San Francisco: I will never give up on you

Despite the theft, it's still the most beautiful USA city

I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco, but I met her there. Her name is Ruth.

I have more amazing memories of great times in the City by the Bay than bad ones. (See: record store, NanSanFran, Jeff & Ed, Volare, the Columbus Motor Inn, and I could go on and on.)

I love New York, the most dynamic city I know and the place where I grew up. Los Angeles is diverse and awe-inspiring in so many ways, but there’s more natural beauty in San Francisco than any other U.S. city. Think about it. What compares?

I heard from so many of you Saturday, in response to my post about having my camera and gear stolen while in the middle of a video shoot. Thank you for that.

Among your comments:

This is San Francisco’s fault.

The city is un-visitable now due to the crime.

Nobody can feel safe there anymore.

I’m not buying that.

The post just happened to run on the same day the New York Times did a piece on the the growing problem of shoplifting in the city and the reluctance of local law enforcement to police minor thefts.

Clearly this is a trend that will not play well politically and will result in changes. Sooner rather than later.

And it will. Because a natural wonder like San Francisco isn’t going away. Tourists will not turn their back on the city. And like I said in the headline, I will never give up on her.

I was in town for just over 4 days, and frankly, I didn’t feel anything but total comfort walking the streets. And I went everywhere. Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Haight, Castro, Twin Peaks, Embarcadero, the Ferry Building, all of the best Golden Gate spots, from Chrissy Field to Hawk Hill and then some. I was usually dragging at least one tripod, if not two, multiple cameras and lenses around my neck and an iPhone on a grip.

Only once did I wonder if I was playing with fire, when I shot a time lapse on a pier next to the Ferry Building at 9:30 p.m. one night. The only people out there were me and a guy fishing, playing loud, obnoxious music. It was dark and a little eerie, yet so photogenic with the evening light show from the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

But then I realized there were also offices on the pier, and this being San Francisco, they were still inhabited by the tech workers who naturally work all hours. I could see them through the windows. So I had company.

On my incident at Chrissy Field: I was in broad daylight at a really popular park, one that sadly happens to have little police presence. It wasn’t my first Chrissy Field visit on this trip, but my third. Again, I never felt anything but total comfort and exhilaration at being at one of the most amazing parks anywhere, oh so close to the Golden Gate Bridge.

But, if I learned anything, it’s this: don’t shoot on a big camera by yourself in a major public setting. Because serious professional thieves are out there now looking to exploit situations like this.

Had I been talking into the iPhone, I doubt any of this would have happened.

Yoko Ono didn’t leave New York after John Lennon was gunned down there, and I’m not about to quit San Francisco.

High on a hill, it calls to me. And always will.

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