The beautiful Women’s Building in San Francisco is a non-profit center which advocates self-determination, gender equality and social justice. The mural was done by seven women artists: Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton and Irene Perez, and depicts feminine icons from history and fiction. The rainbow that’s weaved throughout features the names of more than 600 women written in calligraphy.
We forget so often just to take the time out to look up and look around.
I’ve lived in the Bay Area for much of my life and now have worked in San Francisco (or the City as well call it) for a few years. I recently joined a new company that happens to be only a few short blocks from the company I left. Even though it’s such a small difference in location, I quickly realized what a rut I had been in. I took the same route to the office everyday, passed the same things, often the same people and ate at the same places. I was always in a hurry to run to the office, grab coffee or lunch that I forgot to look around.
I work in one of the most amazing cities in the world. A city that is experiencing a technology (and unfortunately, depending on who you are, real estate) boom. The City seems to be on everyone’s lists and lips and I am here, living in it everyday. I became aware that I was taking that for granted.
Sometimes you just need to lose yourself, feel new things, and get out of your usual day-to-day life. At times that is the best fix to get your creative juices flowing and fuel new ideas. A trip to the museum can be the cure, wandering the halls, soaking in the different galleries.
I used to be afraid of going places by myself. I don’t mean running errands or shopping, rather the movies, dinner or bars. Being the youngest in a rather large extended family, I always had someone to go places with and never felt the need to really branch out on my own. It sounds quite silly to me even typing this now that I do all of those things on my own. That confidence or really, not caring what others think, comes with age and experience and the only way to get that experience is pushing yourself out there. Going to museums by myself was one of ways I broke the ice when I was younger.
My latest solo trip was to the De Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The newest exhibit was a gallery of photographer Richard Diebenkorn’s photos from his time spent in Berkeley. I spent a few hours on a gloomy Sunday perusing the halls of that exhibit along with the others.
Did I get a few, “Oh she’s alone? What a pity!” looks? Sure, but trust me when I say it really doesn’t matter. When you’re secure with yourself, people’s opinions won’t matter – especially a strangers.
I left feeling so refreshed and inspired again. There’s something about seeing art, photos, writing or anything that the artist was passionate about, that gets my creativity flourishing once more.
No matter where I go, I will always be a Bay Area girl through and through. 93 Till Infinity by the Souls of Mischief is one of the ultimate Bay Area staples. If you grew up here in the 90s, I’m pretty sure this was bumping in your stereos at one point.
It was one of the first cassette tapes I bought with my very own money (yes, we used cassettes back then) and I think I probably still have it in a memory box somewhere.
It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since it came out. Partly because it still sounds so good.
It was just one of those days. You know the drill, nothing goes your way. All it takes is just one act to turn your day around. This particular day, mine came in the form of an attractive man – and don’t worry, this isn’t one of those cheesy, I met the love of my life posts. No, this man did something that made him attractive beyond his looks.
Working in San Francisco, I’ve gotten used to people not paying attention to one another. We walk by hundreds of people a day, not even looking at them. Between running to get to the office or grabbing a cup of coffee, we’re so busy that we forget to even acknowledge each other. Moreover, we often forget, or maybe choose not to notice those that are not walking alongside us in shiny new shoes, briefcases in hand. Those that are sleeping on cardboard, and often times, no shoes at all. However, this particular night, one young man did see the older gentleman asleep in the hallways of the train station.
I noticed him with his backpack and headphones – standard working dude wear. He turned and smiled when he heard my heels on the pavement. When he turned back his eyes noticed the man on the floor, he took his backpack off, opened the zip and took out a handful of snacks and left in front of the sleeping man. Before I had a chance to say anything to him, his train arrived, and he was off – not before smiling and nodding to me before the train doors closed.
That random act of kindness completely turned around the horrible day I was having and gave me something more than a warm, fuzzy feeling – it gave me hope. It gave me the feeling that the work that I’ve done and so many others is not in vain. We are all fighting for a worthy cause and one person can make a difference.
It only takes a few seconds for a human being to give another human being a basic need. So often we lose sight that the people with styrofoam cups and cardboard signs are human beings just like you and me – no more and no less. So often I see people walking around with their noses in the air, oblivious to the person they passed by. If only more people were like the man with the snacks, the world might be a little kinder.