Travel Photography: San Francisco
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Eli and I go out to the Bay Area frequently these days. Eli’s Grandmother, Telegram, recently retired to Palo Alto and we’ve been making a concentrated effort to visit whenever we can. Before moving out to Palo Alto, Telegram lived in Boston. Now I’m an enthusiastic and easy going traveler but I don’t love Boston. We would trek over for special occasions and holidays but we tried to keep our trips limited to family time. Each trip out to Boston ended in us scurrying back to Chicago as quickly as possible. You will never see a Boston post on this blog. Ever.
Anyway, with the Bay Area, we’ve been tacking on days to each family trip to explore. So far we’ve ventured around San Francisco and Mt. Tamalpais. I’m hoping to sneak in some trips to Big Sur, Napa, Sonoma and Yosemite at some point.
This most recent trip, Eli and I added on 2 days and stayed in the Mission. There are many things I like about San Francisco. There's the architecture, Tartine, the history of social progressiveness and all of the tea shops. Eli and I both work in tech and creative fields so moving to San Francisco has come up for both us a number of times over the last couple of years. We have thought a lot about the city and about moving there. So far, we've stuck with Chicago.
To certain degree, Eli and I are committed to Chicago but that's definitely not the only thing keeping us from making a go of it in San Francisco. It is just stunning how expensive San Francisco has become.
I feel deeply uncomfortable photographing people at their most vulnerable. Even if I ask before taking a photo or offer money in exchange, I realize that there is a power dynamic at play. I don't want anyone to be my prop or to feel put on the spot. There is a huge homeless population in San Francisco and I find there to be an uncomfortable dichotomy between the homeless and the extremely wealthy. Even our friends and family that are relatively well off, seem to feel a constant anxiety about being priced out of San Francisco.
Perhaps someday the tech boom will spread beyond the Bay Area and San Francisco's real estate will level off. Hopefully by that time the city will still have some of the things that have made it so appealing. Perhaps someday we'll think about moving there more seriously. For now, Eli and I enjoy visiting.