As an urban planner and architect by training, my vacations are always research projects. I recently had the opportunity to take a trip to some undeniably great cities: Paris, Bordeaux, Rome, Florence, and some other smaller towns in France and Italy. As I visit other cities, I find myself wanting to learn what makes each city unique, work, and thrive. I’m always asking myself, what makes people like me want to visit this place? Every time a local in these great cities asked where I was visiting from, and I replied that I lived in San Francisco, everyone – I think EVERYONE – said something like “OH I LOVE SAN FRANCISCO, I COULD LIVE THERE, I VISITED ONCE, AND IT IS SO GREAT….” It was really quite something to hear people say this about my city as I was having these conversations while standing in other amazing cities.
This holiday season I will be celebrating and giving thanks for what makes our city great, our neighborhood great and trying to build on those wonderful things. The Hayes Street Block Party is the evening of Friday, December 2nd, and I hope to see everyone there. Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA) sets up booths with other community organizations like Community Partners United and we’ll have free hot chocolate, cider and cookies, to enjoy with the live music on Patricia’s Green. Please come out and say hi to us and enjoy what makes our city the envy of Parisians and Romans and other proud urban dwellers around the world.