn’t even have time to react. Afterward, however, I sat feeling disturbed…[/dropcap]

Laid Off, Not Laid Out

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I got laid off this week.

The news didn’t completely surprise me. I knew the company, which I’ll refer to as “Fancy Startup” (FS), planned to cut some jobs [the numbers-focused CEO told us weeks ago, “We have too many employees and still more to hire. We now have x hundreds of employees and plan to hire x number more. Do you guys think we should have that many? That’s crazy!” He laughed mirthlessly, “By year’s end I expect we’ll have the same number. So…”] [/dropcap]

Saying No to No

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Recently during lunch with a co-worker, Mighty* – we’ve bonded in our search for sanity in the crazytown that is our work environment – she exclaimed, “Keisha, I have to tell you! Something you told me really helped me!”

A few weeks earlier, on our way back from lunch, dodging poo on the sidewalk (dog? human? who knows), sidestepping a disheveled-looking man angrily muttering to himself and quickly breezing past a urine-scented staircase, – in other words, a not atypical walk in certain parts of San Francisco…[/dropcap]

Awkward Encounters at the Greeting Card Store

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]A few days ago I was at my local greeting card store picking up what seemed like stacks of birthday cards because I tend to befriend and befamily* a disproportionate number of Pisces/Aries/Taurus people (those born in March and April, for the non-astrology folks). As I approached the cash register to pay, I kind of hoped that I wouldn’t be helped out by the somewhat eccentric older woman with the Thelma Harper hair and with whom I’d had an off-putting encounter around the Christmas holidays.[/dropcap]

Beware the Crazy Old Goat Down the Hall

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Hi, I’m Keisha and apparently I get into fights with old ladies. Let’s take a look, shall we?

When I first moved into my apartment building I met the girlfriend of one of my neighbors. Her boyfriend had lived in the building for two years.

“How do you like it here? How are the people in the building?”

“Oh, I like it. People are pretty quiet and nice, but…” she lowered her voice and moved closer to me, “Have you met the old lady that lives down the hall?”[/dropcap]

12 Things About My First 12 Months in San Francisco

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Well, well, well, look who survived her first year in San Francisco! That’s right. She of the woeful posts New City, No New Friends, San Francisco: Not a Treat (Yet) and Making Friends: Paying Dues. It’s been a tremendous year with intense ups and downs and quite a bit of change and growth. Here are 12 ways in which my life has changed in the 12 months I’ve lived in San Francisco, from the mundane to the exciting.[/dropcap]

Bus Bullies and Ratchet Bitches*

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Last week on my way home from work, trouble came looking for me in the form of a bus bully. I could have ignored it, but the fighter in me protested: “Nope, we will NOT be backing down today.”

When I boarded the bus, it was standing room only. I parked myself near a pole, turned up Spotify and tried to decompress from work. Whereas I could have gotten lobotomized and still done my old job, my new job keeps me on my toes: literally and figuratively. By the end of most days, I’m spent. That day had been particularly exhausting.

A minute into my bus ride, the girl (she was maybe in her early 20s) sitting in front of me said to her friend, seated behind me, “Hoes be having they p-ssy all in my face and shit.”[/dropcap]

On Being Black in San Francisco: A Snapshot

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]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.” [/dropcap]

I Don’t Pop Molly

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]”I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Ford.”

– Jay-Z, “Tom Ford, 2013

If you listen to hip-hop these days, you’ve no doubt heard all the references to molly (basically ecstasy): “I Can’t Seem to Find Molly“, “Popped a molly, I’m sweatin‘” or maybe you’re even listening to Miley “cultural appropriation” Cyrus’ latest song. She sings about poppin’ mollies in “We Can’t Stop“. [She told producers she wanted “something that sounds black.” Girl, get your life! I give major side-eye to people who reduce blackness to the sliver of sub-culture of which they are aware. You need to diversify your black exposure. 13 million black Americans aren’t all the same. It’s like if Rihanna said she wants a “white” sound for her next album and had bagpipers all up in her video. Have a seat with your pancake booty that has no business twerking.][/dropcap]