Six months ago today our Penske truck rolled into Berkeley and parked at the corner of Dwight and Ellsworth. And thus our Bay Area life began.
A lot's happened since then. Helen has begun an amazing two year program at the Haas School of Business, and I've met lots of new friends (mostly partners of b-school students, but some students too, and some additional friends in an ever-so-intense book club.)
I've admired Helen's enthusiasm for school and her ability to juggle many classes and other activities. Meanwhile I've begun a great job at the UC San Francisco Library.
I'm still deciding whether I prefer the East Bay (where Berkeley is) or San Francisco as a place to live and hang out. As someone who moved from New York City, it seems obvious that I should prefer "SF." But Berkeley reminds me of my college town (Evanston, IL), which I now think about with unreasonably fond nostalgia. And it has shades of 60's activism even today, with opportunities on Telegraph Avenue (like buying books for 25 cents apiece, and leaving the money in a bucket) that are gloriously unique.
At first I didn't like San Francisco at all, as heretical as that sounds. There's a lot of hills and not a lot of people in good stretches of the city. In my head I kept remembering when someone I met in New York referred to SF as a "toy town," not a real city. That always struck me as funny, but when I got here I thought, "Yikes! It's true."
Six months on Helen and I have explored some city neighborhoods and gotten a much better feel for the place. We're settling in well, and it's definitely easier to make friends here than on the lonely streets of Gotham. This doesn't mean that NYC won't always have a special place in my heart; I often roamed Manhattan with a sense of exhilaration, never quite believing that I really lived there. Be that as it may, I'm starting to see why Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco.