In light of Thanksgiving and the general feeling of gratitude, I wanted to outline the things that we may not realize or forget to be thankful for. Coming from the midwest, this weather is not as problematic as we make it out to be. It never snows and rarely gets over 70 degrees during our late summer. Our micro climates define our neighborhoods and give a sense of belonging to the weather we can be stuck with when we wake up in the morning. Another thing we should find valuable is the option to drive 30 minutes out of The City for better weather, different places to hike, great views and beautiful islands. We even have a ferry you can take at sunset to see the city illuminated under the yellow, peach and orange tones.
After a day of being a tourist in my own city, I also realized how many diverse places we have to go, from a concrete jungle to various parks, to the ocean, to the Golden Gate Bridge. I have noticed that we may be losing some of our diversity, but we have never stopped evolving as a city. I can look forward to new things, always.
We have peaks to climb, from Corona Heights to Buena Vista and Twin Peaks. Though the hills are mighty, climbing them gives me a sense of accomplishment other than at work. It shows me I can reach a summit and be rewarded with some of the best views in The City. If you cycle or climb these hills, you probably have some wicked leg muscles.
Another defining feature of this place are the culinary options. Just in our city alone, we have 49 Michelin star rated restaurants. However you feel about these ratings, we still have world-class chefs feeding us everything from foie gras ice cream to tenderized octopus. There is a reason we wait for hours to have brunch at places like Plow and Brenda’s. We like to eat and have plenty of places to choose from.
Unlike most of the rest of the country, we are lucky enough to have some of the freshest produce ever. We produce so many organic and sustainably raised foods, that you can find many grocery stores primarily committed to bringing the freshest items to us. We have everything you can imagine farmed locally, so we can easily give back while procuring deliciousness.
Though I have criticized our ability as a population to “be ourselves,” I have seen over time how many people have flocked to S.F. to be able to be who they are, whether LGBT, liberal or entrepreneur. We have more opportunities than just Halloween to dress up, go out and have it be considered relatively normal.
We also have access to just about everything in the on-demand economy, from Google Express to Uber and TaskRabbit. As the touch of a button, we can get almost anything delivered in the same day. With a busy lifestyle, we have options that the rest of the busy working world does not have. While my mom was visiting, she was perplexed at how I got a case of water bottles, a dozen eggs and a pack of dry erase markers to my house in two hours.
Another thing I realized was how grateful we should all be to have jobs. While the national unemployment rate is at 4.9 percent, California’s unemployment rate is 5.5 percent statewide, which is one of the highest in the continental U.S. In the tech industry, there is small percentage making a lot while many people on the outside may need various streams of income to afford a decent lifestyle. Being able to afford this city with one job is a blessing.
The biggest thing I am thankful for is having a place to live. Whether new transplants or the growing number of homeless on the street, we have a problem that is not easy to fix. Like many people (in certain places), I sit in the middle of it when I walk through my neighborhood. I am lucky to have a bed. I am even luckier to have running water and heat. The disenfranchised people in S.F. should be a strong reminder for all of the things we may take for granted.
With a background in journalism, Melissa Eisenberg has been working in the tech industry for eight years, currently leading the SF FashTech community.