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Dear San Francisco,

Dear San Francisco,

I have never once dreamed of living in a place like you.

Your streets are always filled with danger, your smells, always are either of marijuana and/or some else’s business, and your centrally controlled heating systems won’t shut up. Rent is essentially unaffordable, food is remarkably overpriced (A $15 avocado toast? Really?), and there is literally a live map on record to help you stay away from human shit.

My oh my, how would I ever stand to live here, I think to myself. It’s my first night alone in my new dorm room. I am frightened to get out of my own building to a city so loud, and filled with people who are either rich enough to thrive or poor enough to survive.

But time passes, and I get to know you. Anyone can simply be terrified of you, can choose to judge you for your kinks, but I, my dear friend, have learned to love you. I realize I was so naive that I was blind to your beauty.

Your streets are always filled with characters of humans that speak to each other—that embrace their individuality unapologetically. The smells of stories and wafts of perfume differentiate each person I pass on the street. Hole-in-the-wall coffee shops and consignment stores have been my main sources of costs, but I’m okay with that. You’re a concrete jungle that has parks and beaches and mountains and room for adventure. You are filled with people who are driven, who are independent, and who you help thrive. You are filled with talent, filled with diversity, and filled with acceptance.

I love you, and I’m blessed to call you my current home.

Love,

Julia

All photos shot by me with the Minolta X-700, with 35mm film.